PHIL 108: Philosophy - Ethics

Citrus College Course Outline of Record

Citrus College Course Outline of Record
Heading Value
Effective Term: Fall 2021
Credits: 3
Total Contact Hours: 54
Lecture Hours : 54
Lab Hours: 0
Hours Arranged: 0
Outside of Class Hours: 108
District General Education: C2. Humanities
Transferable to CSU: Yes
Transferable to UC: Yes - Approved
Grading Method: Standard Letter

Catalog Course Description

A critical analysis of ethical theories including Kantianism, Utilitarianism, and Virtue Ethics, as well as the pragmatic application of these ethical theories to moral problems. 54 lecture hours.

Course Objectives

  • Think critically about ethical issues.
  • Be aware of his or her own prejudices about ethical issues.
  • Thoughtfully consider other views and the arguments that could be used to support them.
  • Show awareness of some of the approaches to moral reasoning that have been taken by major philosophers.
  • Express his or her own judgment precisely and to explain the reasoning that supports it.
  • Analyze ethical systems.
  • Talk knowledgeably about classical ethical traditions and modern continuations and critiques of them, including Kantianism, Utilitarianism, and Virtue Ethics.

Major Course Content

  1. Ethics as a Branch of Philosophy
    1. The nature and scope of ethics
    2. The importance of reasoned analysis in ethics
    3. Evaluating arguments
  2. Classical Ethical Traditions
    1. Plato on knowledge and virtue
    2. Aristotle on moral character
    3. Epicurus on the pleasant life
    4. Epictetus on self-discipline
    5. Saint Augustine on the love of God
    6. Saint Thomas Aquinas on morality and natural law
    7. Thomas Hobbes on social contract ethics
    8. Joseph Butler on Conscience in Morality
    9. David Hume on morality and sentiment
    10. Immanuel Kant on duty and reason
    11. John Stuart Mill on the greatest happiness principle
  3. Modern Continuations and Critiques
    1. Soren Kierkegaard on the leap of faith
    2. Karl Marx on morality as ideology
    3. Henry Sidgwick on utilitarianism revised
    4. Friedrich Nietzsche on the transvaluation of values
    5. W. D. Ross on prima facie duty
    6. Philippa Foot on moral virtue and human interest

Suggested Reading Other Than Required Textbook

Students are directed to the library for more extensive reading in primary sources in ethical theory such as David Hume's An Enquiry Concerning the Principles of Morals, Immanuel Kant's Foundations of the Metaphysic of Morals, and John Stuart Mill's Utilitarianism.

Examples of Required Writing Assignments

Short essay assignments, a midterm essay, and a final essay exam.

Examples of Outside Assignments

Reading assignments, homework consisting of multiple-choice and/or short essay answers. For example, students will be assigned to read the chapter on Hume's ethical theory and the chapter on Kant's and then will be asked the following question:
Would Kant agree with Hume that the moral obligation to be just arises purely from its usefulness to society? Why or why not?

Instruction Type(s)

Lecture, Online Education Lecture

IGETC Area 3: Arts and Humanities

3B. Humanities