Global Opportunities

POL3050 : The Ethics of Killing

Semesters
Semester 2 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0

Aims

This module aims to:
•       Foster knowledge and understanding of the basic concepts which inform theoretical and empirical discussions in the ethics of killing and saving lives.
•       Demonstrate the interplay between normative and empirical considerations when it comes to assessing, proposing, and recommending policies.
•       Equip students with the skills necessary to understand and critically analyse real-world arguments relating to the political significance of ethics of killing and saving lives.
•       Help students to draw their own conclusions, and the relationship of these theories to specific practical public policy issues.

Outline Of Syllabus

Topics studied may include:

Methods and Moral Theory
Killing vs. Letting Die
The Doctrine of Double Effect
Do Intentions Matter for Permissibility?
Liability to Defensive Killing
Killing the Innocent in Self-Defence
Drones and Counterterrorism
Saving the Greater Number
The Non-Identity Problem
Killing Non-Human Animals
Essay writing workshop

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Structured Guided LearningLecture materials111:0011:00Pre-recorded lecture materials
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture111:0011:00PiP Lecture
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture112:0022:00Guided reading for seminar preperation
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion1145:00145:00Independent study/Assessment preparation and completion
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching111:0011:00PiP Seminar
Total200:00
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Pre-recorded lecture materials
Connected Outcome
•       Have a good understanding of the main normative issues at stake in ethics of killing and saving lives;
•       Understand objections to the main solutions proposed in the literature;
•       Be able to distinguish empirical from normative objections to specific proposals;

PiP Lecture      
•       Be able to relate these to current political debates, thus locating the relevant moral dilemmas within them;
•       Be able to apply the arguments and approaches studied to real and hypothetical cases.
•       team working skills;
•       excellent oral skills.
•       a more flexible and open-minded approach to complex moral issues.

Small group teaching      
•       Be able to relate these to current political debates, thus locating the relevant moral dilemmas within them;
•       Be able to apply the arguments and approaches studied to real and hypothetical cases.
•       the ability to critically analyse evidence and construct coherent arguments;
•       team working skills;
•       excellent oral skills;
•       a more flexible and open-minded approach to complex moral issues.

Structured research and reading activities      
•       the ability to research, source and examine information thoroughly;
•       intellectual independence and autonomy;

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Essay2M752500 word essay
Written exercise2M251000 word Critical review
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

Assessed Essay 2500 words      
•       Have a good understanding of the main normative issues at stake in ethics of killing and saving lives;
•       Understand objections to the main solutions proposed in the literature;
•       Be able to distinguish empirical from normative objections to specific proposals;
•       Be able to relate these to current political debates, thus locating the relevant moral dilemmas within them;
•       Be able to apply the arguments and approaches studied to real and hypothetical cases.
•       the ability to research, source and examine information thoroughly;
•       the ability to critically analyse evidence and construct coherent arguments;
•       Be able to relate issues surrounding ethics of killing and saving lives to current political debates, thus locating the relevant moral dilemmas within them;
•       Be able to apply the arguments and approaches studied to real and hypothetical cases.
•       excellent written skills;
•       intellectual independence and autonomy;

Critical Review 1000 words      
•       Have a good understanding of the main normative issues at stake in ethics of killing and saving lives;
•       Understand objections to the main solutions proposed in the literature;
•       Be able to distinguish empirical from normative objections to specific proposals;
•       Be able to relate these to current political debates, thus locating the relevant moral dilemmas within them;
•       Be able to apply the arguments and approaches studied to real and hypothetical cases.
•       the ability to research, and examine information thoroughly;
•       the ability to critically analyse evidence and construct coherent arguments;
•       excellent written skills
•       intellectual independence and autonomy;

Reading Lists

Timetable