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Moral Problems and the Good Life

Course Summary

This course is based on 24.02 Moral Problems and the Good Life, Fall 2008 made available by Massachusetts Institute of Technology: MIT OpenCourseWare under the Creative Commons BY-NC-SA license.
This course provides an introduction to important philosophical debates about moral issues and what constitutes a good life: What is right, what is wrong, and why? How important are personal happiness, longevity, and success if one is to live a good life? When is it good for you to get what you want? To what extent are we morally obliged to respect the rights and needs of others? What do we owe the poor, the oppressed, our loved ones, animals and fetuses?

The course will focus on issues that arise in contemporary public debate concerning matters of social justice. Topics will likely include: euthanasia, gay marriage, racism and racial profiling, free speech, hunger and global inequality. Students will be exposed to multiple points of view on the topics and will be given guidance in analyzing the moral frameworks informing opposing positions. The goal will be to provide the basis for respectful and informed discussion of matters of common moral concern.

Reading Material

1. Disputed Moral Issues: A Reader
Timmons, Mark, ed. Disputed Moral Issues: A Reader. New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 2006. ISBN: 9780195177633.

2. Thinking and Writing About Philosophy
Bedau, Hugo. Thinking and Writing About Philosophy. 2nd ed. Boston, MA: Bedford/St. Martin's, 2002. ISBN: 9780312396534.

Course Material

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