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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences : Lifelong Learning (PPL)

Undergraduate Course: Virtue Ethics (LLLI07010)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Course typeStandard AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 7 (Year 1 Undergraduate) Credits10
Home subject areaLifelong Learning (PPL) Other subject areaNone
Course website None Taught in Gaelic?No
Course descriptionThis is a for-credit course offered by the Office of Lifelong Learning (OLL); only students registered with OLL should be enrolled. Virtue ethics is a modern philosophical approach, which uses ideas of the good life and virtues such as courage and moderation to explore complex moral questions. In this course, we will examine both various theoretical approaches to virtue ethics and issues such as euthanasia and our treatment of the environment.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Additional Costs None
Course Delivery Information
Delivery period: 2013/14 Lifelong Learning - Session 3, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Learn enabled:  No Quota:  10
Web Timetable Web Timetable
Course Start Date 21/04/2014
Breakdown of Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 100 ( Seminar/Tutorial Hours 20, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 2, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 78 )
Additional Notes
Breakdown of Assessment Methods (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
No Exam Information
Summary of Intended Learning Outcomes
By the end of the course, students should be able to:
┐ Understand and describe the key features of modern virtue ethics;
┐ Assess a range of moral claims using virtue ethics;
┐ Construct a well-reasoned case in support of an ethical conclusion.
Assessment Information
Open Studies 10 credit courses have one assessment. Normally, the assessment is a 2000 word essay, worth 100% of the total mark, submitted by week 12. To pass, students must achieve a minimum of 40%. There are a small number of exceptions to this model which are identified in the Studying for Credit Guide.
Special Arrangements
Additional Information
Academic description Not entered
Syllabus Content of course
1. Introduction. A background to the development of modern virtue ethics based upon the analyses in Elizabeth Anscombe┐s paper ┐Modern Moral Philosophy┐ and Alasdair MacIntyre┐s After Virtue.
2. The ancient basis for virtue ethics. An account of Greek eudaimonistic ethics as found Plato, Aristotle and the Stoics.
3. Hume, Kant, Mill and Nietzsche. A consideration of accounts of human nature and their ethical implications found in four modern authors.
4. Varieties of modern virtue ethics I. A consideration of three strands in modern virtue ethics: neo-Aristotelianism (Rosalind Hursthouse); Platonism (Iris Murdoch); tradition (Alasdair MacIntyre).
5. Varieties of modern virtue ethics II. A continuation of week 4.
6. Criticisms of modern virtue ethics. A discussion of theoretical problems concerning the modern virtue ethics approach.
7. Applying virtue ethics: relationships. A discussion of the application of virtue ethics to human relationships.
8. Applying virtue ethics: life and death. A discussion of the application of virtue ethics to moral questions concerning life and death such as abortion and euthanasia.
9. Applying virtue ethics: the environment. A discussion of the implications of virtue ethics for our treatment of the environment.
10. Final discussion. An opportunity to consider the course as a whole and to return to specific issues in the light of that overview.
Transferable skills Not entered
Reading list Essential
Crisp, R. and Slote, M., eds., 1997. Virtue Ethics. Oxford: OUP.
Hursthouse, R., 2001. On Virtue Ethics. Oxford: OUP. (Also available from Oxford Scholarship on line via library.)
Van Hooft, S., 2005. Understanding Virtue Ethics. Chesham: Acumen Publishing.
Web sources
Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy
Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
Class handouts
Weekly handouts giving the key points of each discussion and suggestions for further study will be provided.
Study Abroad Not entered
Study Pattern Teaching will be a mix of mini-lectures and class discussions.
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserMr James Mooney
Tel: (0131 6)50 3077
Course secretaryMrs Diane Mcmillan
Tel: (0131 6)50 6912
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