Courses @ C4E

Please check Timetable and ACORN for up-to-date information on ETH courses



ETH401H1-Y – Seminar in Ethics (fall & spring)
Larisa Svirsky (Postdoctoral Fellow, Centre for Ethics; PhD, UNC-Chapel Hill)Wednesday 11-2 (LA200)
The seminar will expose advanced undergraduates to cutting edge research in ethics. It meets bi-weekly over the entire academic year. Participants will attend research presentations at the Centre for Ethics (topics have included bioethics, indigenous rights, equality and education, free speech, and workplace democracy). They will also meet individually with the instructor to plan an independent research project related to the theme of the course. In the winter term, students will present their research and discuss it with the other students in the seminar. (Note that this is an “H1Y” course — a half-credit course taught throughout both Fall and Winter terms.)
Prerequisites: One of PHL365H1, PHL375H1, PHL271H1, POL200Y1 or an equivalent, POL330Y1 or an equivalent. Preference for enrollment will be given to students of the Department of Philosophy, the Department of Political Science, and Trinity College’s program in Ethics, Society, and Law.

ETH350H1-S- Topics in Value Theory – Applied Ethics  
Martina Favaretto (Postdoctoral Fellow, Centre for Ethics; PhD, Indiana University)
Thursday 10-12 (LA200)
This course aims to improve your ability to think critically about a variety of ethical issues that are relevant in contemporary ethical debates. We will start the class by focusing on the ethical and social significance of protest. Some of the questions we will cover include: Why is protesting something of value? Are political protests legitimate only insofar as they are peaceful? What is the moral status of rioting? Next, we will explore the notion of epistemic injustice by focusing on how racist, sexist or heterosexist biases affect who is taken to be trustworthy or credible. We will ask: What is the relation between epistemic injustices and other forms of injustice (e.g., affective injustices)? Another topic we will explore pertains to the philosophy of criminal law. We will analyze the role of the imminence requirement for self-defense, as well as how this requirement has often precluded victims of domestic abuse who kill their violent partners to be protected by the law. We will ask: should the law of self-defense be modified, and if so, how? Finally, we will explore some topics pertaining to the ethics of AI. We will cover the following questions: How do we prevent learning algorithms from acquiring morally objectionable biases? What sort of ethical rules should AI (e.g., a self-driving car) use? 
Distribution Requirements: HumanitiesBreadth Requirements: Thought, Belief and Behaviour (2)


Not taught in 2023-24

ETH201H1 – Contemporary Moral Problems
ETH201 is an introductory course in ethics. How should we live? Which course of action is the right one? When and why should we blame ourselves and/or others? We all have and exercise moral opinions; this course is about justifying them. The course begins with some critical reasoning skills, and then explores philosophical strategies for justifying moral beliefs. We will then examine some specific issues of moral and political significance before concluding with psychological mechanisms behind moral attitudes and behaviour.
Distribution Requirements: Humanities

Breadth Requirements: Thought, Belief and Behaviour (2)

ETH210H1 – Rationality and Action
An introductory survey of attempts that have been made to develop a formal model of practical rationality, with particular emphasis on the way moral considerations enter into those deliberations. Topics may include: utility-maximization theory, introductory game theory, consequentialism, and deontic reasoning, as well as the limitations of rationality.
Distribution Requirements: Humanities
Breadth Requirements: Thought, Belief and Behaviour (2)

ETH220H1 – Moral Psychology
A study of issues that arise at the intersection of psychology and moral philosophy. Why do people act morally? What role do reason and emotion play? Can we know what is right, yet not be motivated to do it? What role can science play in advancing our understanding of morality?
Distribution Requirements: Humanities
Breadth Requirements: Thought, Belief and Behaviour (2)

ETH230H1 – Morality in Cross-Cultural Perspective
Is morality universal, or does it vary by time and place? This course will examine cultural differences in moral codes from both empirical and philosophical perspectives.

Distribution Requirements: Humanities
Breadth Requirements: Thought, Belief and Behaviour (2)

ETH1000H1-Y – Ethics of Artificial Intelligence in Context (fall & spring)
Tuesday 3-6pm
This year-long, half-credit graduate course exposes students to advanced methods employed in the analysis of ethical issues related to the production, dissemination, and application of AI in a variety of contexts. A diverse team of speakers from a range of academic disciplines including, for instance, computer science; criminology; engineering; law; literary studies; media studies; philosophy; or political science, will model various methodological approaches and modes of analysis.

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