PHIL 402 - Undergraduate Seminar in Philosophy
Section: 001 Moral Conflict and Moral Dilemmas
Term: WN 2008
Subject: Philosophy (PHIL)
Department: LSA Philosophy
Requirements & Distribution:
Enforced Prerequisites:
Philosophy concentrators only.
May not be repeated for credit.
Primary Instructor:

Everyone is familiar with moral conflict: the feeling of being pulled in two directions by competing moral considerations. In Sartre's famous example, a young man must decide whether to go fight with the resistance or stay and help his aging mother. Do such cases reflect something theoretically important about morality? In this course we will address this by focusing on moral dilemmas — that is, situations in which an agent ought to do A, ought to do B, and cannot do both. The most pressing question about moral dilemmas concerns whether they ought to be taken to be real or explained away. If dilemmas are real, then no matter what he does, the agent in question has failed in some obligation; this may make a moral theory seem overly demanding. But if dilemmas are explained away, then how are we to explain the particular role they seem to play in our emotional and practical lives? We will consider this problem in some depth, discussing also topics such as whether dilemmas make a moral code "inconsistent"; the connection between moral conflict and moral realism; and the relationship, if any, between moral dilemmas and logical contradictions.

PHIL 402 - Undergraduate Seminar in Philosophy
Schedule Listing
001 (SEM)
3PHIL Ugrd
Tu 2:30PM - 4:30PM
002 (SEM)
2PHIL Ugrd
W 10:00AM - 12:00PM
003 (SEM)
5PHIL Ugrd
Th 3:00PM - 5:00PM
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