Faculty of Arts

PHIL 726

Ethics 1

Please note: this is archived course information from 2018 for PHIL 726.


This course will cover some central topics in recent moral theory, especially within the Utilitarian tradition. The first half of the course will focus on Derek Parfit’s Reasons and Persons (Oxford, 1986), while the second half will address debates between Consequentialism and Contractualism.

Topics will include: individual and collective responsibility, the moral significance of personal identity, the demandingness of morality, the aggregation of moral reasons, and the imposition of risk.

We will be asking questions such as the following: Are individuals responsible for the actions of groups they belong to? Can we hold groups responsible when no individual seems to be at fault? What matters in personal survival? How should I balance my obligations to my future self against my obligations to others? How demanding is morality? How should we aggregate the competing moral complaints of different people? When it is morally acceptable to impose risks on others?

View the course syllabus

Availability 2018

Semester 1


Coordinator(s) Professor Timothy Mulgan


PHIL 726: 15.0 points

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