PHIL 5114 Normative Ethical Theories
What makes an action morally right or morally wrong? This is one of the central questions in contemporary analytic normative ethics and will be the focus of this graduate level course. In answering this question, we will discuss other moral concepts such as moral obligation, objectivity, value, blameworthiness and virtue and the relations between these concepts. For example, what is the relation between moral value (what things are morally good or bad) and what things are morally right? In order to answer these central questions, this course will introduce and evaluate several important ethical theories that answer this question such as consequentialism, divine command theory, Kantianism, contractualism and virtue-based theories. This course therefore provides a useful basis for future study in all areas of moral philosophy including applied ethics, normative theory and meta-ethics.
This is a graduate level introduction to normative ethical theory and no prior work in moral philosophy is required or expected.