Moral & Political Philosophy

University of Galway

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Moral & Political Philosophy

  • Host University

    University of Galway

  • Location

    Galway, Ireland

  • Area of Study

    Ethics, Philosophy

  • Language Level

    Taught In English

  • Prerequisites

    Students may not take this course if enrolled in PI240

  • 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

    Course description: This course has two parts. The first part is intended to familiarise students with the works of classical political philosophers, such as Rousseau, Locke, Hobbes Bentham and Mill, as well as with such contemporary counterparts as J. Rawls, R. Dworkin, A. Sen, G.A. Cohen, T. Nagel and I. Berlin. The unifying theme of this part of the course will be the good society, and this idea will be explored by analysis of such cognate concepts as freedom, justice and equality. The second part of the course concentrates on what is technically called meta-ethics. Meta-ethics is a study of the way or ways in which moral language is like and unlike language used for other purposes. This part of the course may also be described as a protracted inquiry into the rationality of morals. It treats such topics as morality and knowledge, the nature of ethical disagreement, reason, emotion and morality, the is/ought question, and moral dilemmas.
    Prerequisites: None

    Teaching and learning methods:
    The course is lecture-based, supplemented by tutorials.

    Methods of assessment and evaluation: Overall assessment is by essay.

    Core texts:

    C.B. MacPherson, The life and times of Liberal Democracy. Oxford University Press, Oxford 1977

    R.E. Goodin and P. Pettit (eds.), A Companion to Contemporary Political Philosophy, Blackwell: Oxford, 1993, 1995.

    J.S. Mill, On Liberty, Penguin, Harmondsworth, 1974.

    T. Nagel, Equality and Partiality, Oxford U. Press: Oxford, 1991.

    J. Steiner, European Democracies, 3 rd edition, Longman: London, 1995.

    W.D. Hudson, Modern Moral Philosophy, MacMillan, London 1970.

    D.Z. Philips & H.O. Mounce, Moral Practices, Routledge & Kegan Paul, London 1970.

    G.J.Warnock, The Object of Morality, Methuen, London 1971.

    J.J. Thomson & G.Dworkin (eds.), Ethics , Harper & Row, New York 1968.

    P. Singer (ed.), A Companion to Ethics, Blackwell, Oxford, 1991.

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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