William J. Talbott
In this seminar, we will focus on the form of social contract ethics advocated by T.M. Scanlon in light of the criticisms of philosophical ethics made by Bernard Williams. Topics will include: What kind of reason are moral reasons? What is the role of well-being in moral justification? What is the relationship, if any, between moral reasons and prudential reasons? Why does choice carry with it moral responsibility? Are there any moral truths? Is moral relativism true?
Student learning goals
General method of instruction
Prerequisites: At least one previous course in ethics or the permission of the instructor.
Class assignments and grading
Students will write brief (1-2 page) papers on the readings each week, one medium length (3-5 page) paper for discussion in class, and a term paper (10-15 pages).
Grades will be based on points earned as follows: Eight weekly writing assignments (80 Points--10 Points Each); Discussion Paper and Discussion Leader (50 Points); Term paper (100 Points).