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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences : Philosophy

Undergraduate Course: Ethics (PHIL10178)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 3 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course covers Ethics, the branch of Philosophy dealing with the nature and foundation of obligations, duties, reasons, and rights.
Course description This course covers Ethics, the branch of Philosophy that deals with the nature, extent, and foundation of obligations, duties, reasons, and rights. Representative topics include: do people have moral rights? If so, why? If not, why not? Do we have moral reasons to help those in need? If so, why? If not, why not? Is the aim of providing a fully general, informative, moral theory plausible?
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Students MUST have passed: Knowledge and Reality (PHIL08017) AND Mind, Matter and Language (PHIL08014)
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements Students who have not taken Knowledge and Reality (PHIL08017) and Mind, Matter and Language (PHIL08014) must gain permission from the Course Organiser before enrolling on this course.
Students studying on MA Cognitive Science (Humanities) are permitted to take this course without having met the pre-requisites of Mind, Matter and Language and Knowledge and Reality. However, it is advisable that students discuss the suitability of the course with their PT and the course organiser before enrolling.
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesVisiting students should have completed at least 3 Philosophy courses at grade B or above. We will only consider University/College level courses. Applicants should note that, as with other popular courses, meeting the minimum does NOT guarantee admission. **Please note that 3rd year Philosophy courses are high-demand, meaning that they have a very high number of students wishing to enrol in a very limited number of spaces.** These enrolments are managed strictly by the Visiting Student Office, in line with the quotas allocated by the department, and all enquiries to enrol in these courses must be made through the CAHSS Visiting Student Office. It is not appropriate for students to contact the department directly to request additional spaces.
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Understand the distinctive subject matter of Ethics as a branch of philosophy.
  2. Analyse and evaluate different approaches to Ethics.
  3. Better contribute to discussion of ethical issues, in both academic and non-academic contexts.
  4. Demonstrate core skills in philosophy, including interpreting and critically engaging with philosophical texts, evaluating arguments and theories, and developing one's own ideas in response to the issues discussed.
Learning Resources
Representative readings:
Bykvist, K. Utilitarianism: A Guide for the Perplexed
Herman, B. Moral Literacy
Parfit, D. Reasons and Persons
Ross, W. D. The Right and the Good
Scanlon, T. M. What we Owe to Each Other
Smith, H. Making Morality Work
Thomson, J. J. The Realm of Rights
Wolf, S. The Variety of Values: Essays on Morality, Meaning & Love
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
Course organiserDr Deborah Roberts
Tel: (0131 6)51 5171
Course secretaryMiss Ann-Marie Cowe
Tel: (0131 6)50 3961
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