4407702: FU_Philosophy and Human Values (Vorlesung)

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Semester:WS 17/18
Lektionen / Semester:24.0 L / 18.0 h
Selbststudium:72.0 h



Bachelorstudiengang Betriebswirtschaftslehre (01.09.2012)
Masterstudium Architektur (01.09.2014)
Bachelorstudium Architektur (01.09.2014)
Fakultätsübergreifende Wahlfächer (01.09.2014)
Masterstudium Information Systems (01.09.2015)
Masterstudium Finance (01.09.2015)
Masterstudium Entrepreneurship (01.09.2015)


This course looks at a wide range of philosophical topics that deal with human relations to the world from an ethical perspective. Those relations concern here in particular: the environment, art, political authority, and culture. Hence, topics touch on mainly:

- Environmental ethics (What are the moral status and value of environment? Do we have obligations to preserve nature? If yes, how are those obligations to be formulated? What are the principles of and arguments for sustainability?)

- Aesthetics (What is art? What is a work of art? What is an aesthetic experience? Can/should art be evaluated through moral standards?)

- Political Ethics (What is a state? What are the philosophical justifications for the state? What makes states legitimate? What is democracy? How to justify citizen's duties to obey and state's right to coerce?)

- Ethics of Culture (What is culture? How does culture participate in the individual's identity? Is the individual determined throughout by culture? Are values relative or universal? What is intercultural dialogue?)

Our focus will be on cornerstone philosophical theories and insights that are useful for understanding not only our relations to the world, but also our obligations and responsibility. To achieve that we'll engage with great philosophers and assess their arguments against the background of topical and concrete questions that we are confronted with in our daily lives.
Challenging reading materials will help access deep philosophical insights that are needed to understand complex moral and socio-political issues.

This course is meant to bring forth the relevance of a philosophical thinking in matters that concern our everyday practical lives. By investigating the foundations of the above-mentioned issues, we'll be better equipped to understand the world around us and formulate personal, clear and well-articulated answers and opinions about matters that concern us all.


Participants will be able to:

  • Describe and familiarize with traditional and contemporary philosophical theories, particularly their ethical aspects.
  • Understand how philosophical insights and theories may be applied to real-life situations and how they can be helpful to tackle them.
  • Identify the connections between theoretical reflections and practical applications.
  • Formulate personal and well-articulated positions and develop a critical thinking about moral and socio-political issues.
  • Develop critical thinking.



Lectures, written examination


- Edward Craig, Philosophy. A Very Short Introduction (Oxford: OUP, 2002.)
- Michael Boylan (ed.), Environmental Ethics (John Wiley & Sons, 2nd edition, 2013).
- David Miller, Political Philosophy. A Very Short Introduction (Oxford: OUP, 2003.)
- Nöel Carroll, Philosophy of Art: A Contemporary Introduction (London & New York: Routledge, 1999.)
- Michael Huemer, The Problem of Political Authority: An Examination of the Right to Coerce and the Duty to Obey (Basingstoke: Palgrave MacMillan, 2013.)
- Amartya Sen, Identity and Violence: The Illusion of Destiny (New York: Norton, 2006.)
- John Cook, Morality and Cultural Differences (New York: Oxford University Press, 1999.)


Written examination (100%): Essay exam (2500 - 3000 words, specific criteria will follow, choice of topics will be announced on the 13.12.2017 (sign in till 10.12.2017)

Sign in for the lecture series and the examination, separately.

  • Course based on continuous assessment, details see under "assessment".
  • Written examination about lecture and the additional lecture as an exam essay.
  • The examination date of this irregular lecture: 13.12.2017 till 19.1.2018
> Sign in till 10.12.2017
> Topic will be announced 13.12.2017
> Hand in your essay 19.1.2018
  • There will be one repeat testing date - if requested - in summer semester 2018.


Passed / Failed


Fakultätsübergreifendes Wahlfach:
Es gelten keine speziellen Anmeldemodalitäten.