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Ethics is the study of human conduct -- specifically what makes a given action right or wrong. We'll begin by looking briefly at some religious conceptions of ethics -- specifically the Christian, Confucian, and Islamic traditions. We'll then examine three types of contemporary ethical theory. John Stuart Mill is perhaps the best known spokesperson for utilitarianism, the view that an act's moral status depends on the consequences it produces. Immanuel Kant takes a wholly different approach, arguing that consequences are immaterial to an action's moral worth -- all that matters is the will of the agent (exemplified in the principle of her action). Aristotle alters our focus a bit by analyzing the character of the agent rather than her actions alone. Carol Gilligan and Cheshire Calhoun offer general criticisms of contemporary moral theory from a feminist perspective.


Religious Ethics
John Stuart Mill
Immanuel Kant
Carol Gilligan
Group Project #4