AP/PHIL3020 3.0 A: Ethics

Offered by: PHIL


Fall 2019






Calendar Description / Prerequisite / Co-Requisite

An advanced course in theoretical ethics, understood as covering both normative ethical theory and metaethics. Prerequisite: At least one of: AP/PHIL 2070 3.00 or AP/PHIL 2075 3.00. Course credit exclusion: GL/PHIL 3237 3.00.

Course Website

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    Additional Course Instructor/Contact Details

Devlin Russell


Office Location:  S424 Ross Building

Phone Number:  (416) 736-2100 Ext. 77584

Office Hours:  Monday & Wednesday 12:00 – 2:00 & Tuesday 1:00 – 2:00

    Expanded Course Description

Is ethics really like the clothes we wear? Is it just about our personal style and tastes? Often, like fashion, we adopt our ethical beliefs from the people we admire, the trends of our social group, and the examples we had growing up. But should we? Are we not sheep or possibly dupes for adopting our ethical stances this way? This course will examine what ethical principles we should adopt and why. We will use philosophical theory to think precisely about what ethics says and what it is based on.

    Required Course Text / Readings

Cahn, S. M. and Forcehimes, A. T. Foundations of Moral Philosophy: Readings in Metaethics

    Weighting of Course

Weekly Writing Assignments        20%

Argument Reconstruction (600 words)    18%

Critical Essay (1200 words)            23%

Defensive Essay (1800 words)        29%

Participation Ongoing        10%

    Organization of the Course


    Course Learning Objectives

Students will be challenged to seriously consider which answers to these questions are the most rationally persuasive.  This will involve learning and employing the fundamental tools of philosophy—namely, thoughtful and attentive reading, critical analysis and thinking, and precise and clear writing.  Students will be expected to have a good grasp of the positions and arguments for them, and be able to employ the above tools in demonstrating that grasp.

    Relevant Links / Resources