Loyola University Chicago

Department of Philosophy


PHIL 469: Ethics and Rationality

The Generic Catalog Description

This course investigates the relationship between rationality and moral thinking, including its normative and formal dimensions.

PHIL 469: Ethics and Rationality: Metaethics

Thomas Carson

There is widespread skepticism about the objectivity of moral judgments and moral standards.  Many claim that moral standards are "relative to" different societies or different individuals.  Moral  relativism/skepticism is prompted by the pervasive phenomenon of disagreement about morality and moral standards.  This course examines both skeptical and relativist challenges to the objectivity of morality and various attempts to provide a rational justification for morality.  This is a course in "metaethics" - it is concerned primarily with "second-order" questions about the meaning and status of moral/ethical judgments, e.g., "what do we mean when we say something is good or bad or right or wrong," "are moral judgments statements that purport to be objectively true or false?"  "In what sense, if any, can moral judgments be true/correct?" "Can moral judgments be rationally justified/unjustified?"  These issues arise in all ethics courses -- all ethics teachers need to be prepared to address them.
Carson and Moser, eds., Morality and the Good Life