Foundations of Ethics

Foundations of Ethics

Ethics, like philosophy, is in search of principles and universals. Ethics reflects on a particular human experience, namely, the experience of the good or of being good, and sets it in the context of the whole. One could also say that ethics reflects on what is the good and how our lives are oriented towards it

Course code: PHEN04

ECTS Credits: 6

Professor: Dr. Javier Enrique Carreño

Table of Contents

Lecture 1 Introduction to the Foundations of Ethics

Lecture 2  Plato’s Euthyphro.. 10

I. The birth of ethical thought in Greece: Socrates and Plato..

II. No God above the Good: Plato’s Euthyphro.

Lecture 3  Plato’s Republic 1


I. What is justice? Plato’s Republic

II. Is justice an advantage? Plato’s Republic


Lecture 4.. Plato's Republic 2

I. Is man unjust by nature? Plato’s Republic 

II. Can man be delivered from the sway of his passions? Plato’s Republic 

Lecture 5

I. How can we know the good? Plato’s Republi

III. Ethics & the form of man. Plato’s Republic 

Handout : Plato’s Divided Line

Lecture 6  Aristotle

I. Introduction to Aristotle.

II. The Nicomachean Ethics.

III. The desire for happiness as the foundation of Ethics. Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics 

V. What is virtue? Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics 


Lecture 7


II. Actions, habituations, and the mean. Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics Bk. II, 1-3..

IV. Nicomachean Ethics Bk. II, 6, 8-9.

Handout on Moral Virtue 

On the Mean:

Definition of Moral Virtue

The Twelve Moral Virtues 

Lecture 8


II. What is intellectual virtue? Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics Bk. 6: 1-3, 5.

III. What is practical wisdom? Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics


Lecture 9

I. Do people do wrong because of ignorance? Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics

II. Overcoming disorderly pleasures and fears. Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics 

Lecture 10

I: What is ethical importance of friendship? Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics 

II. What is man’s highest activity? Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics