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Moral Philosophy

Module Code: PI3007

Module Name: Moral Philosophy

  • ECTS Weighting: 5
  • Semester/Term Taught: Michaelmas Term/Semester 1 + Hilary Term/Semester 2
  • Contact Hours: 11 hours of lecture
  • Module Personnel: Lecturers - Dr. Ben Bramble (email)

Module Content

There has been a bank error in your favour (50,000 euro). What should you do? Should you notify the authorities? Or should you rather stay silent and keep the money? In working out what to do, here are four questions you might consider:
1. What would it be best for you that you do (i.e., most in your own interests)? (The Well-Being Question.)
2. What would it be best simpliciter that you do (i.e., best impersonally speaking, or from the point of view of the universe)? (The Value Question.)
3. What actions available to you (if any) would be morally wrong, permissible, required, or praiseworthy? (And what would your choice, or disposition to choose, say about your moral character?) (The Morality Question.)
4. Taking into account the answers to the above three questions, what do you have a reason (and most reason) to do? (The Reasons Question.)
In this course, we will examine leading answers given by philosophers to these four kinds of questions. We will consider also how the answers to some of these questions might bear upon the answers to others. Finally, we will look at whether these four questions exhaust the subject matter of moral philosophy.

Learning Outcomes

At the end of this course students will be able to:

  • Understand the terrain of contemporary moral philosophy.
  • Understand the leading answers given by philosophers to the four main questions in contemporary moral philosophy.
  • Engage critically with these answers and assess their relative strengths and weaknesses.