PHIL 101 - Ethics, Spring 2008
Intructor: Dr. Yolande Westwell-Roper, MA, Ed.D. (UBC), D.Phil (Oxford)
Course Structure: 3.00 credits, (4,0,0) hrs, 15 wks
Course Description And Objectives
Ethics is the branch of philosophy concerned with the nature of morality, theories of right and wrong, and moral questions in politics, medicine, religion, education, and law. This course starts with practical issues, specifically arguments about raising and killing animals for food. That leads to examination of three sources of pessimism about ethics - psychological egoism, ethical egoism, and moral relativism. Students are introduced to the major traditions in normative ethical theory - consequentialism, deontology, and virtue ethics. We discuss Mill, Kant, and Aristotle. We also analyse vices and virtues, and ask the question "Why be moral?". Returning to practical matters at the end of the course, we assess arguments about the obligations of private individuals to persons living in absolute poverty.