Fall 2011 Schedule of Courses
PHILOSOPHY 631A: ADVANCED ETHICAL THEORY
SECTION 1, 6:00 - 8:40 P.M.
PROFESSOR STEVEN DASKAL
Copp, The Oxford Handbook of Ethical Theory, 1st edition (paperback)
This course will be a survey of problems and views in metaethics and normative ethics, with an emphasis on contemporary work. We will address questions such as: What factors contribute to the rightness or wrongness of actions? Are there acts that are morally forbidden even if they lead to the best results? How much emphasis should be given to concepts of character and virtue, as opposed to focusing on particular actions or outcomes? Are there genuine moral dilemmas in which it is impossible for an agent to avoid guilt? What role should intuitions play in moral theory? How do moral terms function: do they assert moral truths or express the attitudes or commitments of the speaker? How are the demands of morality related to the natural properties investigated by the sciences? Do moral reasons always trump other considerations? Can reason or morality itself motivate us, independently of prior desires?
This course will be primarily discussion with some lecture. Students will write short weekly response papers, make brief in-class presentations, and write two longer essays.