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Durham University

Faculty Handbook

Module Description

Please ensure you check the module availability box for each module outline, as not all modules will run each academic year.

Department: Philosophy

PHIL1011: ETHICS AND VALUES

Type Tied Level 1 Credits 20 Availability Available in 2018/19 Module Cap Location Durham
Tied to V500 Philosophy
Tied to LV25 Philosophy and Politics
Tied to QV35 English Literature and Philosophy
Tied to CV85 Philosophy and Psychology
Tied to VV56 Philosophy and Theology
Tied to VL52 Philosophy, Politics and Economics
Tied to XV35 Education Studies - Philosophy
Tied to LA01 Liberal Arts
Tied to LMV0 Combined Honours in Social Sciences
Tied to CFG0 Natural Sciences

Prerequisites

  • None.

Corequisites

  • None.

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None.

Aims

  • To provide a structured introduction to moral philosophy, including applied ethics, by exploring key moral concepts and showing how they influence moral practices and theories.
  • To prepare students to move to deeper consideration of moral issues in second and third year modules.
  • Subsequent modules to which it will relate are: Moral Theory (and hence Applied Ethics) Issues in Contemporary Ethics, Aesthetics, Political Philosophy.

Content

  • Theoretical topics covered will be selected from the following:
  • the nature of morality.
  • the major moral theories (virtue ethics, deontology, consequentialism and existentialism).
  • sceptical perspectives on morality (e.g. relativism).
  • Applied ethical topics will be selected from a list including the following:
  • moral obligations to distant strangers.
  • the moral status of animals.
  • suicide.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • By the end of the module students will have knowledge and understanding of the foregoing topics.
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 essay provides 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 Summative essay tests knowledge and understanding of the course material, and the ability to identify and explain issues covered in the module, and, using relevant research material, to present different approaches to those issues, and make reasoned judgement on the merits and demerits of such approaches.
  • 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 Contact Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Lectures 22 1 per week 1 hour 22
Discussion groups 8 fortnightly 1 hour 8
Preparation and Reading 170
Total 200

Summative Assessment

Component: Examination Component Weighting: 60%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
two-hour examination 100%
Component: Essay Component Weighting: 40%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
1500 word essay 100%

Formative Assessment:

1 essay 1500 words.


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



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