PHIL 222 Ethics


This course will introduce students to classic and contemporary debates within ethics--the study of how we ought to live. Some of the questions we'll consider include: What makes a life worth living? What is happiness and how can I reliably achieve it? What is a good person and how can I reliably become one? Which acts are right, which are wrong, and what makes them right or wrong? Is there really any such thing as rightness and wrongness after all or is all this ethics stuff just made up? If there is such a thing as rightness or wrongness, what does its existence depend on: God, my culture, nothing at all? And why should I care about morality anyway when ignoring its demands helps me achieve my goals? By the end of the course, students will have acquired some of the main tools necessary for grappling with these questions (and questions like them), and they’ll be encouraged to defend their conclusions with reasons and arguments.