Schedule of Classes Course Description

John Jay College of Criminal Justice
Course Prefix: PHI                                     Course Number: 210                                    
Course Title: Ethical Theory
Subject: Philosophy
Minimum Credits: 3.0                                     Maximum Credits: 3.0                                     Hours per week: 3.0


Ethical theory is the attempt to understand the principles that should guide our thinking and decision-making about morally important issues. In this course, we investigate moral theory in the history of philosophy. This course compares first principles and moral intuitions, moral relativism and moral dogmatism, moral character traits and the ethics of duty. Focus will be on theories, arguments and their relation to practical issues. We will examine these issues with reference to historically influential ethical systems, with an eye toward better understanding those systems and their relevance. The course will examine the ancient Greek tradition, which is still pivotal to the ethical debates of today. Part of the analysis of the dominant theories will include important alternative to this tradition. These alternatives might include, but are not limited to, feminist ethics, Buddhist ethics, animal ethics, and environmental ethics. We will also be calling into question some of the key assumptions these ethical systems make, such as who counts as a morally relevant being and what sort of considerations are morally relevant.

Prerequisite: ENG 101 and PHI 105
Start Date:    06/30/2010                         End Date: