Course Descriptions

16:730:680 Advanced Topics in Ethics: Moral Theory

  • Semester: Fall 2021
  • Instructor: Temkin, Larry
  • Description:

    This course will cover a number of the most interesting and important topics of contemporary moral philosophy, including, among others:  issues related to saving the greater number; prioritarianism versus egalitarianism; narrow-person affecting views, the no difference view, and individual complaints; expected utility theory; imperceptible harms and benefits; additive aggregation and anti-additive aggregation; intransitivity; models for assessing the goodness of outcomes; competing conceptions of the good (the internal aspects view of ideals versus the essentially comparative view of ideals); and how to be good in a world of need (effective altruism being one of the positions assessed).  The first half of the class will be mostly led by Mike Otsuka, and the second half of the class will be mostly led by Larry Temkin.  The class will largely focus on works by Otsuka and Temkin, but other authors whose works may be read, or discussed, include Taurek, Anscombe, Scanlon, Kamm, Parfit, Kagan, Singer, and Deaton.  We are hoping that many members of the class will be able to meet in person, but some, including Otsuka, will be participating via Zoom.  This will be Otsuka’s first class at Rutgers, and Temkin’s last, and we deeply hope, and fully expect, that this will be a fantastic, and memorable, class.