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In this course, we look at concepts and theories in normative ethics and metaethics. Normative ethics deals with the foundations of moral theory. What determines whether an action is right or wrong, good or bad? What principles should we live by? Utilitarianism, deontology and virtue ethics provide three influential answers. Part I of the course studies these theories in detail, considering the ideas of Mill, Kant and Aristotle along the way. Metaethics deals with second-order questions about ethical thought and talk. Are there moral facts and moral truths? Could moral judgements be objectively true? What is the relation between moral facts and scientific or natural facts? How, if at all, can we acquire moral knowledge? What role do the emotions play in moral judgement? Part II of the course focuses on these and similar questions.
Not only is philosophy one of the most interesting and challenging subjects, it teaches skills that employers want: thinking outside the box, logic, ethics, and excellent writing and communication skills. At UC you can do either a BA or a BSc in Philosophy, or combine a Philosophy major with the LLB, BCom, or another degree.BA or BSc students who major in philosophy must normally take at least two 100-level PHIL courses, plus at least three 200-level PHIL courses (including PHIL233), plus at least 60-points from 300-level PHIL courses (including at least one course from this list: PHIL305; PHIL310; PHIL311; and PHIL317). For more information see the BA regulations and/or the BSc regulations.
In this course you will learn:Understanding of influential ideas and theories about ethics.The acquisition of critical thinking and analytical skills through engagement with moral questions.The ability to use these skills to produce strong, persuasive written work.The ability to communicate reasoned arguments in the academic context and beyond.
This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attributes specified below:
Critically competent in a core academic discipline of their award
Students know and can critically evaluate and, where applicable, apply this knowledge to topics/issues within their majoring subject.
Employable, innovative and enterprising
Students will develop key skills and attributes sought by employers that can be used in a range of applications.
Students will comprehend the influence of global conditions on their discipline and will be competent in engaging with global and multi-cultural contexts.
Any 15 points at 100 level from PHIL, orany 60 points at 100 level from the Schedule V of the BA.
Students must attend one activity from each section.
Contact Michael-John for further information.
Please check the course LEARN page for further details and updates.
Philosophy Essay Writing Guide (available to all enrolled Philosophy students)
Domestic fee $844.00
International fee $3,950.00
* All fees are inclusive of NZ GST or any equivalent overseas tax, and do not include any programme level discount or additional course-related expenses.
For further information see