Part 1A Ethics


This is the web page for the Philosophy Part 1A course Ethics given by Richard Holton at the University of Cambridge, Michaelmas and Hilary terms 2020/21. This page provides links to papers and other texts that may be useful and to pdf versions of the handouts. If you have suggestions or comments, please let me know by emailing me at rjh221@cam.ac.uk

The course will cover the syllabus topics on Metaethics (fact and value; objectivity and subjectivity) and Moral Psychology (egoism and altruism; empathy; cognitive and affective attitudes); as well as providing a general introduction, part of the aim is to show how issues from these two areas interact.

Before each online class (with the exception of the first), I'll post a podcast on this page. If you want to see me, the corresponding video is on the Part 1A Metaphysics Moodle site, under 'Panopto' on the right-hand side, but it doesn't contain any extra material. There will be places in the podcast where you will need to follow it in conjunction with the handout. The online class will take place on Wednesdays at 2.00 pm on Zoom. I will send out an invitation to that class, by email, to every student registered for that class, using their Cambridge email addresses. At least 24 hours before that, all registered students should email me at rjh221@cam.ac.uk,, from their Cambridge email account, with one question about the material. The class will be a mixture of me talking, and me calling on people to ask their questions in person. The questions can be as broad or as detailed as you like, but if you ask about things that we will obviously be getting on to in subsequent weeks, I'll be less likely to call on you. I'll try to make this as much like a real class as possible, so, unless you have a really good reason not to, please keep your cameras on so that everone can see who is there and we can all start to get to know each other. Fake backgrounds are fine to cover up whatever mess your room might be in. Please also keep your microphone muted unless you are speaking.

Lectures


Introduction: Some Puzzles and Some Considerations

(11 November) Handout

Primary


What's Special About Ethics?

(18 November) Handout

Podcast for Lecture 2:

Primary

Secondary


Egoism I: A Priori Issues

(25 November) Handout

Podcast for Lecture 3:

Primary


Egoism II: A Posteriori Issues

(2 December) Handout

Podcast for Lecture 4:

Primary

Secondary


Aspects of our Moral Sensibility I: Cooperation; The Moral/Conventional Distinction

(27 January) Handout

No podcast for lecture 5 I'm afraid

Primary

Secondary


Aspects of our Moral Sensibility II: Emotion; Empathy; Psychopathy; Internalism

(3 February) Handout

Podcast for Lecture 6:

Primary

Secondary


Subjectivism, Non-Cognitivism, Expressivism

(10 February) Handout

Podcast for Lecture 7:

Primary

Secondary


Problems for Expressivism

(24 February) Handout

Primary

Secondary


Responses to the Frege-Geach Problem

(3 March) Handout

Podcast for Lecture 9:

Primary

Secondary


Smith on the Moral Problem

(10 March) Handout

Podcast for Lecture 10:

Primary


Secondary Quality Accounts

(17 March) Handout

Primary

Secondary