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Module Specifications

Archived Version 2022 - 2023

Module Title
Module Code

Online Module Resources

NFQ level 9 Credit Rating 10
Pre-requisite None
Co-requisite None
Compatibles None
Incompatibles None

Intimate acquaintance with some of the major primary ethics texts leads to a better understanding of and more confidence in dealing with ethical issues in general. The purpose of this module is to introduce students to a selection of classic texts in the field of ethics thereby providing a more in-depth examination of the texts that are at the source of the major ethical theories covered in Eth5A (Introduction to Ethics). Students are invited to study and discuss excerpts of original texts crucial for the development of the main ethical theories. In this way, they broaden their understanding of contemporary ethics and its historical development. In addition, students enhance their skills in critical reading and assessing ethical theories. Attendance, active contribution to classes and engagement in discussions are expected. Finally, students are encouraged to examine one particular issue in depth in a paper.

Learning Outcomes

1. Demonstrate an intimate acquaintance and a critical understanding of a selection of classic texts in the field of ethics.
2. Display a critical awareness of the historical development of a selection of major ethical theories.
3. Apply skills in critical reading and assessing ethical theories.
4. Give evidence of profound background knowledge of one of the readings and provide an in-depth analysis of one particular issue that arises against this background by completion of a paper.

Workload Full-time hours per semester
Type Hours Description
Lecture2No Description
Assignment Completion7No Description
Class Presentation10Preparation
Independent Study12.1Reading and assignments
Online activity5No Description
Total Workload: 36.1

All module information is indicative and subject to change. For further information,students are advised to refer to the University's Marks and Standards and Programme Specific Regulations at: http://www.dcu.ie/registry/examinations/index.shtml

Indicative Content and Learning Activities

Protagoras (c. 390 BC)

Nicomachean Ethics (c. 350 BC)

John Locke
Second Treatise of Government (1690)

Immanuel Kant
Groundwork of the Metaphysic of Morals (1785)

Jeremy Bentham
An Introduction to the Principles of Morals and Legislation (1789)

Mary Wollstonecraft
A Vindication of the Rights of Woman (1792)

John Stuart Mill
Utilitarianism (1861)

Gertrude Elizabeth Margaret Anscombe
Modern moral philosophy. Philosophy, 33(124), 1-19 (1958)

Rosalind Hursthouse
"Normative Virtue Ethics", in Roger Crisp (ed.), How Should One Live? (Oxford University Press, 1996), 19–33

Assessment Breakdown
Continuous Assessment% Examination Weight%
Course Work Breakdown
TypeDescription% of totalAssessment Date
Reassessment Requirement
Resit arrangements are explained by the following categories;
1 = A resit is available for all components of the module
2 = No resit is available for 100% continuous assessment module
3 = No resit is available for the continuous assessment component
Indicative Reading List

  • Plato: 0, Protagoras, http://classics.mit.edu/Plato/protagoras.html,
  • Aristotle: 0, Nicomachean Ethics, http://classics.mit.edu/Aristotle/nicomachaen.html,
  • John Locke: 0, Second Treatise of Government, http://www.earlymoderntexts.com/assets/pdfs/locke1689a.pdf,
  • Immanuel Kant: 0, Groundwork of the Metaphysic of Morals, http://www.earlymoderntexts.com/assets/pdfs/kant1785.pdf,
  • Jeremy Bentham: 0, An Introduction to the Principles of Morals and Legislation, http://www.earlymoderntexts.com/assets/pdfs/bentham1780.pdf,
  • Mary Wollstonecraft: 0, A Vindication of the Rights of Woman, http://www.earlymoderntexts.com/assets/pdfs/wollstonecraft1792.pdf,
  • John Stuart Mill: 0, Utilitarianism, http://www.earlymoderntexts.com/assets/pdfs/mill1863.pdf,
Other Resources

Programme or List of Programmes