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Instructor: Jordan MacKenzie. This course meets Monday – Friday from 11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. in Peabody 216.

We will begin our inquiry by looking at some challenges to the idea that there are objective standards of moral rightness and wrongness. Some people have thought that morality is simply a matter of opinion. Others have suggested that moral standards are always relative to particular cultures or social groups. We will examine responses to these challenges that will push us towards the idea that there are objective, non-relative moral standards. In the next section of the course, we will use both historical and contemporary philosophical works to examine some influential moral theories. We shall then use these theories to investigate various contemporary moral issues. The issues studied in the last section of the course will be determined by student interest, but may include abortion, euthanasia, animal rights, and capital punishment.

This is an introductory course. No background in philosophy or ethics is assumed or needed.

Jordan MacKenzie’s webpage