Contemporary Ethical Theory–Honors (PHIL 362H)

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Instructor: R. Adams. This course meets on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 2:00-3:15PM.

This will be a course about virtue: we will study questions about moral psychology and the ethical evaluation of character.  Questions will include:  What is virtue?  That is, what makes a trait of character a good one?  Does, or must, virtue pay off, for individuals or societies?  What, if anything, makes altruism a good quality?  Are there self-regarding virtues?  Are there really any virtues at all?  That is, can people really be virtuous?  Do all the virtues go together, or are there mutually incompatible ways of being virtuous?  Can and should virtue be taught?  There will be readings in contemporary (and some older) philosophy, and in empirical psychology. Prerequisites/Permissions: SO, JR, SR only.  The prerequisite is at least one Philosophy course (preferably including some work in ethics or political philosophy).  However, the course is not intended for Philosophy majors only and interested students who do not satisfy the stated requirements are encouraged to consult the instructor regarding permission to enroll.

 

R. Adams’s webpage