AP/PHIL4070 3.0 M: Seminar in Moral Philosophy

Offered by: PHIL


Winter 2020






Calendar Description / Prerequisite / Co-Requisite

An intensive examination of particular problems in moral philosophy, or intensive studies of the writings of individual moral philosophers. Topics vary from year to year. Prerequisites: At least nine credits in philosophy including AP/PHIL 3020 3.00 or AP/PHIL 3110 3.00. Course credit exclusion: GL/PHIL 4237 3.00 (may be waived with permission of the Department).

Course Website

Many courses utilize Moodle, York University's course website system. If your course is using Moodle, refer to the image below to access it.

    Additional Course Instructor/Contact Details

Professor Devlin Russell


Office Location:  S424 Ross Building

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

Office Hours:  TBA

    Expanded Course Description

If you’ve encountered deductive logic, you’ve encountered a representation of theoretical reasoning: the premises of a deductive argument are reasons to believe the conclusion. With practical reasoning, the premises are reasons to act. But is this reasoning fundamentally different from theoretical reasoning? If so, in what ways? Is it even genuine reasoning at all? This course will look at various answers to these questions. Understanding which answers are best will help us understand the place of argument and debate in making choices about our life and taking social action.

    Required Course Text / Readings

Posted on Moodle

    Weighting of Course

Weekly Writing Assignments   15%

Presentation   20%

Compressed Essay (900–1200 words)    20%

Final Essay (3000–4000 words)   35%

Participation   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