Moral Philosophy (& Moral Education)

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6 reviews
Enrolled: 133 students
Lectures: 68
Level: Beginner

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.

Introduction to Moral Philosophy and the Preconditions of Ethical Reasoning

1
Unit 1.1: The point of moral philosophy
2
Unit 1.2: Developing a Moral Outlook
3
Unit 1.3: Traditions of Moral Philosophy
4
Unit 1.4: The Nature of Moral Inquiry
5
Unit 1.5: Meta Ethics-Normative Ethics-Applied Ethics
6
Unit 1.6: Moral Reasoning
7
Unit 1.7: Argument to the Best Explanation
8
Unit 1.8: Thought Experiment and Moral Intuitions
9
Unit 1.9: Special Moral Arguments
10
Unit 1.10: Key Terms and Key Thinkers to Remember

2. Cultural Relativism-Freedom-Knowledge and Society-Freewill and determinism

1
Unit 2.1: Aren’t Right and Wrong Matters of Opinion?
2
Unit 2.2: Realism and Anti-Realism
3
Unit 2.3: Descriptive, Mete Ethical and Normative Relativism
4
Unit 2.4: Cultural vs Objective Relativism
5
Unit 2.5: Relativism and Pseudo Relativism
6
Unit 2.6: The Problems of Moral Diversity
7
Unit 2.7: Genital Cutting and Cultural Relativism
8
Unit 2.8: Freewill, Sociological Determinism, & Psychological Determinism
9
Unit 2.9: Determinism and Moral Responsibility
10
Unit 2.10: Key Terms and Key Thinkers to Remember

3. Subjectivism-Religion-Natural law and Egoism

1
Unit 3.1: Moral Nihilism
2
Unit 3.2: Individual Subjectivism
3
Unit 3.3: Religion as a Basis for Morality
4
Unit 3.4: Divine Command Theory of Morality
5
Unit 3.5: Religion and Natural law
6
Unit 3.6: Natural Law and Reason, Natural law and Conscience
7
Unit 3.7: Egoism
8
Unit 3.8: Psychological Egoism
9
Unit 3.9: The Social Contract Theory
10
Unit 3.10: Key Terms and Key Thinkers to Remember

4. Utilitarianism Bentham and Mill

1
Unit 4.1: The Context of Bentham’s Moral Philosophy
2
Unit 4.2: Example 1-3 Euthanasia, Marijuana, Cruelty of Animals
3
Unit 4.3: Elimination of Asceticism
4
Unit 4.4: Clarifying Utilitarianism, Measuring Happiness, Bentham’s Theory of Good
5
Unit 4.5: Justifying Utilitarianism
6
Unit 4.6: Utilitarianism and Equality of Women
7
Unit 4.7: Objections to Utilitarianism
8
Unit 4.8: Narrowness, Agency, irrelevance
9
Unit 4.9: Maximizing Happiness
10
Unit 4.10: Modifying Utilitarianism

Deontology- Immanuel Kant

1
Unit 5.1: Kant and the Supreme Moral Principle
2
Unit 5.2: Kant’s Core Ideas
3
Unit 5.3: The Goodwill, The Categorical Imperative
4
Unit 5.4: Retribution and utility in the Theory of Punishment
5
Unit 5.5: Kant’s Retributivism
6
Unit 5.6: Kant’s 1st Example on Suicide
7
Unit 5.7: Kant’s 2nd Example on False Promises
8
Unit 5.8: Kant’s 3rd Example on Neglecting your Talent
9
Unit 5.9: Kant’s 4th Example with Failing to Help
10
Unit 5.10: Key Terms and Key Thinkers to Remember

6. Virtue Ethics (Character)– Aristotle-Nicomachean-Kantian and Humism

1
Unit 6.1: Autonomy and Heteronomy
2
Unit 6.2: Moral Principles, Tribalism and Gender
3
Unit 6.3: Aristotle’s Moral Methodology
4
Unit 6.4: Nicomachean Ethics; Acquiring Virtue What is a Good Man?
5
Unit 6.5: Can Virtue be Learned from a Book or Good Teacher?
6
Unit 6.6: Habituation
7
Unit 6.7: Virtue, Vice, and the Golden Mean
8
Unit 6.8: What are the Virtues?
9
Unit 6.9: Virtue Theory (on Abortion) and the Mean

7. Moral Education: Understanding the Nature and Limits of Moral Theory

1
Unit 7.1: Integrity; A Shared Moral Value
2
Unit 7.2: Religion, Nature and Intuition as Possible Sources of Moral Truth
3
Unit 7.3: Some Distinctions and Some Mistakes
4
Unit 7.4: Moral vs Social, Ecological and Sexual Values
5
Unit 7.5: Rights and Procedures
6
Unit 7.6: Reasons for Being Moral
7
Unit 7.7: What Makes Actions Good and Bad, Right and Wrong
8
Unit 7.8: The Question of Moral Education
9
Unit 7.9: Forms of Moral Education
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Textbooks can be expensive costing between £50 - £150 for some courses. They are also difficult to get delivered to some locations in the world, especially in Africa. We have taken this into account and will provide you with all the textbooks and reading material for all of our courses
There is a prerequisite for this course. Please see programme details for further details
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