PP1VV-Values and Virtues

Module Provider: Philosophy
Number of credits: 20 [10 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Spring term module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Module version for: 2014/5

Module Convenor: Mr Luke Elson

Email: luke.elson@reading.ac.uk

Summary module description:
A survey of the main contemporary normative moral theories.

This module aims to enable students to engage with the most important arguments and theories in normative ethics.

Assessable learning outcomes:
By the end of this module, students should be able to outline, in clearly written prose, how to apply some of these theories and what their strengths and weaknesses are. Students’ oral skills should also be improved, especially by their reports and discussions in the seminars.

Outcomes to be assessed include (a) students’ grasp of how the central moral theories work and what their strengths and weaknesses are and (b) students’ writing skills on highly abstract topics.

Additional outcomes:
This module should help develop abstract and critical thought

Outline content:
The themes considered in this module are:
• Psychological Egoism and Ethical Egoism
• Utility and Act-utilitarianism’s Criterion of Right and Wrong
• Act-utilitarianism as a way of deciding what to do
• Common-sense Morality and Deontological Pluralism
• Moral Contractualism
• Rule-consequentialism
• Virtue Ethics
• World Hunger

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
The course consists of twenty lectures and ten seminars. Lectures will include some class discussion. At the first seminar, the seminar tutor will explain what preparation is required for each seminar, which will be to read the relevant material and write a page to hand in at the seminar each week. Each student must also present a seminar report.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 20
Seminars 10
Guided independent study 170
Total hours by term 200.00
Total hours for module 200.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written exam 60
Written assignment including essay 40

Other information on summative assessment:
Two 1500-word essays, worth 20% each, to be submitted by 12 noon on Wednesday of Weeks 6 and 11 of term.

Electronic submission
All coursework should be submitted electronically via Blackboard and in hard copy to the Philosophy office.

Formative assessment methods:

Penalties for late submission:
The Module Convener will apply the following penalties for work submitted late, in accordance with the University policy.

  • where the piece of work is submitted up to one calendar week after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for the piece of work will be deducted from the mark for each working day (or part thereof) following the deadline up to a total of five working days;
  • where the piece of work is submitted more than five working days after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): a mark of zero will be recorded.

  • The University policy statement on penalties for late submission can be found at: http://www.reading.ac.uk/web/FILES/qualitysupport/penaltiesforlatesubmission.pdf
    You are strongly advised to ensure that coursework is submitted by the relevant deadline. You should note that it is advisable to submit work in an unfinished state rather than to fail to submit any work.

    Length of examination:
    The final exam, worth 70%, will be two hours in which time you will be required to answer 2 questions from a choice of 6.

    Requirements for a pass:
    A mark of 40% overall.

    Reassessment arrangements:
    Resits in August/September by written examination only.

    Last updated: 8 October 2014

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