Key Themes in Moral Philosophy. Choices, Responsibility, and the Good Life

Maynooth University

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Key Themes in Moral Philosophy. Choices, Responsibility, and the Good Life

  • Host University

    Maynooth University

  • Location

    Dublin, Ireland

  • Area of Study

    Ethics, Philosophy

  • Language Level

    Taught In English

  • Course Level Recommendations


    ISA offers course level recommendations in an effort to facilitate the determination of course levels by credential evaluators.We advice each institution to have their own credentials evaluator make the final decision regrading course levels.

    Hours & Credits

  • ECTS Credits

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
  • Overview

    Questions such as ?Does being good make you happy??, ?Can there be objectivity in moral judgement or is it all relative??, and ?Why be moral anyhow?? are not only central to human life but also to philosophical reflection. This module introduces some central problems of moral philosophy. Traditional moral theories will be introduced, critiqued and tested regarding their capacity to give answers not only to the questions mentioned above but also in relation to moral issues in society today such as 'animal ethics', ?environmental ethics? and ?euthanasia?.

    Learning Outcomes:

    On successful completion of the module, students should be able to:
    -Define moral philosophy and its key issues and place it among other branches of philosophy (e.g. metaphysics, logic, epistemology, philosophy of religion).
    -Compare different notions of the good (such as, Aristotle?s concept of happiness, Kant?s categorical imperative and Mill?s principle of utility).
    -Assess Nietzsche?s critique of the validity of moral values and standards.
    -Discuss possible solutions to contemporary problems in moral philosophy such as 'animal ethics', 'environmental ethics' and 'euthanasia'.
    -Demonstrate the ability to communicate ideas introduced in the lectures in both oral and written form.

    Teaching & Learning methods:
    24 lecture hours (12 weeks x 2 lecture hours per week); 3 tutorial hours (x 15 tutorial groups); reading, reflection, discussion and writing.

    Continuous Assessment detail(s): 5% = Attendance at Tutorials. 15% = Presentation 20% = Tutorial Essay-Assignment (c. 1,000 words) 60% = Final Essay-Assignment (c. 2,000 words).

Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

Credits earned vary according to the policies of the students' home institutions. According to ISA policy and possible visa requirements, students must maintain full-time enrollment status, as determined by their home institutions, for the duration of the program.

ECTS (European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System) credits are converted to semester credits/quarter units differently among U.S. universities. Students should confirm the conversion scale used at their home university when determining credit transfer.

Please reference fall and spring course lists as not all courses are taught during both semesters.

Please note that some courses with locals have recommended prerequisite courses. It is the student's responsibility to consult any recommended prerequisites prior to enrolling in their course.


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