2020-2021 Undergraduate Catalog 
    
    Aug 16, 2022  
2020-2021 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

PHL 210 - Action & Character: An Introduction to Moral Philosophy


This course examines central themes in moral philosophy through a consideration of fundamental questions about human nature, action, and character. In what sense is moral philosophy a normative discipline? Are human beings selfish by nature? Should we always act exclusively in our own interest? Is morality relative (to culture, to individuals) or are there universal and objectively valid moral principles? Are moral judgments cognitively meaningful or simply expressions of attitude or emotion? What role does reason play in making moral judgments? Are there such things as moral facts and properties; can we ever really know such facts? What is valuable or good for us? What determines whether an action is right or wrong, obligatory or permissible? Are actions right or wrong in terms of their consequences? What do motives or intentions have to do with the morality of an action? Is morality fundamentally about performing certain kinds of actions or more about being a certain kind of person? What is the relationship between action and character? Such questions are considered in light o leading theories in moral philosophy, e.g., egoism, relativism, utilitarianism, deontology, and virtue ethics. We will also apply these theories to specific moral problems.
Lecture
Credits: 3
Offered in Fall & Spring