Course Objective

1 Acquire a broad understanding of the most influential theories within
the field of normative ethics, including utilitarianism, deontology, and
virtue ethics.
2 Acquire a broad understanding of the most influential theories within
the field of meta-ethics, including relativism, moral realism,
skepticism and theories of moral responsibility.
3 Understand the relative advantages and disadvantages of these
4 Use insights from various theories in normative ethics to analyze
contemporary moral problems.
5 Creatively express this knowledge and understanding in the context of
a short, accessible, spoken exercise that takes the form of a podcast

Course Content

Ethics is a branch of philosophy that focuses on questions, such as “In
virtue of what are actions right or wrong (morally obligatory, morally
permissible, or morally impermissible)?”, “What makes a certain state of
affairs good or bad?”, and “What constitutes a good life?”. In this
course, we will critically explore different theories that have been
developed which offer answers to these questions. Along the way spend
time examining how these ethical theories apply to contemporary moral
issues, such as abortion, animal welfare, famine relief, and many
others. A related issue that we examine is whether we are morally
responsible for our actions, in the sense of being praise- or
blameworthy for them. We also discuss several epistemic, metaphysical
and semantic questions, such as whether we can know moral claims,
whether they are objectively rather than relatively true, and what their
semantic features are.

Teaching Methods

Course is six weeks long:
Lectures: three hours, twice a week
Workgroups: two hours, once a week. Attendance required.

Method of Assessment

Midterm: 20%
Short lecture quizzes: 15%
Final exam: 40%
Podcast episode 25%


Required textbook: Russ Shafer-Landau - The Fundamentals of Ethics
(third edition) (ISBN:978-0-19-999723-7)

Custom Course Registration

Registration for workgroups will take place within Canvas.

General Information

Course Code W_BA_ETEN
Credits 6 EC
Period P2
Course Level 100
Language of Tuition English
Faculty Faculty of Humanities
Course Coordinator dr. P. Robichaud
Examiner dr. P. Robichaud
Teaching Staff dr. P. Robichaud

Practical Information

You need to register for this course yourself

Last-minute registration is available for this course.

Teaching Methods Seminar, Lecture
Target audiences

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