This course is an introduction to the history of the philosophical examination of ethics from ancient Greece through contemporary thought in Western Philosophy will examined. Attention will also be given to non-Western ethical traditions (Confucianism, Buddhism, for example) that began even earlier than well-documented Western ethics. The substance of dominant varieties of objectivist views such as virtue ethics, utilitarianism, and deontological ethics will come under our scrutiny. Similar attention will be given to relativist/subjectivist opposition to these various objectivist views. An on-going focal point for all of the inquiries in the course will be the "debate" between supporters of objectivist views and supporters of "anti"-objectivist views as this "debate" has progressed through history. The course will also include discussion of the proper relation between the government and the diverse substantive ethical perspectives of individuals in a society such as the United States that is intentionally ethically pluralistic. This Course meets General Education Core Goal 2:Analytic Skills; Core Goal 5: Information Literacy; Core Goal 6: Intellectual Heritage; Core Goal 12: Global Perspective and Diversity and Core Goal 13: Ethical Reasoning.
Last Updated: 03/01/2016