1. Thinking About Ethics.
Ethics and Critical Thinking.
God's Commandments and Ethics.
Religion and Ethics.
Reading: Plato, Euthyphro.
2. Ethics and Reason.
Reasoning about Ethics.
Elements of Kantian Ethics.
Criticisms of Kantian Ethics.
Reading: Kant, Fundamental Principles of the Metaphysics of Morals.
3. Ethics and Emotions.
Follow Your Reason or Follow Your Heart?
Objective and Subjective Feelings.
Reading: Hume, A Treatise of Human Nature.
4. Utilitarian Ethics.
Act- vs. Rule-Utilitarians.
Utiliatarians and the Quality of Pleasures.
Criticisms of Utilitarian Ethics.
Nozick’s Challenge to Utilitarian Ethics
The Uses of Utilitarian Ethics.
Opposition to Utilitarianism.
Reading: Bentham, An Introduction to the Principles of Morals and Legislation.
Reading: Mill, What Utilitarianism Is.
5. Social Contract Ethics.
Framing the Social Contract.
Fairness and Social Contract Theory: John Rawls.
Gauthier's Contractarian Ethics.
The Social Contract Myth and its Underlying Assumptions.
Reading: Hobbes, Leviathan.
6. Egoism, Relativism, and Pragmatism.
Readings: Rorty, Philosophy and Social Hope.
7. Virtue Ethics.
The Distinctive Focus of Virtue Ethics.
The Strengths of Virtue Ethics.
Criticisms of Virtue Theory.
Virtue Theory and Medicine.
Reading: Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics.
8. Care Ethics.
The Neglect of Women's Ethical Views.
The Care Perspectives on Ethics.
Women and Ethics.
Reading: Baier, The Need for More than Justice.
9. The Scope of Morality.
Who is Due Moral Consideration?
Darwin and the Moral Status of Nonhuman Animals.
Reading: Darwin, The Descent of Man.
Reading: Frans de Waal, Primates and Philosophers.
10. Ethical NonObjectivism.
The Nature of Ethical Nonobjectivism.
Arguments for Ethical Nonobjectivism.
The Continuing Struggle Between Objectivists and Nonobjectivists.
Reading: Ayer, Language, Truth, and Logic.
11. Moral Realism.
Contemporary Moral Realism.
Moral Realism and the Argument from Simplicity.
Moral Facts and Scientific Revolutions.
Two Ways that Moral Realism Might Fail.
Reading: Smith, Realism.
12. How Hard is Ethics?
The Demands of Ethical Living.
Comparing Ethical Systems on the Basis of Difficulty.
Duty and Feelings.
Reading: Mencius, Book of Mencius.
13. Free Will.
Determinism and Free Will.
Libertarian Free Will and the Rejection of Determinism.
Reading: Wolf, Asymmetrical Freedom.
14. Freedom, Moral Responsibility, and Ethics.
Types of Responsibility.
Moral Responsibility and the Utility of Punishment.
Conditions for Moral Responsibility.
Moral Responsibility and Ethics.
Reading: Nagel, Moral Luck.
15. The Death Penalty.
The Death Penalty Should Be Abolished – Stephen Bright
The Death Penalty is Morally Legitimate – Louis Pojman
Abortion is Immoral – Don Marquis
Most Abortions Are Morally Legitimate – Bonnie Steinbock
17: Animal Rights
Nonhuman animals have no basic rights – Richard Posner
Nonhuman Animals Have Important rights – Peter Singer
18: Homosexual Sex
Homosexual sex is wrong -- John Finnis
Homosexual relations are morally legitimate -- John Corvino
19: What Are Our Global Obligations to the Impoverished?
We have a limited moral obligation to help impoverished people in other countries -- Thomas Nagel
We have a very strong moral obligation to help impoverished people in other countries -- Thomas Pogge
20: Can Terrorism Ever Be Justified?
Terrorism is always wrong -- Tony Coady
Terrorism might sometimes be justified -- Gabriel Palmer-Fernandez