University Course Planner The University of Adelaide Australia

PHIL 3019 - How Should I Live? Contemporary Ethical Theories

Career: Undergraduate
Units: 3
Term: Semester 2
Campus: North Terrace
Contact: Up to 3 hours per week
Available for Study Abroad and Exchange:
Available for Non-Award Study: No
Pre-Requisite: At least 6 units of Level II undergraduate study
Incompatible: PHIL 2036
Assessment: Essay 1 (2250 words) 45%, Essay 2 (2250 words) 45%, Tutorial presentation and attendance 10%

How should we live our lives, morally speaking? This is a big question, and philosophers have tackled it by breaking it down into several distinct but related questions, each of which is important and fascinating in its own right. In this course we follow their lead. We start with questions about the nature of the good life, and about the criterion for morally right action. What aspects of a life make it go better or worse for the person who is living it? What are the general principles (if any) that tell us which actions are right and which are wrong, and which explain why they are right or wrong? In the second part of the course we then take a step back and look at some more general questions about the nature and status of morality (questions in so-called "metaethics"). How does morality fit into the natural world described by science? Is moral thought and talk a matter of attempting to describe some external morality reality, or does it have some other function? Can there be evidence for or against a moral claim? What would it look like? Our main focus will be on contemporary philosophical work, though there will also be opportunities to look at some of the historical roots of contemporary views.

Course Fees

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Student Status


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Commonwealth supported
Full fee paying

Study Level

Postgraduate Coursework
Non Award

Program of Study

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Course Outline

A Course Outline which includes Learning Outcomes, Learning Resources, Learning & Teaching for this course may be accessed here

Critical Dates

Term Last Day to Add Online Census Date Last Day to WNF Last Day to WF
Semester 2 Mon 10/08/2020 Wed 19/08/2020 Fri 18/09/2020 Fri 30/10/2020

Class Details

Enrolment Class: Lecture
Class Nbr Section Size Available Dates Days Time Location
23262 LE01 70 35 27 Jul - 14 Sep Monday 2pm - 4pm Ingkarni Wardli, B18, Teaching Room
5 Oct - 26 Oct Monday 2pm - 4pm Ingkarni Wardli, B18, Teaching Room
Related Class: Tutorial
Class Nbr Section Size Available Dates Days Time Location
23263 TU01 70 35 27 Jul - 14 Sep Monday 9am - 10am Helen Mayo Sth, SG23, Teaching Room
5 Oct - 26 Oct Monday 9am - 10am Helen Mayo Sth, SG23, Teaching Room