PHIL 236 Contemporary Ethical Theory (W)

Last offered Fall 2009

Is sacrificing an individual's welfare for the sake of the community ever justified, or does each individual have an inviolable status that must be respected? Should moral considerations always take priority over personal projects and intimate relationships, or are there some spheres in which we should be free to pursue our goals without concern for morality? We will explore these and related questions by systematically comparing the two dominant ethical theories of the 20th century, consequentialism and deontology. While both theories find their roots in earlier thinkers--consequentialism in Mill and Sidgwick, deontology in Kant--our focus will be on contemporary developments of these views. After examining these approaches in depth, we'll turn our attention to recent theories that attempt to transcend the distinctions that divide consequentialist and deontological views. Readings include works by Bentham, Mill, Nozick, Railton, Brink, Williams, Wolf, Taurek, Rawls, Smart, Scheffler, Nagel, Kant, Kamm, Quinn, Kagan, Ross, and Scanlon.
Class Format: lecture/discussion
Requirements/Evaluation: several short response papers; an 8- to 10-page midterm paper; a 10- to 12-page final paper
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Prerequisites: Philosophy 101, Philosophy 102, or permission of the instructor
Enrollment Preference: Philosophy majors
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Divisional Attributes: Division II,Writing Intensive
Other Attributes: ENVP Political Theory + Law Electives,ENVP Society + Culture Electives,FYCR Open to First-Year Students,LGST Interdepartmental Electives
Enrollment Limit: 19
Expected Enrollment: 10-15
Class Number: 1055
CLASSES ATTR INSTRUCTORS TIMES CLASS NUMBER
PHIL 236 LEC Contemporary Ethical Theory (W) Division 2: Social StudiesWriting Intensive Melissa J. Barry
PHIL 236 LEC Contemporary Ethical Theory (W) Division 2: Social StudiesWriting Intensive Melissa J. Barry
PHIL 236 LEC Contemporary Ethical Theory (W) Division 2: Social StudiesWriting Intensive Melissa J. Barry
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