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current students > seminars > spring 2012 schedule > seminar: Kantian Ethics


Honors Seminars Spring 2012

Kantian Ethics

HON 344 Sec:001  
3 hours  
GER Cat:
10:15 - 11:30  
Withers 344  
Dr. Marina F. Bykova

In this course, students will gain knowledge and understanding of the moral issues by exploring one of the most influential moral theories in the history of philosophy, Kant's ethics. The course will concentrate on Kant's ideas about morality and discuss his argument for human freedom. An effort will be made to reflect on the worldview represented by Kant, the cultural assumptions and values operative in his worldview, and the effects of his assumptions on contemporary philosophical thinking and day-to-day life. Students will be introduced to some of the enduring moral questions, such as How to make an ethical choice? What can guarantee the moral character of action? What can I hope for? Are there any universal moral principles and whether I should follow them? and learn a variety of approaches to ethical issues. In addition to discussing Kant's fundamental moral principles, the course will also focus on some of their specific applications to political theory.

The seminar will be built around a selection of primary texts and secondary sources. Its participants will be engaged in active in-class discussions through oral presentations, open dialogues, and comments on readings. Students completing this course will enhance their critical thinking ability by learning to analyze and respond to philosophical arguments; they will develop basic skills in reading primary philosophical texts and in doing some elementary philosophical research.