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A sneak peek of the Ethics & Global Responsibility course

12 January 2021

Have you ever wondered what is wrong, if anything, with the herd immunity strategy to handle the global pandemic? How to repair historical injustices inflicted on colonised countries? What do we owe to people living with severe disabilities? The Ethics & Global Responsibility course tackles these questions and many more, questions of ethics and politics-- how to live well and how to live collectively.

In the course students are introduced to major ethical theories and challenged with thorny ethical dilemmas by Élise Rouméas, PhD. Together they discuss a wide range of topics, from animal rights, feministic politics, to post-colonialism. They do so by listening to thinkers from various backgrounds, by conversing with each other and by doing a lot of role playing. Students often must argue against their own views!

Spoiler alert: philosophy rarely gives definite answers, but triggers more and more questions. Philosophy can make us feel quite confused at times. Yet novel questions are essential to expand our moral imagination. Moral imagination—the ability to envisage different moral perspectives, to invent new vocabulary and slogans (e.g. #MeToo), to picture what a fairer world would be—is essential to collective life. Without moral imagination, we would not be able to think of all of us human beings as equal. We would not be able to conceive of “non-human animals” as right holders. Without moral imagination, women would not have conceived of themselves as voters and slaves as worthy of freedom.

Reading ancient and contemporary thinkers, scrutinising our moral intuitions, challenging our preconceptions and learning from others’ points of view are all ways to improve our understanding of ethics. The Ethics & Global Responsibility course invites UCF students to a short, but intense, philosophical journey during which they probably get a bit lost and confused at times, but if they stick together as a team, they are able to find new, perhaps unexplored, moral paths.

Last modified:12 January 2021 1.50 p.m.

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