Ethics

Ethics is the study of what is right and what is wrong. Are there actions and behaviors which fundamentally represent the first category or the second and how should we think about the complicated spectrum between the two? The first half of the course considers a variety of topics within the framework of utilitarianism, the intuitive idea that what people enjoy is good and what people find noxious is bad. The second half of the course addresses the question of why we have such strong feelings and opinions about right and wrong in the first place. How could Darwinian evolution create such psychological structures and should this origin influence how we view their legitimacy? Independent Study contract
Submit assignments to akeller@longmeadow.k12.ma.us with the text of the assignment in the body of the email.

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Relativism, deontology, and consequentialism	
Equality and genetics
Equality, sex, and race		
Rights for animals I
Rights for animals II
The value of life
The value of non-human life
The question of abortion
Research with embryos and fetal tissue
Euthanasia I
Euthanasia II
Obligations to the poor I
Obligations to the poor II
Obligations to refugees
Environmentalism
Means of moral action
Evolution and psychology
Origins of morality
Properties of morality
Acquisition through learning
Hume and Moore
Searle and Rachels
Anti-realism I
Anti-realism II
Moral Fictionalism

  
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