Introduction to Ethics
This course will serve as an introduction to some of the major normative ethical theories based on the study of the original writings of selected philosophers, and will also include a part on applied ethics.
We will be focusing on 3 different ethical theories:
- Virtue Ethics (Aristotle)
- Utilitarianism (Jeremy Bentham & John Stuart Mill)
- Deontology (Kant)
This course will not give you answers. It is an attempt to give you the basis of ethical decision-making. This course will be frustrating for you if your initial hunch is that there are easy answers to any ethical dilemma. Therefore, I would suggest that this course is not for you if you're not willing to entertain hypothetical examples that might seem either pointless or a waste of time.
Why this is relevant today more than ever? Because in a time of crisis on all levels, political, social, economic, and existential, alienation and existential crises can easily kick in. Everyone seems to know what the answer is. And virtue-signaling has become an easy maneuver to claim moral highground.
Therefore, it is important for us to take a step back, and look into the different models and ethical decision-making tools that have been the result of many years of reflection and have been subject to meticulous criticism and refinement.
This course might not be useful for you. It will however provide you with a space for discussion, and the tools as well as some questions to reflect on life and the complexities that underlie ethical decision-making.
If you don't like what we do, I'll give you a full refund.
I mean I'd say no questions asked, but it would be too late because that's mainly what I will be doing. Ask questions.
Please find below a tentative syllabus:
- Week 1. Aristotle, Nichomachean Ethics
- Week 2. Mill, Utilitarianism
- Week 3. Kant, Groundwork of the Metaphysic of Morals
Who we are:
I've been giving these online courses since June 2020. To date, I've had over 700 participants from around the world. If you want to read a detailed review of what the courses are like, check out what Anthony Smyrski wrote in one of his newsletter dispatches at the following link.
The course will be co-taught by:
- Mahmoud Rasmi (@decafquest): finished his PhD in Philosophy at the University of Salamanca Spain. Between 2013 and 2020, he taught philosophy and cultural studies at the American University of Beirut and the Lebanese American University. Now, he has decided to venture into the virtual world in order to give affordable classes online to people who are interested in studying philosophy in a non-academic setting.
Here’s a sample class on Stoicism from an Introduction to Philosophy online course:
Dates and Schedule:
- 3 weeks, once a week, 2 hrs per session.
- The course will start on Tuesday, July 12 and will end on Tuesday, July 26, 2022.
- Course Schedule: Tuesdays at 7:00 pm CET time (Central European Time).
- Synchronous online course via Zoom.
- Asynchronous: if you can't attend, you will have the option to watch the recorded lectures.
- Price: USD50$
- Capacity: 35 seats
You will receive the link to the sessions a few days before the course starts.
Since we are not an institution, you will not be able to claim credits for the course. Many of you might also already be busy with your jobs and daily routine; as a result, we won’t be assigning any homework, exams, or papers. However, if any of you wishes to be assessed on the course material covered, we can arrange for the proper method and format in private.
The sessions will be recorded and uploaded to the DecafQuest YouTube channel as hidden. The links will be made available to those registered.
A pdf including course details.