Introduction to Ethics (PHIL 160)

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Instructor: Nathaniel Sharadin. This course meets Monday – Friday from 11:30 AM – 1:00 PM in Caldwell 103.

This is designed as a first course in Philosophical Ethics. We’ll mainly be concerned with two sorts of questions. First, what, if anything, is morally right, wrong, good, bad, or obligatory? These are first-order questions in normative ethics. We’ll look at a wide variety of answers, considering the philosophical merits of each.

Second, we’ll look at meta-ethical (second-order) questions about morality, such as: Is morality objective? Are normative judgments cognitive judgments on a par with scientific judgments, or are they non-cognitive expressions of attitudes? We’ll also look at a wide variety of answers to these meta-ethical questions and consider the philosophical merits of each. The aim of the class is to introduce students to the wide range of issues with which contemporary philosophical ethics is concerned. No previous background in either philosophy or ethics is expected or required.

Nate Sharadin’s webpage