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Durham University

Faculty Handbook Archive

Archive Module Description

This page is for the academic year 2017-18. The current handbook year is 2020-21

Department: Philosophy

PHIL3071: APPLIED ETHICS

Type Open Level 3 Credits 20 Availability Available in 2017/18 Module Cap Location Durham

Prerequisites

  • Moral Theory (PHIL2041)

Corequisites

  • None.

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None.

Aims

  • The application of philosophical techniques and theories to contemporary moral dilemmas.

Content

  • Moral theories have practical application to people's lives, and this third-year module involves a sustained study of some of them. The precise list of topics may vary from year to year. The topics will be taken from a list including:
  • the value and meaning of life
  • euthanasia
  • abortion and reproductive morality
  • sexual morality
  • the doctrine of double effect
  • the justification of punishment
  • the 'war on drugs'
  • the moral status and proper treatment of animals
  • issues in environmental ethics
  • war and pacifism

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • By the end of the module, students will have knowledge and understanding of key philosophical theories relating to the foregoing issues.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • correctly utilise specialist vocabulary
  • grasp, analyse, evaluate and deploy subject-specific concepts and arguments
  • locate, understand, assess and utilise pertinent philosophical (and, where appropriate, historical) sources
Key Skills:
  • express themselves clearly and succinctly in writing
  • comprehend complex ideas, propositions and theories
  • defend their opinions by reasoned argument
  • seek out and identify appropriate sources of evidence and information
  • tackle problems in a clear-sighted and logical fashion.

Modes of Teaching, Learning and Assessment and how these contribute to the learning outcomes of the module

  • Lectures deliver basic module-specific information, and provide a framework for further study.
  • Discussion groups provide opportunities for students to test their own understanding of the material studies, and defend and debate different opinions.
  • Guided reading provides a structure within which students exercise and extend their abilities to make use of available learning resources.
  • The formative essays provide the opportunity for students to test their knowledge and understanding of the module content, and their ability to present and defend relevant arguments and theories, uninhibited by the need for summative assessment.
  • The unseen examination tests students' overall knowledge and understanding of the module content at the end of the module, and their ability to bring it to bear on new problems under pressure of time.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Lectures 22 1 per week 1 hour 22
Discussion groups 9 fortnightly 1 hour 9
Preparation and Reading 169
Total 200

Summative Assessment

Component: Examination Component Weighting: 100%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
three-hour unseen written examination 100%

Formative Assessment:

Two essays of approximately 2000 words, one in Michaelmas and one in Epiphany


Attendance at all activities marked with this symbol will be monitored. Students who fail to attend these activities, or to complete the summative or formative assessment specified above, will be subject to the procedures defined in the University's General Regulation V, and may be required to leave the University