One of the key ideas when reflecting on a moral problem is to consider how things look from the other persons’ point of view. The first part of this double module online course is to help you think for yourself about moral philosophy. In doing this, we start with the dictum of the great moral philosopher Immanuel Kant in his text “what is enlightenment?” to be enlightened is to think for yourself rather than taking on other people’s ideas without reflecting for yourself how they might be justified.
This online course will help you to a better understanding of how you should think, feel, and act if you are to do so with moral confidence. Moral dilemmas – situations where people find it difficult to make the morally right decisions about what to do – are sometimes hard to avoid. What do moral conflicts tell us about our moral sentiments, values, and the world we live in? and what do the phenomena of moral dilemmas tell us about ethical theories and their action-guiding force? We look at the main debates, theories, and concepts that currently structure moral philosophy and this will prepare you for the second part – political philosophy.
Because politics is an important part of life, political philosophy is a very exciting subject having a profound impact on our opportunities and choices, as well as our wellbeing and character. Try and imagine how different it would be from living say in western Europe as opposed to living in west Africa.
What is the philosophy behind the politics that makes living in one place different from living in another assuming none is more or less superior or inferior to the other? It is the philosophy behind the politics that will make a place more or less enjoyable for one to live in, again, depending on how living in either place affects one individual to another.
Taking a philosophical approach to politics forces us to step back from our prejudices and passions by tackling the fundamental questions and go for the root of our problems. Political philosophy forces us to question what feels obvious and the things we take for granted that others living in different countries may not. This means we must think about our justifications and convictions. Do we have good reasons? Are we, always right? Why is there a state, a democracy, liberty, and justice? Is violence part of politics or the negation of politics? What are the justifications for the state and understanding the state of nature that probably led to where we are today as a society in this world?
You will discover so much about yourself on this course and it is quite engaging drawing on a wide variety of intellectuals and skills, thought experiments, and concepts. You will draw from your knowledge in critical reasoning, as well as your imagination, and think creatively.