History of Ethics - PHI00076I

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  • Department: Philosophy
  • Module co-ordinator: Dr. Christopher Jay
  • Credit value: 20 credits
  • Credit level: I
  • Academic year of delivery: 2018-19
    • See module specification for other years: 2017-18

Module summary

This module introduces students to some key ideas in the history of ethics which are of continuing importance in contemporary debates.

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching cycle
A Autumn Term 2018-19

Module aims

  • To introduce students to some key ideas in the history of ethics which are of continuing importance in contemporary debates.
  • To develop student’s ability to read difficult texts with sensitivity (in respect of both interpretive and philosophical issues).
  • To engage students in thinking about key questions in moral philosophy.

Module learning outcomes

By the end of the module, students should be able to:
—understand and explain a range of key problems, issues, and debates in the history of ethics and express this
understanding in clear, precise, and accessible terms
—develop and articulate ranges of alternative solutions to problems and issues in the history of ethics in an open-minded
way, drawing on module materials
—develop and articulate arguments for the alternative solutions considered in relation to problems and issues in the
history of ethics, drawing on module materials, identifying some points of weakness and some potential points for
development
—make a judgement about what is the best view on a particular problem in the history of ethics and argue in defence of
this judgement
—identify some of their strengths and weaknesses by evaluating their own work in relation to departmental marking
criteria
—apply simple strategies for improving their work, based on critical reflection, advice, and feedback
—critically engage with social, political, cultural, ethical, and value issues to contribute to the solution of key contemporary
problems

Assessment

Task Length % of module mark
Essay/coursework
Essay
N/A 70
University - closed examination
History of Ethics
1 hours 30

Special assessment rules

None

Additional assessment information

Formative assessment: Reflective/Critical task, 1500 words, due Week 6, Autumn Term

Summative assessment (I): 2,500-word essay due, Monday Week 1, Spring Term

Summative assessment (II): 1-hour exam in Week 1, Spring Term

Reassessment

Task Length % of module mark
Essay/coursework
Essay
N/A 70
University - closed examination
History of Ethics
1 hours 30

Module feedback

Feedback on formative work will normally be returned within 2 weeks of submission, and by the end of term at the latest. Feedback on summative work will be returned within 4 weeks of the assessment deadline.

Indicative reading

Primary Texts

Plato, Republic
Immanuel Kant, Groundwork for the Metaphysics of Morals

Also selections from, e.g.:
Plato, Laches
Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics
Cicero, On Obligations

Secondary Texts

Julia Annas, An Introduction to Plato’s Republic
Terence Irwin, Plato’s Ethics
Christine Korsgaard, Creating the Kingdom of Ends
Allen W. Wood, Kant’s Ethical Theory
Onora O’Neill, Acting on Principle



The information on this page is indicative of the module that is currently on offer. The University is constantly exploring ways to enhance and improve its degree programmes and therefore reserves the right to make variations to the content and method of delivery of modules, and to discontinue modules, if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary by the University. Where appropriate, the University will notify and consult with affected students in advance about any changes that are required in line with the University's policy on the Approval of Modifications to Existing Taught Programmes of Study.