Course Description for Moral Conflict
Prerequisite: Admission to the MA in practical philosophy and applied ethics or admission to the grad certif. in applied ethics or permission of the philosophy grad coordinator
This course will examine both the philosophical and practical issues raised by (apparent) fact that values can come into conflict. We will examine potential tensions both within morality (between liberty and equality for instance) and between morality and other evaluative concerns (such as self-interest). Question to be considered include: do moral values necessarily harmonize with one another? Might the idea of all good things co-existing be conceptually incoherent? If one comes to think that moral values are inevitably in tension with one another, what philosophical and practical upshot should this have? How much, if at all, can moral theory help in resolving moral dilemmas? Does liberalism, as some have argued, embody the best form of socio-political response to the plural and conflicting nature of value?