Ethics is a branch of philosophy concerned with morality. As such, it asks some of the most difficult questions pertaining to the human experience. What does it mean to act morally? Why should we be good? How should we live? This course is designed mainly as a survey of influential responses to these questions from thinkers of the Western canon and, second, as an introduction to applied ethics. In this way, once we have a solid grasp of the ethical lineage from Plato up to the present, we’ll spend the final few weeks of the semester discussing a series of controversial moral issues including abortion, pornography, animals rights, hunting, drone strikes, and global economic justice.
- Theodore C. Denise, Nicholas P. White, Sheldon P. Peterfreund, eds. Great Traditions in Ethics, 12th edition (Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Cengage Learning, 2008)