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CODE 106699
ACADEMIC YEAR 2024/2025
CREDITS
SCIENTIFIC DISCIPLINARY SECTOR M-FIL/03
LANGUAGE English
TEACHING LOCATION
  • GENOVA
SEMESTER 2° Semester
TEACHING MATERIALS AULAWEB

OVERVIEW

The course introduces and critically discusses the main issues in moral epistemology and aims at providing students with an overview of the key views and open debates in this field.

AIMS AND CONTENT

LEARNING OUTCOMES

This course purports to investigate the key epistemic challenges to morality and offer an overview of the main positions in the contemporary discussion in moral epistemology, with a focus on the Anglo-American debate

AIMS AND LEARNING OUTCOMES

The course aims at providing students with the conceptual and methodological tools to navigate the current discussion in moral epistemology. The course will encompass selected themes such as the possibility of moral knowledge (standard accounts of moral knowledge and moral skepticism), the sources of moral knowledge (e.g., moral perception, intuition, moral reasoning, moral testimony), moral disagreement and moral expertise. 

The specific objectives of the course encompass:

  • Introducing the main accounts of moral knowledge;
  • Presenting and discussing the main ongoing discussions about selected themes in moral epistemology;
  • Analyzing the ethical, epistemological, and broader implications of these discussions. 

The main expected learning outcomes encompass:

  • Acquiring knowledge of the main views and discussions in moral epistemology;
  • Developing the appropriate conceptual, terminological, and methodological tools of (analytic) philosophical discussion;
  • Learning how to critically analyze specialistic philosophical essays and developing argumentation and collective discussion skills;
  • Learning how to conduct a philosophical debate;
  • Acquiring the ability to manage one's social interactions with a collaborative attitude, constructive communication, and dialogical skills;
  • Demonstrating work autonomy, the ability to handle primary literature, argumentative ability and collaborative attitude, coordination and negotiation.
  • Acquiring the ability to learn how to learn 
  • Acquiring the ability to write essays and create projects 

PREREQUISITES

The course will be held in English. Students are expected to read texts and take active part in classroom discussions in English.

TEACHING METHODS

The course will include lectures and in-class presentations by attending students ("frequentanti"). Professor Justin McBrayer (Fort Lewis College), Fullbright Scholar 2025 at our department, will take an active part in several lectures. Students are required to enroll in Aulaweb.

SYLLABUS/CONTENT

The course introduces and analyzes the main accounts of moral knowledge and the main skeptical arguments against the possibility of acquiring knowledge in the moral domain. It also discusses the main accounts of the various sources of moral knowledge, such as moral perception, intuition, moral reasoning, and moral testimony. Finally, the course addresses such questions as: What epistemic value should we pursue in the moral domain? How can moral disagreement be resolved? Whom can we trust in the moral domain? Can there be moral experts? 

RECOMMENDED READING/BIBLIOGRAPHY

Bibliography (6 cfu):

  1. One reading among the following:
  • A selection of essays that will be provided during the course
  • Audi, R. (2012), Moral Perception, Princeton, Princeton University Press.
  • Zimmermann, A. (2010), Moral Epistemology, London, Routledge.
  • Zimmermann, A., Jones, K., & Timmons, M. (2019), The Routledge Handbook of Moral Epistemology, London, Routledge. [selected essays]

Alternatively, students can write:

2) One short paper (3000-3500) on a relevant topic (which has to be selected with the lecturer)

Students who do not attend the course (“non frequentanti”):

Should meet both requirements 1) and 2). 

TEACHERS AND EXAM BOARD

LESSONS

LESSONS START

tbc

Class schedule

The timetable for this course is available here: Portale EasyAcademy

EXAMS

EXAM DESCRIPTION

Students who attend the course (“frequentanti”): in-class presentation and written essay evaluation 

The essay must be sent to the lecturer at least two weeks before the oral exam date. Students must enroll in the exam session at least one week before the exam date.

 

Students who do not attend the course (“non frequentanti”): written essay evaluation and oral exam 

The essay must be sent to the lecturer at least two weeks before the oral exam date. Students must enroll in the exam session at least one week before the exam date.

ASSESSMENT METHODS

Students who attend the course (frequentanti): 

  • in-class presentation (15 points out of 30): understanding of the topic presented (5 points), argumentative ability (5 points), and clarity of exposition (5 points) 
  • evaluation of the written essay (15 points out of 30): understanding of the topic presented (5 points), argumentative ability (5 points), and clarity of exposition (5 points)

Students who do not attend the course (non frequentanti): 

  • evaluation of the written essay (15 points out of 30): understanding of the topic presented (5 points), argumentative ability (5 points), and clarity of exposition (5 points) 
  • oral examination (15 points out of 30): understanding of the topics covered in the program and the ability to critically analyze the philosophical positions under discussion 

FURTHER INFORMATION

Those who do not attend the course (“non frequentanti”) are required to inform the lecturer. 

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Agenda 2030 - Sustainable Development Goals
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