history of ethical theory
Phil 103: Honors Section 13
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COURSE CONTENT. Ethics is a systemized statement of the
principles and practices of conduct for which a rational justification can be given. It
considers the arguments moralists have used to justify standards of right and wrong, as
well as the goal (the good) toward which acts are ultimately directed. The course thus
considers the chief conceptions of the right and the good through the medium of the major
writers on ethics. In the first half of the course, students are asked to consider the
nature of the good life as presented by ancient moral philosophers Aristotle, Confucius,
the Buddha, and Thomas Aquinas. In the second half of the course, the views of some of the
main modern and contemporary writers (Hume, Kant, Mill, and Gilligan) are examined.
TEACHING METHODS. Lecture, general class discussion,
EthicsTalk postings, in-class writings, and small group work.