Good Life: Morality, Conscience, and Virtue
HNSM 257 - Good Life: Morality, Conscience, and Virtue3 hours What is a good life? This deceptively simple question will guide us through this course as we explore what it means to be a human being and citizen and to live a good life from the perspective of ancient Greek philosophers (Plato and Aristotle), a 17th century British philosopher (Hobbes), an 18th century Anglican bishop and moral philosopher (Butler), a contemporary philosopher (Midgley), and a contemporary moral psychologist (Callahan). We will engage a number of questions related to our search for “the good life.” What is morality, and why do people behave morally? Are human beings inherently good, or is moral behavior contrary to our natural inclinations? Does the moral life consist of obligations and demands that we must meet, or is morality concerned with the qualities and characteristics that we embody? Can we make universal claims or judgments about what is good and just? What role do reason, emotion, religion, and conscience play in all of this? We will consider these questions in relation to the course readings and in light of our own experiences, current events, and challenges facing the world today.