William J. Talbott
Critical examination of the concepts and judgments of value, including an analytical treatment of the notions of good and bad, right and wrong, and obligation. Emphasis varies from quarter to quarter.
This course will focus on contemporary discussions of important issues in philosophical ethics. In the first half of the course, the main issue to be discussed will be: What are we doing when we make a moral judgment? This will lead to a discussion of the question: What are we doing when we make judgments about what it is rational to do? This will lead to a consideration of various types of moral and normative realism and anti-realism. In the second half of the course, we will discuss various substantive ethical theories, including utilitarian ethics, social contract ethics, virtue ethics, and feminist ethics. There will be a Midterm Exam and a Final Exam. Each exam will include an in-class portion and a take-home portion. The take-home portion will be a 5-page essay. No prerequisites, but PHIL 240 or at least one other course in philosophy is recommended. Meets I&S Requirement. [Writing credit offered.] TEXTS: "Ethical Theory" (6th ed.), Louis P. Pojman and James Fieser; and a photocopied reader.
Student learning goals
General method of instruction
Class assignments and grading