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Introduction to Ethics: Moral Problems and the Good Life

A rigorous introduction to ethics. We’ll think about well-being, objectivity, key historical figures and approaches, what we owe to others, and more.
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This course has two goals. The first goal is to introduce you to key questions in ethics. What makes your life go better or worse for you? Can ethics be objective? What are the main historical approaches in ethics? What do you owe to others? The second goal is to get you thinking rigorously about ethical questions yourself. This will help you develop your critical reasoning and argumentative skills more generally. Studying philosophy is valuable in itself, but it’s also excellent preparation for a wide variety of other fields. Philosophy majors do exceptionally well in the GRE, GMAT and LSAT, for example. See here for more details. This course offers instructor grading. If you choose to pursue a verified certificate, a professional philosopher will carefully read, grade and comment upon your work. We believe that this is the best way to learn philosophy. Verified learners will be eligible for the MITx Philosophy Award and (for learners in high school) the MITx High School Philosophy Award. The awards will be given by the MIT Philosophy Department for outstanding written work. Award winners will be profiled on the MIT Philosophy Department website. See there for additional information and profiles of winners from previous years.
Introduction to Ethics: Moral Problems and the Good Life
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