History of Ethics (PHIL 360.001)

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Instructor: Tom Hill. This class meets on Thursdays from 1:00 – 3:30 p.m. in Caldwell 208.

This course examines selections from the works of influential moral philosophers from ancient, medieval, and modern times, including Plato, Aristotle, Aquinas, Hume, Kant, and Mill. The aim is to understand and discuss critically their views on such questions as these: What is the ultimate good for human beings, and how does being virtuous contribute to our possibility of achieving it? Are there basic universal moral standards, accessible to everyone with reason, that can guide our moral decisions? Are moral judgments based on sentiment or reason, or both? Is there a comprehensive moral principle that should guide and constrain all moral decisions? If so, does it tell us always to promote the best consequences or to avoid certain acts “whatever the consequences?” For advanced or upper division students who have had one or more of the lower division philosophy courses, preferably an introductory course in ethics or political philosophy.

Tom Hill’s webpage