Introduction to moral philosophy

Course Dates: 16/01/20 - 26/03/20
Time: 12:30 - 14:30
Location: KS - Keeley Street
Ariel Kernberg

What do ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ mean? What makes our actions right or wrong? And why should we care? We will look at the principal philosophical answers to these questions alongside engaging in philosophical analysis ourselves. No class on 19th February.


What is the course about?

In grappling with moral dilemmas, we can benefit from stepping back and reflecting on more general questions such as: What makes something (an action, a policy, a pattern of distribution of goods, a character trait etc.) good or bad, or right or wrong? What determines the extent to which I have obligations to others? What reason do I have to do the right thing? In fact, do I have a reason not to do the wrong thing when I could get away with it? Are there moral facts? Are moral values universal? Could history, sociology, psychology, or evolutionary theory explain them? In this course we will look at these and related questions from different theoretical perspectives, drawing on the work of various philosophers -notably Plato, Aristotle, Hume, Kant, Bentham, Mill, Nozick, and Rawls- and examine their importance for the moral dilemmas we face individually or collectively. A second component of the course is the study of how to analyse, evaluate and construct arguments.

What will we cover?

- Moral relativism
- Plato and why we should be good
- Aristotle and virtue
- Moral Egoism
- Utilitarianism
- Kantian ethics
- "Collateral damage"
- Distributive justice
- Hume and moral sentiment.

What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...

- Identify ideas about the source of moral value
- Understand key elements of major moral theories and their relevance to our choices and dilemmas
- Appreciate the broader implications of local moral intuitions
- Analyse, evaluate, and construct a moral argument.

What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?

This course is suitable for those who have followed an introductory course, but those new to philosophy are equally welcome. Curiosity, an open and critical mind, and a commitment to do the preparatory work will enhance your learning experience.

How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?

The class will consist of a combination of lecture and structured conversation. Reading material will be assigned for each class.

Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?

There are no additional costs. Please bring a pen, paper, and curiosity.

When I've finished, what course can I do next?

Please check our prospectus or website - - for details of Philosophy courses on offer.


Customer Reviews 8 item(s)

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Reviews below are by students who have attended this course, regardless of the course teacher. Please be aware you may not be booking onto a course with the same teacher.

A theoretical in-depth approach to moral philosophy.
Course Rating
Review by Anonymous / (Posted on 27/03/2019)
An excellent, inspiring course. The tutor's enthusiasm is infectious.The lectures and the class discussions forced us to use your brains which is exactly the reason why you should enrol to this class.
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Review by Martha / (Posted on 21/03/2019)
Take it! I look forward to each class.
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Review by Anon / (Posted on 21/03/2019)
Thoroughly enjoyed this course. Thought provoking and challenging, the tutor guided us through the course with clear presentation and examples which encouraged lively discussion.
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Review by JP / (Posted on 02/04/2018)
This was a good introduction to the subject. It covered several major themes from various philosophers and covered a wide range of time periods.
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Review by Melootto / (Posted on 31/03/2018)
It was an excellent course and stimulating throughout. The tutor was always on time - had copies of handouts, and made it fun. He included small group discussion time and snippets off YouTube to add variety. He was also amazingly patient with the likes of myself who always answered his questions, off key. I really looked forward to each session and aim to book on another next term on Mind, by the same tutor. Thanks.
Course Rating
Review by Judy / (Posted on 30/03/2018)
A very enthusiastic and knowledgeable lecturer helped his students patiently through this difficult subject. I felt I had a good grasp of ethics by the end of the course.
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Review by Sailor / (Posted on 30/03/2018)
Excellent engaging lecturer - need a follow up course or set of courses to develop the themes
Course Rating
Review by D / (Posted on 30/03/2018)
Tutor Biographies
We’re sorry. We don’t have a bio ready for the tutor of this class at the moment, but we’re working on it! Watch this space.

Book your place

Course Code: HP011

Thu, day, 16 Jan - 26 Mar '20

Duration: 10 sessions (over 11 weeks)

Full fee: £179.00
Senior fee: £143.00
Concession: £79.00

Or call to enrol: 020 7831 7831

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Any questions?
or call 020 7492 2652

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