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Cont Ethic 03

Cont Ethic 03

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Contemporary Ethical Theory

PHLU 4913

Course packet

Instructor: John Davenport Fall 2003 Monday - Wednesday 11:30 - 12:45

Cahn and Markie. W. 14. Liberalism and the Limits of Justice. chapter 1. 8.” Moral Luck. ed. Derek Parfit. “Psychological Egoism. and Morality. Syllabus 2.” from Virtue Ethics. chapters 14 . Character. The Right and the Good. Crisp and Slote. John Rawls. and 4. Sartre. Ross. 9. 13. Joel Feinberg. Handouts 3. chapters 1.15. Bernard Williams. 2nd ed. 7. 2. Sartre’s Two Ethics.” from Ethics. Christine Korsgaard’s “The Authority of Reflection” in The Sources of Normativity 10.” from Existentialism and Humanism 4.. ed. D.Contents of Course Packet: 1. Alasdair MacIntyre. chapter 4.” in Utilitarianism: For and Against. After Virtue. Reasons and Persons. Thomas Anderson. “Persons. Bernard Williams. 6. and chapter 4 §40. . “The Schizophrenia of Modern Ethical Theories. chapter 1 (selections). 12. chapter 2. Michael Stocker. 5. chapter 1. Part II. “Existentialism is a Humanism. Michael Sandel. A Theory of Justice. “Critique of Utilitarianism. chapter 2 §§10-17. 11.

Bernard Williams. including some from each of these traditions: JohnPaul Sartre. new natural law ethics (Grisez. Thursdays I’m at RH. in particular the neo-Kantian moral theory of Jürgen Habermas. depending on difficulty. which are not part of mainstream Anglo-American moral philosophy. which tries to develop a neo-Thomistic account of moral norms based on an objective conception of basic goods. contemporary continental ethics of alterity (e.100 pages of reading per week. the meaning of moral terms. and policies. Marion). rules. who focus on the intrinsic rightness. Alasdair MacIntyre. arguments against moral egoism. Précis of the Seminar: This seminar will be an intense discussion of some of the most fascinating and challenging developments in 20th-century ethical theory (focusing largely on the analytic tradition). However.Wednesday 11:30 . and its associated deliberative theory of democracy. 2. Many of our examples will concern . We will focus in particular on contemporary neo-Kantian or deontological critiques of utilitarianism. and neo-Aristotelians who want a broader approach including virtues of character and ethical ideals as guides to forming life-projects and relationships. We will survey the 'great debate' that continues today between three broad approaches: 1. or fairness of actions and policies (i. rather than on a metaphysical conception of natural human functions. Finnis). Mailbox: Rm 916 Office Hours at LC: Mondays 2 . justice. Richard Hare. Thomas Scanlon. 3. John Rawls. Christine Korsgaard. Because this is a seminar.4 PM. Levinas. or our natural telos.12:45 Instructor: John Davenport Phone: 212-636-7928 Email: Davenport@fordham. or only a projection of human consciousness or society. 2. active class participation and the student’s own research and written work will be crucial. Discourse ethics. and whether intrinsic value is 'real' outside or minds. and require their own courses: 1. this course does not cover three other important movements in 20th-century ethics. whether our identities are socially defined or freely chosen.e. In discussing these approaches to moral theory. critiques of the individualism and impartiality of utilitarian and deontological ethics.edu Office: Rm.g. and the alternative conception of virtue ethics towards which these critiques perhaps point. the neo-Kantians. we will look at some of the 20th century's most impressive writers on the theory of moral norms. do they respect each individual person as having inviolable intrinsic value?). the utilitarians who focus on the results or consequences of actions. Tuesdays/Fridays home with kids. and Derek Parfit.Contemporary Ethical Theory PHLU 4913 Fall 2003 Monday . We will have anywhere from 50 . the relation between ethics and pyschology. In passing we will also discuss some famous problems in 'meta-ethics' including: the problem of moral relativism. 3.923E Lincoln Center.

2001): ISBN: 052100022X Alasdair MacIntyre. However. M. Value. and Attachment (Cambridge University Press. Recommended: Williams.9/17: Williams’s Critique of Act-Utilitarianism 1. including all the other readings. Utilitarianism: For and Against (Cambridge): ISBN: 052109822X My Course packet. or for studying closely related work in political philosophy and constitutional law. Overview of the structure of moral theory 3. 4. although two the works we consider will be related to the foundation of political ethics. “Persons. Assignments: 20% Class participation. and to people trying to envision a just government. By the end of the course. but may also be helpful for students interested in political theory and the philosophy of law. At the start. and Morality. Handout on Mill’s utilitarianism. D. The Right and the Good. we will be looking at them more as contributions to the theory of moral norms rather than with regard to their political implications (e. It presupposes only the core philosophy courses.1 (course packet) .g. “Existentialism is a Humanism” (in course packet) 2. 1997): ISBN: 019881092X Raz. Dependent Rational Animals (Open Court. W. Sartre. 5. Character. Discussion of the main differences between these theories. and then concentrate on key primary readings in 20th century ethics. although some familiarity with the history of modern philosophy would also be helpful. Introduction to the course 2. 2001): ISBN: 081269452X Smart and Williams. Freedom and Reason (Oxford University Press. Respect. Bernard Williams’s critique in Utilitarianism: For and Against 2. Hare. 20%: 1 short essay (6-7 pages) with a choice between particular questions on the readings. Handout on Kant’s categorical imperative. we will briefly review the central tenets of Kant’s and Mill’s work as an introduction to our themes.9/10: Sartre and Intuitionism 1. Students pay for this with a money order. This course is primarily intended for Philosophy majors and minors. chapter 2 (course packet) 915 . Texts: R.questions pertinent both for individuals trying to decide how to live their lives. 20% l report to the class on a given reading for the day (3-page written summary and questions) 40% Final Research Paper (14 pages +) Tentative Schedule 9/3: Introduction: Utilitarianism vs Deontology 1. students will have a good general knowledge of several important developments in moral philosophy in the 20th century. Part I: Deontological Critiques of Utilitarianism 9/8 . for democratic theory). This will be a sufficient basis for further graduate study. Ross.” Moral Luck ch.

12th Floor Lounge. Value.10/22: Parfit on Indirect Moral Egoism 3.” in The Sources of Normativity.10/1: Rawls’s solution to the subjectivism of Hare’s principle 1. Discussion of the implicit subjectivism in Hare’s principle of universalizability. Respect. 9/29 . ch. Korsgaard. chapters 2. Derek Parfit’s Reasons and Persons.11/5: Raz on Universalism and Particularism 1. 11/10: Recommended: The Annual Sullivan Lecture.9/22 . M. 11/24: MacIntyre’s neo-Thomist social ethic: . “The Schizophrenia of Modern Ethical Theories” (course packet) 11/3 . Practices. After Virtue.9/24: Hare’s Indirect Utilitarianism 1.10/29: Stocker’s critique of utilitarian and deontological moral theories 1. and chapter 4 §40 (course packet) 2. with developments 1. Handout on Feinberg.11/19: MacIntyre on Virtues. Michael Sandel’s critique of Rawlsian individualism (course packet). Part III: Neo-Aristotelian Virtue Ethics 11/17 . chapter 1 1. Freedom and Reason. chapters 1 & 2. Part II: Critiques of Egoism and Impartiality 10/15 : Feinberg’s critique of egoism. chapter 2 §§10-17. Derek Parfit’s Reasons and Persons. chapter 1. chapters 2 and 4. 3 & 7. R. “Psychological Egoism” (course packet) 2. 10/27 . chapters 14 . 3. 11/10 . Raz continued.11/12: Raz and Sandel on ends essential to the self 1. Raz. “The Authority of Reflection.(course packet) 10/20 . MacIntyre. Feinberg. and Attachment. and the Unity of a Life 1.15 (course packet). 6PM.” by Francis Slade. 2.3 (course packet) 2. “Versions of Political Philosophy. Stocker. Handouts 10/6 . A Theory of Justice. Hare.10/8: A psychological pluralist neo-Kantianism: Christine Korsgaard 1. First paper due 10/13: Columbus Day (no class).

MacIntyre.1. . chapters 1 & 2. chapters 3 & 4. MacIntyre.12/3: MacIntyre continued. 12/8: Final Paper Due. 1. Dependent Rational Animals. Dependent Rational Animals. 12/1 .

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