Philosophy 361. Ethics.


Lecture Powerpoint outlines:

The links below lead to powerpoint slides that I put on the screen during lectures.  They don't on their own provide treatments of the issues, but chiefly, are reminders to me of what to talk about in the lecture.  Some students, though, have said that it would be useful to them to have these slide outlines available as a supplement to their lecture notes - and so here they are for whatever help they may give you.

Relativism and absolutism

Ethical Egoism



Kantian and Deontological Systems

Virtue-based Systems

The Fact/Value Problem

Morality and Self-interest

Morality and Religion

Morality and Evolution

Can Morality be like Science?

Course information

See Syllabus for this information and more

Fall 2005.  MW 11-12, Room 1200 Chemistry Building. 
Discussion sections:  002 MW 3-4, 3427 MH;  004 MW 1-2 1096 EH;  005 MW 2-3 232 DENN

Instructor; Allan Gibbard (

Prerequisite: One philosophy introduction.

Course Homepage:

This is a course in philosophical ethics. We'll inquire into questions like these: Is there anything one can say in a principled way about what is valuable, what is worth wanting for its own sake? Can we say that certain acts are morally required and certain other acts are wrong? And what do terms like 'valuable' and 'morally wrong' mean? Is there ever good reason to go against one's own long term self-interest on moral grounds? The core of the course will be an examination of three central traditions of European moral philosophy, typified by Aristotle, Kant, and Mill. We will also do a section on metaethics—questions about what moral terms mean and how ethical conclusions can be justified; this part will draw chiefly on sources from this century. Lecture and discussion. Brief daily exercises, three 5-page papers, a midterm, and a final exam.


POJMAN, Louis P. (ed.)
Ethical Theory: Classic and Contemporary Readings (fourth edition, 2002)
Wadsworth – Thompson Learning
ISBN 0-534-57033-X