These audio files are recordings of lectures taken from the PHI118 History of Ethics course, in the Department of Philosophy, given by our Professor of the Public Understanding of Philosophy, Angie Hobbs.
This module offers a critical introduction to the history of ethical thought in the West, examining some of the key ideas of e.g.Plato, Aristotle, Hume, Kant, Bentham, Mill, Nietzsche, Rawls and Gilligan. It thus provides a textual introduction to some of the main types of ethical theory: the ethics of flourishing and virtue; deontology; utilitarianism; contractualism. The close interconnections between ethics and other branches of philosophy (e.g. metaphysics, epistemology, aesthetics) will be highlighted, as will the connections between ethics and other disciplines (e.g. psychology, anthropology). The main text for the module is Singer, P. (ed.), 1994, Ethics, Oxford University Press.
Image credit Tetraktys [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Lecture 1 - Introduction and Callicles
Introduction to the module and discussion of Plato's character Callicles.
Lecture 2 - Thrasymachus
Review of Callicles, and exploration of Thrasymachus' two main statements about justice.
Lecture 3 - Plato and Aristotle
Both Plato and Aristotle argue that human flourishing is not to be achieved through the acquisition of material wealth and worldly power. They base their arguments on accounts of the human psychê which differ from the psychological assumptions implicit in Callicles and Thrasymachus
Lecture 4 - Kant and Hume
Going from the Ancient Greeks to the eighteenth century, this lecture starts to look at the work of Kant and Hume
Lecture 5 - Kant 2: The Categorical Imperative
Kant's application of the Categorical Imperative is examined.
Lecture 6 - Kant 3
Further investigation of Kant