How do we justify our actions? How do we know whether we did the right thing? In this short course on ethics, we will critically examine the three major approaches to ethics that propose competing answers to such fundamental questions: John Stuart Mill’s Utilitarianism, Aristotle’s Virtue Ethics, and Immanuel Kant’s Duty Ethics.
In broad terms, a philosophical study of ethics deals with the nature of right and wrong actions and with the question of what it means for one to live an ethical life. The three classical theories that we will explore in this course offer different perspectives on how one ought to live and what one should seek in life. These approaches will provide us with grounds and criteria with reference to which we can critically assess their inferences and conclusions.
Students will thus evaluate the strengths and drawbacks of different approaches to morality and develop their skills to judge the soundness and limits of philosophical arguments. While dealing with these theories, we will also be reflecting on the relation of ethics to personal opinion, beliefs, customs and culture, laws, and politics.
Of interest to all Pre-university A-level student, IB Diploma Students and American / Canadian SAT students, but especially:
A variety of formats and educational devices will be used to promote understanding and creative engagement, including but not limited to: individual and small group discussions, Socratic dialogue, textual comprehension, argument analysis, and personalised constructive feedback.
The main objectives of the course are to:
Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics, Second Edition, Trans. by Terence Irwin(Indianapolis: Hackett, 1999)
Kant: Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals (Cambridge Texts in the History of Philosophy) (M. Gregor, Ed.). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Mill, John Stuart. "Utilitarianism (Indianapolis: Hackett)."(2002).
“Introduction to Ethics” is a five-week course with four two-hour sessions per week and a summative individualised feedback session in the fifth week.
The course schedule is as follows:
The following PODCAST contains a brief snippet from your Europe Tutorial Academy Philosophy Tutor, Emre Ebetürk, of what you will experience on this course.
In addition to ongoing formative feedback, after each of the first three sessions, students will write summative assessments. After the fourth session, students will write an essay-style response paper. The details of the assignments will be discussed in class.
Once the tutor finishes evaluating student essays, he will hold an individual feedback session with each individual student at a mutually agreed time.
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We wish you every success. Enjoy your course!