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PY4655   Advanced Metaethics

Academic year(s): 2019-2020

Key information

SCOTCAT credits : 30

ECTS credits : 15

Level : SCQF Level 10

Semester: 1

Availability restrictions: Not automatically available to General Degree students

Planned timetable: To be arranged.

We take ourselves to know lots of moral truths: slavery is unjust, murder is wrong, we shouldn't ignore those in need. Beliefs like this are among those that we're most certain of. Most of us also take moral questions that we don't yet have a view about to be very important, as well. But throughout the history of philosophy, philosophers have worried about the nature and status of morality. What, exactly, are we saying when we say that murder is wrong? What is it for something to be good or bad? Even if we take ourselves to know that murder is wrong, how do we know? What did we have to do to learn it? Some philosophers have been moved by the lack of satisfactory answers to questions like these to question the whole enterprise of morality. Even if we can agree that there are some things that are morally wrong for us to do, and even if we can know what those are, we may ask: So what? Why should we do what morality demands of us? This module addresses these kinds of metaethical questions.

Relationship to other modules

Pre-requisite(s): Before taking this module you must take PY1006 or take PY1012

Anti-requisite(s): You cannot take this module if you take PY3702

Learning and teaching methods and delivery

Weekly contact: Students will attend 3 hours of class (lecture and seminar) per week. The staff member will hold a weekly office hour for consultation for students on this module.

Scheduled learning hours: 33

Guided independent study hours: 267

Assessment pattern

As used by St Andrews: Coursework = 100%

As defined by QAA
Written examinations : 0%
Practical examinations : 0%
Coursework: 100%

Re-assessment: 2 essays of 3,500 words = 100%


Module coordinator: Dr J Snedegar
Module teaching staff: Dr J Snedegar