This course offers an introduction into moral philosophy. It is designed around objections to the possibility of justifying criteria of moral action. We will begin with Aristotle’s “Nicomachean Ethics”, move on to Immanuel Kant’s “Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals”, and will then discuss John Stuart Mill’s criticism of Kant’s approach in “Utilitarianism” and Mill’s own reasoning for what could count as acting morally right. The questions we will pursue will be: (1) Can eudeimonia, i.e.“well being”, be regarded as final end of all our actions? (2) does Aristotle’s reference to human nature – as foundation of consideration about “what one ought to do” – represents a petitio in principii? (3) Is it possible to deduce any criteria for assessing the rightness of an action from the formulae of the categorical imperative alone? (4) Is the greatest happiness determinable, i.e, can it represent the goal of a society? (5) Does rule-consequentialism avoid the problems of action-utilitarianism?
Language of instruction
|Thursday||12/02/21||04:00 PM - 06:30 PM||Online-Einheit|
|Saturday||12/04/21||12:00 PM - 03:30 PM||Online-Einheit|
|Thursday||12/09/21||04:00 PM - 08:00 PM||Online-Einheit|
|Thursday||12/16/21||12:00 PM - 03:30 PM||Online-Einheit|
|Thursday||12/23/21||04:00 PM - 06:00 PM||Online-Einheit|
|Tuesday||01/11/22||05:00 PM - 08:00 PM||D4.0.019|
|Thursday||01/13/22||04:00 PM - 08:00 PM||D4.0.144|
- identify the basic theoretical problems in moral philosophy and the major approaches in the history of ethics
- critically analyze the foundations of ethical theory
- summarize in detail, both orally and in writing, the three major ethical theories
- evaluate the ways in which philosophers attempt to justify a criterion for acting morally
- try to apply the different ethical criteria in concrete cases
- analyze the application suggested by others
The is a blended learning course. The first part A is a self study phase + synchron lectures. Part B: The course is a PI course, which means that continuous assessment of student performance in part B is carried out. Students will answer questions and show further active participation (e.g. presentations). The online “presence” of students in part A will be checked through the activities of the students who will carry out Multiple Choice (MPC) tests and written assignments (see below).
The course is a Blended Learning course.
The course starts with online presence sessions (the whole part A). Firt session: Students will receive information about the first part A and part B and will organize themselves in “working” groups for part B (only). Students will get input on the theoretical aspects of this course, information about the foundations of ethical theory, and assessment criteria about ho to evaluate the ways in which philosophers attempt to justify a criterion for acting morally. We will also begin with discussing absolute normative claims.
During the whole course students will receive e-mails reminding them of the assignments. Based on the theory input made available as text on MyLEARN ("Logic and Ethics Course 2"), they deepen their understanding with MPC tests (just for the purpose to check their own understanding — I highly recommend this check).
Additionally, they create (in small groups) short video interviews to see, how other people see the different approaches, which are often understood as common sense. Instructions for the assignments will be given and discussed in the presence units, where the grouping will be done, as well. Student groups will upload their videos to MyLEARN and receive feedback from peer groups, basing on a checklist for the feedback, via comments on the videos. Written, personal feedback from the lecturer is provided, as well. Students can discuss the group work in group forums and questions arising while working on the assignments with supervisors in a general forum on MyLEARN.
The final 2 sessions will be devoted to showing and discussing these short video interviews, i.e. the potential problems that arise in evaluating the applications of ethical theories.
1. 4 individual assignments: 80 points (no grading according to a 1-5 scale, grading takes place on the basis of a point-system). The assignments are weekly assignments, there are deadlines (see Learn) for uploading the assignments, turning in the assignments too late will lead to receiving less points. 1 day: 20%, 2 days: 50%. (1 day: 16 of 20 points max, 2 days: 10 of 20 points max). Assignments that are sent to me later will receive no points.
2. Group Video Presentation: 100 points (includes presentation of the interviews: 40 points, transcription of 1 interview: 20 points, written summary of the interpretation of all interviews: 40 points ).
+ written comments (group assignment) : comments on the asnwers presented in the videos.
Questions and comments in the "Foren" (or class contribution over the whole term) Full engagement is necessary in order to get compensatory 10 points here)
Points in total 210:
Excellent (1): 190 - 210 points
Good (2): 150 - 190 points
Satisfactory (3): 110 - 149 points
Sufficient (4): 80-109 points
Fail (5): <80
LV "Logic and methodology of social sciences"
ao.Univ.Prof.Dr. Gabriele M. Mras
Building D4, 3rd floor, room number D4.3.020
Administration: Bettina Gerdenich
Intro into class, course overview, required readings
B) (i) VIRTUE ETHICS (ii) SOCIETY AND/OR HUMAN NATURE
We are a little bit behind our schedule: So HUME will be first and then:
KANT TO BE CONTINUED AND THEN
C) CONSEQUENTIALISM vs. A PRIORI ACCOUNTS OF MORALITY
D) APPLIED ETHICS — Presentation of moral deliberations.
APPLIED ETHICS: PRESENTATION OF PATHS OF MORAL DELIBERATION
Discussion of the application of "our" ethical theories