Online Guide to Ethics and Moral Philosophy

Robert Cavalier

Philosophy Department
Carnegie Mellon

Part I History of Ethics

Preface: The Life of Socrates
Section 1: Greek Moral Philosophy
Section 2: Hellenistic and Roman Ethics
Section 3: Early Christian Ethics
Section 4: Modern Moral Philosophy
Section 5: 20th Century Analytic Moral Philosophy

Part II Concepts and Problems

Preface: Meta-ethics, Normative Ethics and Applied Ethics
Section 1: Ethical Relativism
Section 2: Ethical Egoism
Section 3: Utilitarian Theories
Section 4: Deontological Theories
Section 5: Virtue Ethics
Section 6: Liberal Rights and Communitarian Theories
Section 7: Ethics of Care
Section 8: Case-based Moral Reasoning
Section 9: Moral Pluralism

Part III Applied Ethics

Preface: The Field of Applied Ethics
Section 1: The Topic of Euthanasia
Multimedia Module: A Right to Die? The Dax Cowart Case
Section 2: The Topic of Abortion
Multimedia Module: The Issue of Abortion in America
Postscript: Conflict Resolution

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This web-site is designed to give users a very general "introduction to Ethics." The materials offer both historical and thematic perspectives on the subject. Key representatives of the history of ethics are presented and major ethical theories are analyzed and critiqued.

Pat I of the site relies on original sources, excerpts from Ethics in the History of Western Philosophy (Macmillan, 1989), and excerpts from the Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy. The treatment of 'ethical theories' in Part II is often informed by the approach of Beauchamp and Childress in their Principles of Biomedical Ethics (5th Ed.) And the introduction to the topics of Applied Ethics owes much to Brendan Minogue's pedagogical use of institutional review boards in his Bioethics: A Committee Approach. Of course, for a full appreciation of these authorsÍ positions, a reading of their texts is required. I make no claim to fully represent their views.

The section on "Applied Ethics" points to the use of interactive multimedia modules to simulate real world scenarios involving difficult moral choices. Specifically recommended are the CD-ROMs A Right to Die? The Dax Cowart Case and The Issue of Abortion in America. Both were produced by Carnegie Mellon's Center for the Advancement of Applied Ethics and both were published by Routledge Electronic Titles.

GENERAL PHILOSOPHY RESOURCES: Relevant online materials from the Internet can be accessed through Episteme Links as well as the Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy, the Stanford Online Encyclopedia of Philosophy, and the Routledge Online Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Of special importance for the area of Moral Philosophy is Larry Hinman's Ethics Updates site.

Please note: This Syllabus is under development. New items and links will be added throughout the semester. While I welcome comments about the site, the Instructor cannot answer specific questions posed by those outside of the class. A Blackboard version of this course can be accessed via ID and password for students taking Dr. Cavalier's Introduction to Ethics (80130). This is a value added site containing assessment tools, an online forum, and extra resources such as PowerPoint Slides.

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Copyright 2002 (first published 1/96)