Twentieth Century Ethics

David Solomon, Ph.D.

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This course is intended to be a general introduction to the main topics and the most significant developments in 20th-century ethics. Several of the figures discussed in these lectures, notably Elizabeth Anscombe and Alasdair MacIntyre, are among the most important Catholic philosophers in the century. This course focuses on Analytic, Anglophone ethics which had dominated moral philosophy in the universities of the U.S. and the U.K. for most of the century. There is a clear point of origination of this tradition in G. E. Moore’s Principia Ethica, published in 1903, and a clear line of development within this tradition to the present day.


Twelve 30-minute Lectures

  1. Introduction and 19th-Century Ethics
  2. G. E. Moore and Intuitionism
  3. Emotivism and Non-Cognitivism
  4. Recovering the World
  5. Metaethics and Normative Theory
  6. John Rawls: Reviving Kant
  7. The New Consequentialism
  8. Rediscovering Virtue
  9. After Virtue
  10. Anti-Theory
  11. The Applied Ethics Revolution
  12. Whither Ethics?
 Study Materials