The Dennes Room

Philosophy 2

Spring 2021

Number Title Instructor Days/time Room
2 Individual Morality and Social Justice Wallace MWF 2-3 TBA

An introduction to central issues in moral and political philosophy. The course will focus on some basic questions about our conduct as individuals and our relation to the broader social world we inhabit, including the following: Are there objective norms or values? What is the relation of moral standards to religion and human evolution? What are some specific moral requirements that we owe to other individuals? For instance, is it ever permissible to kill or harm some as a way of saving others? What is the nature and extent of our duties to assist those in extreme need? Is it alright to consume pornography or to neglect the needs of individuals who are sexually deprived? What is involved in leading a meaningful human life? Are friendship and partiality fundamentally at odds with morality? What makes a society just, and worthy of our allegiance? Under what conditions might we owe reparations to those whose ancestors suffered grave injustices in our political community? What is political pluralism, and what are its implications for a culture of toleration? When and why should we protect the expression of views that we find abhorrent?

Texts will be taken from contemporary sources, and will be made available on the bCourses site for the class.