Philosophy 160
Introduction to Ethics

Course Outline


Unit 2 - Intermediate Theories in the Normative Ethics of Behavior

I. Utilitarianism
       A. What is Act Utilitarianism?
              1. Mill’s Theory
              2. AUh
                     a. Hedonic Utility
                     b. maximization
              3. Defective Formulations
                     a. GHP
                     b. AUx
              4. Utilitarianism in Action
                     a. Euthanasia
                     b. The Treatment of Nonhuman Animals
       B. Attractive Features of Utilitarianism
              1. Welfarism
              2. “Doing the Best You Can”
              3. Impartiality
              4. No Moral Dilemmas
       C. Arguments Against Utilitarianism
              1. The “Lack of Time” Objection
              2. Two Objections from Promises
                     a. Promise-to-the-Dead-Man Objection
                     b. Ross Exercise
              3. The Organ Harvest
              4. The Objection from Punishment
                     a. The Utilitarian Theory of Punishment
                     b. The Retributive Theory of Punishment
                     c. The Punish-the-Innocent Objection
              5. The Objection from Justice
                     a. the “normative irrelevance” of justice
       D. More Sophisticated Versions of Utilitarianism
              1. Rule Utilitarianism
              2. Desert-Adjusted Utilitarianism
II. Kant
       A. Immanuel Kant
       B. The Categorical Imperative
              a. Examples
              b. Morality and Rationality
       C. Two Arguments against KCI
              a. The "Change the Maxim" Argument
              b. The Stock Market Argument
III. Social Contract Theory
       A. The State of Nature
       B. Simple Social Contract Theory
       C. Hypothetical Social Contract Theory
       D. Rawlsian Social Contract Theory
              1. the original position
                     a. the veil of ignorance
                     b. self-interested motivation
              2. Some Applications
E. The Problem of Human Chauvinism

Unit 1 - Elementary Theories in the Normative Ethics of Behavior

I. Course Introduction
       A. What is Ethics?
              1. Core Areas of Ethics
                     a. Normative Ethics of Behavior
                     b. Axiology
                     c. Virtue-Vice Theory
              2. Other Areas of Ethics
       B. Why Study Ethics
II. Logic
       A. Arguments
       B. Validity
       C. Soundness
       D. Truth
III. Cultural Relativism
       A. Common Cultural Relativism
       B. CR
       C. The Argument for CR: The Cultural Differences Argument
       D. CR and Tolerance
       E. Arguments Against CR
              1. The Reformer's Dilemma
              2. The Globalization Advice Argument
       F. Lessons to Learn from Cultural Differences
              1. Openness to Self-Criticism
              2. Reasonable Tolerance
IV. Subjectivism
       A. Simple Subjectivism
       B. The No-Conflicts Argument
       C. Emotivism
V. Religious Approaches to Ethics
       A. Divine Command Theory
       B. Natural Law Theory