Ethics Courses - Group A

Please consult A&S Calendar and Timetable regarding course availability.

* Courses with an asterisk are not offered during the 2014-15 academic year.

Optional Courses

Group A: Ethics

ETH 201H Contemporary Moral Problems

An introductory course in applied ethics.  A study of selected moral problems that arise in contemporary society, along with some of the theories that have been developed in order to clarify, and possibly resolve, these problems.

ETH 210H Rationality and Action

An introductory survey of attempts that have been made to develop a formal model of practical rationality, with particular emphasis on the way moral considerations enter into those deliberations. Topics may include: utility-maximization theory, introductory game theory, consequentialism, and deontic reasoning, as well as the limitations of rationality.

ETH 220H Moral Psychology

A study of issues that arise at the intersection of psychology and moral philosophy. Why do people act morally? What role do reason and emotion play? Can we know what is right, yet not be motivated to do it? What role can science play in advancing our understanding of morality?

*ETH 230H Morality in Cross-Cultural Perspective

Is morality universal, or does it vary by time and place? This course will examine cultural differences in moral codes from both empirical and philosophical perspectives

*ETH 350H Topics in Value Theory

Selected topics in value theory, broadly construed (ethics, political theory, law)

ETH401H Seminar in Ethics

A senior seminar in ethics, interdisciplinary in content. Running for a full year for a half-course credit, the seminar will expose senior undergraduates to cutting edge research in ethics broadly conceived. Students will attend between six and eight presentations in the Centre for Ethics's Seminar Series, given by eminent ethics scholars from both outside and inside the university and meet with the instructor (who will be the Centre’s Director) to discuss these presentations. (Note that this is an "H1Y" course -- a half-credit course taught throughout both Fall and Winter terms.)  Prerequisite: One of PHL365H1PHL375H1POL320Y1POL330Y1. Preference for enrolment will be given to students of the Department of Philosophy, the Department of Political Science, and Trinity College’s program in Ethics, Society, and Law.

PHL 273H1 Environmental Ethics

A study of environmental issues raising questions of concern to moral and political philosophers, such as property rights, responsibility for future generations, and the interaction of human beings with the rest of nature. Typical issues: sustainable development, alternative energy, the preservation of wilderness areas, animal rights

PHL 275H1 Introduction to Ethics

An introduction to central issues in ethics or moral philosophy, such as the objectivity of values, the nature of moral judgements, rights and duties, the virtues, and consequentialism. Readings may be drawn from a variety of contemporary and historical sources.

PHL 281H1 Bioethics

An introduction to the study of moral and legal problems in medical practice and in biomedical research; the development of health policy. Topics include: concepts of health and disease, patient rights, informed consent, allocation of scarce resources, euthanasia, abortion, genetic and reproductive technologies, human research, and mental health.

PHL 295H1 Business Ethics

Philosophical issues in ethics, social theory, and theories of human nature insofar as they bear on contemporary conduct of business. Issues include: Does business have moral responsibilities? Can social costs and benefits be calculated? Does modern business life determine human nature or the other way around? Do political ideas and institutions such as democracy have a role within business?

PHL 341H1 Freedom, Responsibility, and Human Action

Human action, and the nature of freedom and responsibility in the light of contemporary knowledge concerning the causation of behaviour. Prerequisite: PHL240H1/PHL244H1.

PHL 373H1 Issues in Environmental Ethics

An intermediate-level examination of key issues in environmental philosophy, such as the ethics of animal welfare, duties to future generations, deep ecology, ecofeminism, sustainable development and international justice. Prerequisite: PHL273H1.

PHL 375H1 Ethics

An intermediate-level study of selected issues in moral philosophy, or of influential contemporary or historical works in ethical theory. Prerequisite: PHL275H1.

*PHL 378H1 War and Morality

(Formerly PHL278H1) Moral and political issues concerning warfare: the theory of the "just war", pacifism, moral constraints on the conduct of war, war as an instrument of foreign policy, the strategy of deterrence. Special attention to the implications of nuclear weapons. Prerequisite: PHL265H1/PHL275H1. Exclusion: PHL278H1

*PHL 380H1 Global Bioethics

An intermediate-level study of moral problems that arise in international contexts, including issues of special interest in bioethics: moral universalism and relativism; global distributive justice; poverty relief and international aid; international health disparities; globalization and health; HIV/AIDS; intellectual property and access to essential medicines; clinical trials in developing countries; exploitation and the 10/90 gap. Prerequisite: PHL281Y1.

*PHL 381H1 Ethics and Medical Research

An intermediate-level study of problems in biomedical and behavioural research with human subjects: informed voluntary consent, risk and benefit, experimental therapy, randomized clinical trials, research codes and legal issues, dependent groups (human embryos, children, the aged, hospital patients, the dying, prisoners, the mentally ill. Prerequisite: PHL281Y1.

PHL 382H1 Ethics: Death and Dying

An intermediate-level study of moral and legal problems, including the philosophical significance of death, the high-tech prolongation of life, definition and determination of death, suicide, active and passive euthanasia, the withholding of treatment, palliative care and the control of pain, living wills; recent judicial decisions. Prerequisite: PHL281Y1.

PHL 383H1 Ethics and Mental Health

An intermediate-level study of moral and legal problems, including the concepts of mental health and illness, mental competence, dangerousness and psychiatric confidentiality, mental institutionalization, involuntary treatment and behaviour control, controversial therapies; legal issues: the Mental Health Act, involuntary commitment, the insanity defence. Prerequisite: PHL281Y1.

PHL 384H1 Ethics, Genetics and Reproduction

An intermediate-level study of moral and legal problems, including the ontological and moral status of the human embryo and fetus; human newborn, carrier and prenatal genetic screening for genetic defect, genetic therapy; the reproductive technologies (e.g., artificial insemination, in vitro fertilization); recent legislative proposals and judicial decisions. Prerequisite: PHL281Y1.

*PHL 394H1 Markets and Morals

(Formerly PHL296H1) A study of the standards that can be used to judge the performance of economic systems, e.g., efficiency, fairness, maximization, along with the different institutional mechanisms that can be used to organize economic activity, e.g., horizontal or vertical integration, public or private ownership. Prerequisite: PHL295H1. Exclusion: PHL296H1.

PHL 407H1 Seminar in Ethics

Advanced discussion of issues in moral philosophy, including issues of applied ethics. Recommended preparation: One or more courses in the relevant area.

POL 330Y1 Politics and Morality

The relationship between the individual's quest for the good life and the political order. The role of the wise person in civil society. Study of a small number of texts. Exclusion: POL330Y. Prerequisite: POL200Y1.

*RLG 221H1 Religious Ethics: The Jewish Tradition

A brief survey of the Jewish biblical and rabbinic traditions; the extension of these teachings and methods of interpretation into the modern period; common and divergent Jewish positions on pressing moral issues today.

*RLG 224Y  Problems in Religious Ethics

An introduction to the analysis of ethical problems in the context of the religious traditions of the West.  Abortion, euthanasia,poverty, environmental degradation, militarism, sex, marriage, and roles of men and women.

RLG 228H1 Religious Ethics: The Environment

The ethics and religious symbolism of environmental change: animal domestication and experimentation, deforestation, population expansion, energy use, synthetics, waste and pollution.