In this course we examine the basis of ethical and moral judgements. We begin with a consideration of some of the main ethical theories, namely virtue theory, duty theory, consequentialist theory, and ethical relativism. We then move on to two of the newer ethical theories that have gained prominence in the last thirty years: environmental ethics and feminist ethics. Environmental ethics challenges a key assumption of traditional moral theory: that it is the preservation of the natural environment and not human welfare that is the central concern of moral theory. Feminist ethics critiques traditional moral theory from another perspective. They argue that the masculinist assumption of traditional moral theory has devalued and trivialized women’s moral experience and this imbalance needs to be redressed if we are to have a truly human moral theory.
Level: Complex Introductory to Intermediate
Key Terms: Ethical Theory; environmental ethics; feminist ethics (14 pp)