24.231 Ethics

As taught in: Fall 2009

A photograph of a stone sculpture of Libra and her scales on Autun Cathedral.

Libra the Scales. Detail of archivolt above the west portal of Autun Cathedral, sculpted by Gislebertus around 1130. (Image by Sacred Destinations on Flickr.)

Level:

Undergraduate

Instructors:

Prof. Julia Markovits

Course Features

Course Description

This will be a seminar on classic and contemporary work on central topics in ethics. The first third of the course will focus on metaethics: we will examine the meaning of moral claims and ask whether there is any sense in which moral principles are objectively valid. The second third of the course will focus on normative ethics: what makes our lives worth living, what makes our actions right or wrong, and what do we owe to others? The final third of the course will focus on moral character: what is virtue, and how important is it? Can we be held responsible for what we do? When and why?