Introduction to Ethics [10:07]


This great introduction discusses four core issues in the discipline, namely 1) the subject matter of ethics, 2) moral subjectivism vs realism, 3) the is ought problem, and 4) the difference between teleological and deontological theories.  The video ends asking whether studying ethics can make us better people.  The video has a good pace, but covers a wide range of issues and concepts.  You may want to pause periodically to discuss what was just said.  This video may also be more appropriate for older students.

Discussion Questions

  • What kind of questions is ethics concerned with?
  • What do moral subjectivists claim?  What do moral realists or objectivists argue?
  • What is Hume’s law?  What is the difference between descriptive and normative statements?
  • What is the difference between teleological and deontological theories of ethics?  What are some examples of each?
  • Do you think that ethics can help make us better people?  If not, what else is needed?

Keywords: moral theory, ethics, is-ought dichotomy, deontology, consequentialism, philosophy, morality, definition, Hume,


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