PHIL 3/429-001/880AH-001: Kant's Ethics (in Historical Perspective)

Course Syllabus --- Winter 2018

Instructor: David Elliott
Seminars: MW 10:00-11:15
Location: AH 412
Office: AH 410
Office Hours: Wed. 11:30-12:30 and Thurs. 2:30-3:30 (or by appointment)
Phone: (306) 585-4324
Email: elliotda@uregina.ca
Web Page: http://phil.uregina.ca/elliotda

Course Description

A study of the moral philosophy of Immanuel Kant and its impact from the time of his contemporaries to the present. The course will proceed through the following topical areas:

  1. Careful reading of Kant's major writings in ethics---particularly the Groundwork and the Metaphysics of Morals.

  2. Historical Assessments (Hegel, Schopenhauer, Marx and Engels, Mill, Sidgwick, etc.).

  3. Contemporary Applications/Issues.

Note: This course may be taken to fulfill either an upper-level value theory or history credit in the undergraduate philosophy program.

Course Requirements

(1) PHIL 329

Assignment Value Date
Participation 10% N/A
Reading Analysis 1 20% February 16
Reading Analysis 2 20% March 12
Term Paper 50% April 13

Participation is based primarily on regular attendance and involvement in the course. Seminar presentations are not required. The first and second reading analyses should each be comparatively brief (no more than pages double-spaced typed or equivalent), and should be examinations of two separate, distinct readings or passages. The final term paper should be between 8-10 pages in length. Some topics will be suggested for this assignment, but students will be encouraged to pursue their own interests. The final term paper is mandatory; it must be completed in order to pass the course.

(2) PHIL 429

Assignment Value Date
Participation 20% N/A
First Essay 20% February 17
Term Paper 60% April 13

Participation involves at least one seminar presentation along with regular attendance and seminar participation. The first essay should be between 5-8 pages in length, and should be on a sufficiently distinct issue from the term paper. The final term paper should be between 11-13 pages in length. Topics will be suggested but students are strongly encouraged to pursue their own interests. The final term paper is mandatory; it must be completed in order to pass the course.

(3) PHIL 880

Assignment Value Date
Participation 25% N/A
First Essay 15% February 17
Term Paper 60% April 13

Participation involves two seminar presentations, regular attendance and seminar participation, and some extra tutorials (as per student interest). Each student should make at least one appointment to see me and discuss the topics for the term paper. The first paper is optional. If it is not submitted, the final term paper will be worth 75%. Also, it will be counted only if a student's final course grade is higher when calculated as per the above table. This first paper can be a partial discussion or draft of the final term paper. It should be---but is not required to be---related to the same topic/area as the term paper. The final term paper should be between 13-15 pages. The final term paper is mandatory; it must be completed in order to pass the course.

Notes for All Levels:

  • Seminar presentations are not expected to be long: 10 or 15 minutes will be sufficient. (Students should go over the main details/highlights of the assigned readings for the class, and then raise a few critical or hermeneutical points.)

  • The grading standards that will be applied for each section of the course will be different for each section. They will reflect the expectations an instructor would have for someone working at the particular section/level that one is enrolled in.

  • The April 13 deadline is the last official date that term assignments can be required. However, term papers submitted on or before April 18 (final examination date) will not face any late penalty or differential grading assessment.

Required Texts

  • Kant, Immanuel. Practical Philosophy: Cambridge Edition of the Works of Immanuel Kant. Cambridge University Press, 1999.

Some other required and optional readings will be made available in the following ways:

  1. Some historical readings are in the public domain. These will available for downloading or reading on the course web page

  2. Some copyrighted readings may be placed on 24 or 48 hour hold at the University of Regina library.

  3. Some copyrighted materials are available as electronic texts from the University of Regina's holdings. Links to these holdings will be provided on the course web page.

For the first month or so of this seminar, we will be reading exclusively from Practical Philosophy. Sometime before Reading Week, a complete list of all of these other readings (with appropriate links) will be posted on the course web page.