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Title: PHIL 250-02, Character, Empathy and the Moral Sense: The Past, Present and Future of Moral Psychology, Fall 2007
Authors: Terjesen, Andrew James
Keywords: Philosophy, Department of;Syllabus;Curriculum;Academic departments;Text;2007 Fall
Issue Date: 22-Aug-2007
Publisher: Memphis, Tenn. : Rhodes College
Series/Report no.: Syllabi CRN
Abstract: This course will be a survey of the history of moral psychology, from Plato to the Twentieth Century. Moral psychology (in the context of the course) is the philosophy of moral agency – which means it is concerned with exploring questions regarding what it means to be a moral agent. The subject matter of moral psychology is not the same as an Ethics course – this course will not focus on questions regarding the nature of the good or how one ought to respond to particular moral controversies. Instead, this course will primarily questions regarding the aspects of moral agency referenced in the title, such as: 1) Must someone acquire certain character traits in order to become a moral agent? And if so, how do they acquire it? 2) Should our emotions play a role in moral deliberation? 3) Do we need to be able to understand the emotions of others in order to make moral judgments? 4) Is compassion sufficient to ensure moral action? 5) Do all humans share an innate sense of right and wrong? What would a moral sense be like? Rather than considering how one might justify one’s values (the subject matter of ethics), this course will examine how our beliefs about what is right and wrong influence our actions (as well as the ways in which they ought to influence our actions). In order to generate thoughtful reflection on the answers to these questions we will look at what some past thinkers have said [including Plato, Aristotle, Confucius, Mencius, Xunzi, Seneca, Augustine, Abelard, Aquinas, Hobbes, Hume, and Kant] and at current debates in moral psychology concerning the above-referenced topics. In addition, we will draw on recent work in the natural and social sciences to inform our discussions.
Description: This syllabus was submitted to the Rhodes College Office of Academic Affairs by the course instructor.
Appears in Collections:Course Syllabi

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