Admission to this course is restricted to MA students in Philosophy.
Admission to one of the following programmes is required:
MA Philosophy 60 EC: specialisation Ethics and Politics
MA Philosophy 120 EC: specialisation Philosophy of Law
MA Philosophy 120 EC: specialisation Philosophy of Political Science
This is a course in contemporary analytic metaethics on moral error theory, according to which ordinary moral judgments are truth-apt but never true. We will consider various arguments for and against moral error theory. We will also ask whether normative ethics and political philosophy are possible after moral error theory, and in order to do this we will assess various proposals for how to respond to error theory, including but not limited to fictionalism and revolutionary expressivism. Authors to be discussed include J.L. Mackie, Richard Joyce, and Jonas Olson.
This course aims to:
give students knowledge of moral error theory and the various ways in which normative ethics and political philosophy might be possible if moral error theory is true;
acquint student with key writings on moral error theory and its implications for normative ethics and political philosophy, including current and cutting-edge research on this topic.
Students who successfully complete the course will have a good understanding of:
- moral error theory and its implications.
Students who successfully complete the course will be able to:
practice, refine and further develop oral argumentation and presentation skills in analytic philosophy;
critically compare and synthesize the theories and concepts of the authors discussed and to apply them to contemporary conceptual debates and problems in writing.
See: MA Philosophy 60 EC
See: MA Philosophy 120 EC
Mode of instruction
Class attendance is required.
Total course load (10 EC x 28 hrs): 280 hours
Attending seminars (13 × 3 hours): 39 hours
Preparation of classes and study of literature: 130 hours
Preparation of mid-term essay: 50 hours
Preparation of final essay: 61 hours
Mid-term essay of 2,000 words
Final essay of 2,500 words
The final mark for the course is established by determination of the weighted average of several subtests:
Mid-term essay: 40%
Final essay: 60%
One resit will be offered, covering the entire course content and consisting of an essay. The grade will replace previously earned grades for subtests. Students who have obtained a satisfactory grade cannot take the resit.
How and when an exam review will take place will be disclosed together with the publication of the exam results at the latest. If a student requests a review within 30 days after publication of the exam results, an exam review will have to be organized.
Blackboard will be used for:
posting texts and other documents (syllabus, assessment criteria, etc.);
To be announced.
Enrolment through uSis is mandatory.
General information about uSis is available on the website
Students are strongly advised to register in uSis through the activity number which can be found in the timetables for courses and exams.
Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs