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PH1522: HOW SHOULD ONE LIVE? (2017-2018)

Last modified: 25 May 2018 11:16

Course Overview

Why do the morally right thing when you have much more to gain by doing evil and know you could get away with it? Should you save five lives even if this requires you to kill someone in exchange for them? Would you lie on the witness stand to protect your guilty mother from life in prison? We will read and discuss responses to these questions that have been presented in both historical and contemporary texts, including those by Plato, Aristotle, Epicurus, Kant, John Stuart Mill, Bernard Williams, Judith Thomson, Shelly Kagan, and T.M. Scanlon.  Download Course Guide

Course Details

Study Type Undergraduate Level 1
Session Second Sub Session Credit Points 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits)
Campus Old Aberdeen Sustained Study No
  • Dr Michael Laffin

Qualification Prerequisites

  • Either Programme Level 1 or Programme Level 2

What courses & programmes must have been taken before this course?

  • Any Undergraduate Programme (Studied)

What other courses must be taken with this course?


What courses cannot be taken with this course?

  • PH1026 How Should One Live? (Studied)

Are there a limited number of places available?


Course Description

This course provides a general introduction to moral theory. It is organized around such questions as the following: Why be moral? Do we always have most reason to do what is best? What is the relationship between friendship and morality? We will read and discuss responses to these questions that have been presented in both historical and contemporary texts.

Contact Teaching Time

Information on contact teaching time is available from the course guide.

Teaching Breakdown


More Information about Week Numbers

Details, including assessments, may be subject to change until 31 August 2023 for 1st half-session courses and 22 December 2023 for 2nd half-session courses.

Summative Assessments

1st Attempt: One 1500 word essay (50%) and one take-home exam (50%).
Resit: One 1500 word essay (100%)

Formative Assessment

There are no assessments for this course.



Course Learning Outcomes


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