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Course Detail

Course Name Moral Philosophy in the West
Course Code 21PHL514
Program M.A. in Philosophy
Semester Two
Credits 4


Unit I

Nature and Scope of Ethics: Nature of Ethical Questions, Three Forms of Ethics- Normative Ethics, Meta Ethics and Applied Ethics.
Psychological Basis of Moral Action: Desire, Wish, Will, Character and Conduct, Problem of Responsibility and Freedom of Will, Determinism and Self Determinism.

Unit II

Theory of Virtue: Socrates. Plato: Cardinal Virtues- Concept of Justice and Aristotle: Middle Path. Eudemonism.

Unit III

Theories on Action and Consequence: Hedonism, Psychological Hedonism, Utilitarianism of Bentham and J. S. Mill, Act and Rule Utilitarianism.
Social Contract Theory: Hobbes, Locke and Russo

Unit IV

Theories on Action and Moral Law: Categorical Imperative of Immanuel Kant, Kant’s Maxims of Morality, Action and Self Realisation. Idealism
Theories: of Hegel, F. H. Bradley, T. H. Green and Henry Sedgwick Thorough

Unit V

Logical Positivism, Emotivism and Meta Ethics: Distinction Between Ethical Cognitivism and Non-Cognitivism, Ethical Naturalism and Non-Naturalism, Naturalistic Fallacy.
Applied Ethics: Bio-Ethics, Business Ethics and Media Ethics.


“Introduction to Western Moral Philosophy” is a course offered to S2 MA Philosophy students. It aims to provide an insight to the Western moral philosophical systems. The course provides a detailed understanding on various concepts of Western moral philosophy. This course will help the students to get a clear understanding on the moral philosophical teachings in the West.

Course Objectives

1. To introduce the moral teachings of the West
2. To analyse the scope and nature of Ethics with various schools of Morality
3. To get a clear understanding on the theory of Virtue and its implications
4. To understand the theories on action and its consequences

Course Outcomes

CO1: To get a historical understanding on Western moral philosophical system
CO2: To understand the moral concepts from various western philosophers
CO3: To analyse the contextual relevance of western moral teachings
CO4: To develop a culture of critical and analytical thinking




1, Jadunath Sinha. A Manual of Ethics. London: New Central Book Agency, 2014. English.
2, William K. Frankena. Ethics. New Delhi: Prentice-Hall of India, 2005. English.
3, Meckentire. Ethics

CO – PO Affinity Map



CO1 3 1 2
CO2 3 3 2
CO3 3 3 1
CO4 3 3 2 1

3- Strong, 2- Moderate, 1- Weak

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