JSB175 Lecture One Notes
‘Introduction to Ethics’
First piece of assessment is the tutorial presentation. In Week 3, each student will be
allocated a topic to lead a class discussion on in the following weeks.
PowerPoint slides must be included with a few slides relating to the discussion. Questions
and discussion must be well thought out beforehand.
Those performing in earlier weeks will be graded more leniently than those with more time
to prepare and vice versa.
Can be performed in groups of two to three or solo. Larger groups will be required to speak
Discussion must keep the class engaged and get people talking about the issues.
Persuasive theory essay due in Week 12. Choose an essay topic from Blackboard, then pick
one of the four ethical theories studied and analyse the topic accordingly.
Final exam multiple choice. Exam considered difficult. Parts of lectures relevant to exam will
be pointed out each week.
What is Ethics?
Ethics is the study of moral judgement – of what is right and wrong.
There is the practical sense of what is right (example – if you want to have children an
abortion is not right) and the moral sense of what is right in which a judgement is made
(example – abortion is never right).
Four areas of ethics will be examined over the unit – deontology, virtue ethics,
consequentialism and egoism.
What is Social Ethics?
Moral judgements made about a society.
Judgements about the justice system and how it should operate and be structured.
Whose Morality, Whose Truth?
Who sets the moral agenda?
The media has a strong influence on our perception of situations.
So what is truth – is it relative or are we all determinants of our own reality? Can two
opposing truths both be genuine?
How do we determine what is truth?
Alexandr Solzhenitsyn – ‘one word of truth outweighs the whole world’.
Three Different Views of Truth – Balls and Strikes
There were once three baseball umpires with differing views on balls and strikes, which correspond
to the three differing views we can take