Postgraduate Course: Advanced Ethics (Online) (PHIL11134)
|School||School of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences
||College||College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
|Credit level (Normal year taken)||SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate)
|Course type||Online Distance Learning
||Availability||Available to all students
|Summary||Our focus in this course is on Normative ethics. Normative ethical theory aims to answer the questions 'How should I act?' and 'How should I live?'. This course provides a systematic comparison of some of the major normative traditions. The organizing theme will be the debate between theory and anti- theory in normative ethics. To that end we will spend some time on Bernard Williams' seminal work in this area: Ethics and the Limits of Philosophy.
Please note auditing is not allowed on this course. Students must only take for credit.
1: Introduction to Normative Ethics: Socrates' Question (Synchronous seminar)
2: Consequentialism (Synchronous seminar)
3: Kant's Ethics (Asynchronous forum seminar)
4: Contractualism (Synchronous seminar)
5: Virtue Ethics (Asynchronous forum seminar)
6: Williams against Utilitarianism (Synchronous seminar)
7: Ethics and the Limits of Philosophy (Asynchronous forum seminar)
8: Ethics and the Limits of Philosophy (Synchronous seminar)
9: Moral Particularism (Asynchronous forum seminar)
10: Moral Particularism (Synchronous seminar)
11: Review (Asynchronous forum seminar)
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
|| Students MUST have passed:
||Other requirements|| Students must have passed Ethics (PHIL11182) or equivalent during their previous studies at another institution before taking this course.
Information for Visiting Students
|High Demand Course?
Course Delivery Information
|Academic year 2022/23, Available to all students (SV1)
|Course Start Date
|Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info)
Lecture Hours 22,
Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4,
Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours
|Assessment (Further Info)
|Additional Information (Assessment)
||100% Final summative essay
||Students have the opportunity to submit a formative essay. The essay cannot be draft of the summative essay but it can be on the same topic.
|No Exam Information
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
- have a grasp of fundamental issues and views in normative theory and anti- theory
- critically analyse and engage with literature by key philosophers in this field.
- present arguments clearly and concisely both within a classroom context and in a summative essay.
- gain transferable skills in research, analysis and argumentation
|Representative Reading List|
1: Bernard Williams 'Socrates' Question' Ethics and the Limits of Philosophy, Chapter one.
2: J. S. Mill Utilitarianism (chapter 3 optional)
3: Immanuel Kant, Groundwork of the Metaphysic of Morals, (Chapter one and chapter two)
4: T. Scanlon 'The Structure of Contractualism' in What We Owe To Each Other.
5: John McDowell 'Virtue and Reason' The Monist 62 (3):331-350 (1979)
6: Bernard Williams 'A Critique of Utilitarianism' in Smart and Williams
Utilitarianism For and Against
7: Bernard Williams, Chapters two and three of his Ethics and the Limits and Philosophy
8: Bernard Williams, Chapters four and five of his Ethics and the Limits of Philosophy
9: Jonathan Dancy 'What are the Options' Chapter one of his Ethics without Principles
10: Jonathan Dancy 'Holism and its Consequences' Chapter five of his Ethics without Principles
|Graduate Attributes and Skills
||Research, critical analysis, argumentation skills (both written and oral). Critical reading skills
|Keywords||Normative Theory,normative anti-theory,Consequentialism,utilitarianism,kantianism,virtue ethics
|Course organiser||Dr Barry Maguire
Tel: (0131 6)51 3083
|Course secretary||Miss Sabina Ali
Tel: (0131 6) 50 4400