Course Plan and Assignment Schedule

PHL 225: Ethics

Note: This course plan is subject to change at the instructor's discretion. Students are expected to check this page frequently to remain abreast of any updates.

Course Organization

The following list of topics is chronological in order and gives the general themes into which our assignments will fall over the course of the term.

Learning Basic Philosophical Skills

  • Weeks 1-3: Close Reading, Critical Thinking, Analyzing Definitions, Thought Experiments, Argumentation

Overcoming Obstacles to Moral Philosophy

  • Week 4: Moral Relativism, Moral Absolutism, and Moral Nihilism

Ethics in the Ancient World

  • Weeks 4-7: Plato, Aristotle, Ethics and the City I: Arendt on the Metaphor of the Polis

Religious Influences on Ethics

  • Week 8: Butler, Aquinas

Ethics in the Modern Era

  • Weeks 9-10: Hume, Kant

Ethics After the Industrial Revolution

  • Weeks 11-13: The Industrial Revolution, Ethics and the City II: Engels on the Conditions of Urban Industrialization, Mill

Ethics in the Romantic Period

  • Weeks 14-15: Nietzsche, Ethics and the City III: Nietzsche and the Artistic as Ethical Ideal

The whole term is planned out on this calendar. Click on the entry for any day to see what readings and work are assigned for that day. If you have a gmail account you can incorporate the events on this calendar into your own rather easily so that you may access them from your own computer or smartphone.

How to Use the Calendar

1. Click on "Agenda" at the top right box in the frame of the calendar.
2. Find the day you want, and click on its title. The entry for that day will open.
3. Click on "more detail" at the bottom of the entry. This will display click-able links to readings, etc..

List of Readings and Other Media

We have no textbook in this class. Instead we will use electronically accessible journal articles and other media. Below is a listing of these items. Consult the detailed course plan for specific readings and assignments. Note that access to the journal articles comes via our library. Thus, if you have trouble accessing the articles the first place you should go for help is the reference desk at the library. Please be aware that computer problems of any kind will not excuse anyone from the responsibility to do the work of the class. Please plan ahead.

Alternative Assignment for Missed Class on 2 February: Ethics and Neuroscience

Work Planning Exercise for Philosophy

Special Assignment On Cities And Moral Philosophy

Plato, The Republic, Book II

Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics, Book I

Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics, Book II

"Action, Power, and the Space of Appearance", Section 4.4 of the Stanford Encyclopedia entry on 20th Century political philosopher Hannah Arendt

Alternative Assignment for Missed Class on 25 February: Contemporary Moral Psychology on Aristotle

Joseph Butler, Fifteen Sermons, Sermon II

David Hume, Enquiry Concerning the Principles of Morals

Friedrich Engels, Conditions of the Working Class in England

John Stuart Mill, Utilitarianism

"Kant on Ethics", by Nigel Warburton (podcast)

Friedrich Nietzsche, Twilight of the Idols

Friedrich Nietzsche, The Antichrist

Direct Link:

Friedrich Nietzsche, The Joyful Wisdom


Debate Teams, Dates and Propositions

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