PHIL 160.001 – Introduction to Ethics

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Instructor: Kiran Bhardwaj. This course meets MTWRF 1:15 – 2:45 p.m. in PE 216.

This course is an introduction to ethical theory, and is designed for those people who want to learn about some of the greatest theories ever developed to answer the question “How should I live?” and to develop a philosophical toolkit to answer these questions for themselves. The first half of the course will survey some of the classics—Mill’s Utilitarianism, Kant’s Groundwork to the Metaphysics of Morals, and Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics, as well as contemporary developments and criticisms of their views about what morality demands of us and why. The second half of the course will focus on interesting questions for morality: (i) What is the connection, if any, between acting morally and living a good, happy, or fulfilling life? (ii) What conditions would have to hold for us to meet the demands of morality? and (iii) What makes life worth living? These questions have a big impact on how we approach many of our day-to-day decisions, and so we will be constantly addressing the real importance of these ethical theories.

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Draft Syllabus