PHIL 160 - Moral Principles and Problems
Section: 101
Term: SP 2014
Subject: Philosophy (PHIL)
Department: LSA Philosophy
Requirements & Distribution:
Waitlist Capacity:
May not be repeated for credit.
Primary Instructor:

This course introduces students to principles of moral philosophy, and provides them with opportunities to apply what they learn to the ethical questions we face in life. The overarching goal is to give students the conceptual resources they need to think about difficult and controversial ethical issues in a systematic and critical way. The course will provide a systematic introduction to moral theory, aimed at equipping students with the concepts and tools they need to analyze moral problems and develop their own moral positions. The primary focus will be normative ethics — that is, philosophical theories about the nature and principles of moral rightness and wrongness — and its applications to contemporary moral problems. After an overview of the nature of ethical thinking and some of the skeptical challenges to morality, we will work our way through several influential traditions in normative ethics: Kant’s Categorical Imperative, Utilitarianism, theories of virtue, the ethics of care, and social contract theories. Throughout the course, we will apply these theoretical approaches to a broad survey of thorny and perennial moral problems, including moral questions related to abortion, euthanasia, poverty and famine, terrorism, torture, the death penalty, animal rights, the environment, and affirmative action. This structure will roughly follow that of the course textbook, Steven M. Cahn’s Exploring Ethics (3rd edition), but will also include supplementary readings and discussion thereof.

Course Requirements:

Approximately 50 pages of required reading weekly, with exams and writing assignments to test for comprehension. To ensure learning through discussion, attendance will be required.

Intended Audience:

Freshmen and Sophomores from all academic areas.

Class Format:

6 hrs of lecture w/discussion

PHIL 160 - Moral Principles and Problems
Schedule Listing
101 (LEC)
TuTh 1:00PM - 4:00PM
NOTE: Data maintained by department in Wolverine Access. If no textbooks are listed below, check with the department.

ISBN: 9780199946587
Exploring Ethics, Author: Cahn, Steve M, Publisher: Oxford University Press 3RD 2013
Syllabi are available to current LSA students. IMPORTANT: These syllabi are provided to give students a general idea about the courses, as offered by LSA departments and programs in prior academic terms. The syllabi do not necessarily reflect the assignments, sequence of course materials, and/or course expectations that the faculty and departments/programs have for these same courses in the current and/or future terms.

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