|2||Individual Morality & Social Justice||Murray||MTuWTh 12-2||209 Dwinelle|
What is the right thing to do? In this class, we’ll explore some of the most pressing contemporary questions in ethics and political philosophy. In the first part of the class, we’ll discuss whether we’re morally required to donate to charity, whether (assisted) suicide, abortion, and eating meat are ever permissible, and when self-defense is justified. In the second half of the class, we’ll discuss questions of a more political nature: the ethics of punishment, killing in war, terrorism, whether and to what extent we’re required to be tolerant of others’ views (e.g., must we be tolerant even of the intolerant?), and whether living in a society that treats one unjustly licenses acting in ways that would otherwise be impermissible. Our goal in this class is not so much to settle any of these questions than to see how to think about them philosophically, highlighting some of the major themes of ethics and political philosophy as we do so, such as the longstanding debate between utilitarian and deontological ethical theories.