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PHIL228 Ethics

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Contemporary ethical theory: What is meaning in life? What is a just society? We seek the best philosophical answers to these questions.

In this paper you will answer two questions. First, what does it take for our lives to have meaning, and do our lives actually have what it takes? Second, what makes for a good society, and do our societies achieve this?

Paper title Ethics
Paper code PHIL228
Subject Philosophy
EFTS 0.15
Points 18 points
Teaching period Not offered in 2022 (On campus)
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $929.55
International Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for international students are elsewhere on this website.

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Prerequisite
One PHIL paper or POLS 101 or 72 points
Restriction
PHIL 211 and PHIL 328
Schedule C
Arts and Music
Contact
andrew.moore@otago.ac.nz
Teaching staff

Course Co-ordinator and lecturer: Associate Professor Andrew Moore

Paper Structure

One of our topics is life's meaning. We look at how best to understand the issue itself, and then we examine and assess the leading answers to the question of life's meaning. The lecturer leads the first half of the "meaning of life" classes, and then chairs the second half of the classes in which half the students give brief presentations that each of them later also develops into an essay. The other half of PHIL 228 seeks to answer the question of what it takes to have a good society. That half of the paper proceeds through the same sort of process as for the "meaning of life" half of the paper.

Teaching Arrangements
One 1-hour class and one 2-hour class per week. Typically, these classes are interactive seminars rather than lectures.
Textbooks
There is no text that covers the whole paper, but all students receive a free PHIL 228 Coursebook that identifies specific readings for each topic. Further resources are also available through Blackboard for the paper.
Graduate Attributes Emphasised
Lifelong learning, Scholarship, Communication, Critical thinking, Ethics, Research, Self-motivation.
View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
Learning Outcomes

The goals of the paper are

  • Student understanding of basic questions about life's meaning and about the good society
  • Student understanding of, and critical engagement with, at least one promising answer to each of these basic questions - demonstrated through one verbal presentation and two research essays - one on meaning of life and the other on the good society
  • Capability to present and engage verbally with ideas about either life's meaning or the good society - demonstrated through a student short presentation and discussion, chaired and helped by the lecturer

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Timetable

Not offered in 2022

Location
Dunedin
Teaching method
This paper is taught On Campus
Learning management system
Blackboard

Contemporary ethical theory: What is meaning in life? What is a just society? We seek the best philosophical answers to these questions.

In this paper you will answer two philosophical questions. First: what does it take for action to be right or to be wrong? Second: what does it take to have meaning in one’s life?

Paper title Ethics
Paper code PHIL228
Subject Philosophy
EFTS 0.15
Points 18 points
Teaching period Semester 1 (On campus)
Domestic Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for 2023 have not yet been set
International Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for international students are elsewhere on this website.

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Prerequisite
One PHIL paper or POLS 101 or 72 points
Restriction
PHIL 211 and PHIL 328
Schedule C
Arts and Music
Contact
andrew.moore@otago.ac.nz
Teaching staff

Course Co-ordinator and lecturer: Associate Professor Andrew Moore

Paper Structure

One half of this paper seeks the best answer to: ‘What does it take to have meaning in one’s life?’. We first get clearer about the question itself, good methods of answering it, and this question's connections to other issues in its neighbourhood. We then examine leading philosophical answers to the question. Two-thirds of the classes are lecturer-led. The lecturer also chairs the other classes, in which half the students each give a brief work-in-progress presentation that they later develop into a research essay. The other half of PHIL228 seeks the best answer to the question: What does it take for action to be right or wrong?’. This half of the paper has the same structure as the first half does.

Teaching Arrangements

Three one-hour classes per week, which are typically interactive seminars rather than lectures.

Textbooks

Thaddeus Metz, 'Meaning in Life', Oxford University Press (2013).
Mark Timmons, 'Moral Theory: An Introduction', 3rd edition, Rowman & Littlefield (2022).

Graduate Attributes Emphasised
Lifelong learning, Scholarship, Communication, Critical thinking, Ethics, Research, Self-motivation.
View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
Learning Outcomes

The goals of the paper are:

  • student understanding of basic issues about meaning in life, and what makes acts right or wrong
  • student understanding and critical engagement on a promising answer to each of these issues, shown through one verbal presentation and two research essays - one on meaning in life and the other on what makes acts right or wrong
  • capability to present and engage with philosophical ideas about meaning in life, and what makes acts right or wrong, shown through a short presentation; and by engaging with others' work in PHIL228

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Timetable

Semester 1

Location
Dunedin
Teaching method
This paper is taught On Campus
Learning management system
Blackboard

Lecture

Stream Days Times Weeks
Attend
A1 Tuesday 14:00-14:50 9-14, 16, 18-22
Thursday 11:00-11:50 9-14, 16-22
Friday 11:00-11:50 9-13, 16-22