PHIL2026 UNIT SCHEDULE AND READINGS
The following is an outline of the topics and the Essential Readings that will be covered week by week. The listed essential readings are all available in Leganto under the unit code PHIL2026. These are the minimum required reading for the unit. Further readings recommended in classes will assist you to develop an expanded understanding of the issues discussed in lectures, and are expected to be used for essays.
SECTION 1: ETHICAL THEORY, GOODNESS, AND MORAL PSYCHOLOGY (Mianna Lotz)
Week 1 (beginning 22 February): Introduction to Consequentialist ethics
1. James Rachels, 'The Utilitarian Approach'. Chapter 7 in J. Rachels and S. Rachels, The Elements of Moral Philosophy (McGraw-Hill US Higher Ed USE Legacy, 2014.) [This is a basic introduction to utilitarian consequentialism – just read Chp 7]
2. Philip Pettit, ‘Consequentialism’ in Peter Singer Singer (ed), A Companion to Ethics. (Oxford: Blackwell, 1993): pp. 230–240. [Focus on pp. 338-340, ignore pp. 341-342, and skim read pp. 343-351.
Week 2 (beginning 1 March) – Consequentialism and moral psychology (i): Is the good consequentialist a person without integrity?
1. Susan Wolf, ‘Moral Saints’, The Journal of Philosophy, Vol. 79, No. 8 (August, 1982): 419-439.
2. Bernard Williams, ‘Consequentialism and Integrity’ In Samuel Scheffler (ed.) Consequentialism and Its Critics, (New York: Oxford University Press, 1998): pp. 20-50.
Tutorials and online discussion forums commence this week.
Week 3 (beginning 8 March) – Consequentialism and moral psychology (ii): Is the good consequentialist incapable of genuine friendship and intimacy?
1. Michael Stocker, excerpt from ‘The Schizophrenia of Modern Ethical Theories’, The Journal of Philosophy Vol. 73, No. 14, On Motives and Morals (August 12, 1976): pp. 453-466.
2. Peter Railton, ‘Alienation, Consequentialism and the Demands of Morality’, Philosophy and Public Affairs, Vol. 1, No. 2 (Spring 1984): pp. 134-171.
Week 4 (beginning 15 March) – Virtue ethics and moral psychology: What kind of person is the Aristotelean virtuous agent?
1. Aristotle, excerpts from The Nicomachean Ethics. J.L. Ackrill, trans. (London: Faber & Faber, 1973.) [Read Book I.1-I.13 and Book II.1–II.8]
2. Philippa Foot, ‘Virtues and Vices.’ In Stephen Darwall (ed), Virtue Ethics. (Oxford: Blackwell Publishing, 2003): pp. 105-120.
* SHORT WRITING TASK DUE: 11.59pm Sunday 21 March 2021
SECTION 2: EVIL (Paul Formosa)
Week 5 (beginning 22 March): Evil Actions and Evil People
1. Formosa, Paul. ‘A Conception of Evil’. Journal of Value Inquiry 42, no. 2 (2008): 217–39.
2. Russell, Luke. “Dispositional Accounts of Evil Personhood” In Evil: A Philosophical Investigation. Oxford University Press, 2014. Chapter 8.
Week 6 (beginning 29 March): Kantian rationalism, Moral Development, and Evil
1. Herman, Barbara. ‘On the Value of Acting from the Motive of Duty’. In The Practice of Moral Judgment, 1993. Harvard University Press.
2. Formosa, Paul. ‘Evil, Virtue, and Education in Kant’. Educational Philosophy and Theory, 2018, 1–10.
*** MID-SEMESTER BREAK: 5-16 April 2021 ***
SECTION 3: CONNECTING MORAL PSYCHOLOGY AND EMPIRICAL PSYCHOLOGY (Mark Alfano)
Week 7 (beginning 19 April): Wellbeing and the evolution of preferences
1. Mark Alfano (2016), Moral Psychology: An Introduction. Polity. chapters 1 and 2.
2. Amartya Sen. (1985). Well-being, agency, and freedom. Journal of Philosophy, 82(4): 169-221.
Week 8 (beginning 26 April): Being and becoming responsible
1. Mark Alfano (2016). Moral Psychology. Polity. Chapter 2
2. Heidi Maibom (2014), “To Treat a Psychopath” Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics, Vol 35 (1), pp. 31 - 42.
Week 9 (beginning 3 May): Emotions: It's not facts versus feelings
1. Mark Alfano (2016). Moral Psychology: An Introduction. Chapter 3
2. Christine Tappolet (2009). "Emotion, motivation and action: The case of fear." In Goldie (ed.), Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Emotion. Oxford University Press.
Week 10 (beginning 10 May): Character: the good, the bad, and the ugly
1. Mark Alfano (2016). Moral Psychology: An Introduction. Polity. Chapter 4
2. David Shoemaker (2015), "Psychopathy and Autism: The Limits of Regard," Responsibility from the Margins, Oxford Scholarship Online.
Week 11 (beginning 17 May): Moral agreement and disagreement
1. Mark Alfano (2016). Moral Psychology: An Introduction. Polity. Chapter 5
2. Mark Alfano, Marc Cheong, & Oliver Curry (forthcoming). Moral universals: A machine-reading analysis of 256 cultures.
Week 12 (beginning 24 May): Trust and distrust: How to live in a polarized world
1. Nguyen, Thi (forthcoming). Trust as an unquestioning attitude. Oxford Studies in Epistemology. Oxford University Press.
2. Quintana, I., Klein, C., Cheong, M., Sullivan, E., Reimann, R., & Alfano, M. (under review). The evolution of vaccine discourse on Twitter during the first six months of COVID-19.
* ESSAY DUE: 11.59pm Friday 4 June 2021