- Class Number 7366
- Term Code 3160
- Class Info
- Unit Value 6 units
- Mode of Delivery In Person
- Prof Garrett Cullity
- Prof Garrett Cullity
- Class Dates
- Class Start Date 26/07/2021
- Class End Date 29/10/2021
- Census Date 14/09/2021
- Last Date to Enrol 02/08/2021
This course will deal with a range of core issues in contemporary meta-ethics. Topics covered will include whether there are any objective ethical facts, and if so what kind of facts they could be; what kind of state of mind a moral opinion is; how such opinions can come to be justified; and whether moral language should be understood as descriptive or expressive. We will consider whether ordinary moral judgements might be radically mistaken; what kind of relativity might attach to morality; what is at stake in ethical disagreements; and what methods are appropriate for moral inquiry.
Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:
- describe accurately the main meta-ethical theories covered by the course;
- state the most important arguments for and against those theories;
- evaluate the plausibility of those arguments, offering clearly articulated reasons for their evaluation; and
- develop detailed and well-structured arguments for conclusions concerning two of the topics covered by the course.
The primary methods of philosophical research are reading, discussion and writing. New ideas in philosophy are generated by identifying the strongest versions of existing views, subjecting them to critical scrutiny, and identifying stronger alternatives. This course is structured in a way that is designed to help students to develop these skills. The second half of each lecture class will be spent working to critically examine the theories expounded in the first half. Tutorials will extend this process further through close reading and discussion of leading texts in the field.
Additional Course Costs
Examination Material or equipment
N/A -- assessment in this class is by essays.
N/A. Access to compulsory readings will be via Wattle.
Recommendations for further reading will be supplied in Wattle.
Students will be given feedback in the following forms in this course:
- written comments
- verbal comments
Feedback on essays will be given in writing. Feedback on understanding of reading material will be given verbally in tutorials. Further feedback, outside scheduled classes, can be arranged by appointment with the teaching staff.
ANU is committed to the demonstration of educational excellence and regularly seeks feedback from students. Students are encouraged to offer feedback directly to their Course Convener or through their College and Course representatives (if applicable). The feedback given in these surveys is anonymous and provides the Colleges, University Education Committee and Academic Board with opportunities to recognise excellent teaching, and opportunities for improvement. The Surveys and Evaluation website provides more information on student surveys at ANU and reports on the feedback provided on ANU courses.
|Week/Session||Summary of Activities||Assessment|
|1||2-hr lecture class -- no tutorial||Week 1 topic: Introduction to metaethics Lecture classes will be conducted in a hybrid format. In-person attendance will be possible for students on campus, Zoom attendance will be offered for students participating in the course remotely, and the lectures will also be recorded.|
|2||2-hr lecture class + 1-hr tutorial||Week 2 topic: Moore's non naturalism|
|3||2-hr lecture class + 1-hr tutorial||Week 3 topic: Mackie's error theory|
|4||2-hr lecture class + 1-hr tutorial||Week 4 topics: Aristotelian naturalism First essay due: Friday 20 August|
|5||2-hr lecture class + 1-hr tutorial||Week 5 topic: Humean noncognitivism|
|6||2-hr lecture class + 1-hr tutorial||Week 6 topic: Kantian constructivism|
|7||2-hr lecture class + 1-hr tutorial||Week 7 topic: Naturalism -- elaborations|
|8||2-hr lecture class + 1-hr tutorial||Week 8 topic: Noncognitivism -- elaborations|
|9||2-hr lecture class + 1-hr tutorial||Week 8 topic: Nonnaturalism -- elaborations|
|10||2-hr lecture class + 1-hr tutorial||Week 9 topic: Response-dependent cognitivism|
|11||2-hr lecture class + 1-hr tutorial||Week 10 topic: Evolutionary debunking arguments|
|12||2-hr lecture class + 1-hr tutorial||Week 12 topic: Moral epistemology|
|13||Second essay due: Monday 8 November|
Tutorial registration will be through Wattle -- instructions are provided there. There will be an online tutorial option for students participating in the course remotely.
|Assessment task||Value||Due Date||Return of assessment||Learning Outcomes|
|First Essay||25 %||20/08/2021||03/09/2021||Linked to LO 1,2,3,4|
|Second Essay||55 %||08/11/2021||02/12/2021||Linked to LO 1,2,3,4|
|Weekly Reading notes||20 %||*||*||Linked to LO 1,2,3|
* If the Due Date and Return of Assessment date are blank, see the Assessment Tab for specific Assessment Task details
ANU has educational policies, procedures and guidelines, which are designed to ensure that staff and students are aware of the University’s academic standards, and implement them. Students are expected to have read the Academic Misconduct Rule before the commencement of their course. Other key policies and guidelines include:
The ANU is using Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the Academic Integrity . In rare cases where online submission using Turnitin software is not technically possible; or where not using Turnitin software has been justified by the Course Convener and approved by the Associate Dean (Education) on the basis of the teaching model being employed; students shall submit assessment online via ‘Wattle’ outside of Turnitin, or failing that in hard copy, or through a combination of submission methods as approved by the Associate Dean (Education). The submission method is detailed below.
Moderation of Assessment
Marks that are allocated during Semester are to be considered provisional until formalised by the College examiners meeting at the end of each Semester. If appropriate, some moderation of marks might be applied prior to final results being released.
Participation in tutorials is a condition for receiving the weekly reading notes mark. (Exceptional circumstances preventing attendance at tutorials will be accommodated by accepting reading notes without attendance as sufficient to earn the mark for the week in which attendance was not possible.)
Assessment Task 1
Learning Outcomes: Linked to LO 1,2,3,4
Assessment Task 1 is an essay of 2500 words maximum (including notes and references), due on Friday of Week 4. Marks and feedback will be returned by Friday of Week 6 (for essays submitted on time). Essay questions on topics covered in the first half of the course will be provided in Wattle. Consult Wattle for presentation requirements and penalties for late submission. The marking scheme for essays will be: the stronger of the two essay marks will contribute 55% of the overall mark for the course; the weaker of the two essay marks will contribute 25% of the overall mark for the course. This marking scheme is intended to provide students with a significant opportunity and incentive to improve their essay-writing performance over the course of the semester.
Assessment Task 2
Learning Outcomes: Linked to LO 1,2,3,4
Assessment Task 2 is an essay of 2500 words maximum (including notes and references), due on the first Monday of the examination period (8 November). Marks and feedback will be returned on the ANU Results Published date at the end of the semester. Essay questions on topics covered in the first half of the course will be provided in Wattle. Consult Wattle for presentation requirements and penalties for late submission. The marking scheme for essays will be: the stronger of the two essay marks will contribute 55% of the overall mark for the course; the weaker of the two essay marks will contribute 25% of the overall mark for the course. This marking scheme is intended to provide students with a significant opportunity and incentive to improve their essay-writing performance over the course of the semester.
Assessment Task 3
Learning Outcomes: Linked to LO 1,2,3
Weekly Reading notes
As preparation for the weekly tutorial, students will be required to do the set reading, and prepare by writing a page of notes summarizing it. Advice about effective note-taking in philosophical reading will be provided in Wattle. For each tutorial week, participation in the tutorial and presentation of a satisfactory page of reading notes to the tutor will contribute 2% of the overall mark for the course. (Exceptional circumstances preventing attendance at tutorials will be accommodated by accepting reading notes without attendance as sufficient to earn the mark for the week in which attendance was not possible.) The mark for reading notes is capped at 20%.
Academic integrity is a core part of the ANU culture as a community of scholars. At its heart, academic integrity is about behaving ethically, committing to honest and responsible scholarly practice and upholding these values with respect and fairness.
The ANU commits to assisting all members of our community to understand how to engage in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support academic integrity. The ANU expects staff and students to be familiar with the academic integrity principle and Academic Misconduct Rule, uphold high standards of academic integrity and act ethically and honestly, to ensure the quality and value of the qualification that you will graduate with.
The Academic Misconduct Rule is in place to promote academic integrity and manage academic misconduct. Very minor breaches of the academic integrity principle may result in a reduction of marks of up to 10% of the total marks available for the assessment. The ANU offers a number of online and in person services to assist students with their assignments, examinations, and other learning activities. Visit the Academic Skills website for more information about academic integrity, your responsibilities and for assistance with your assignments, writing skills and study.
You will be required to electronically sign a declaration as part of the submission of your assignment. Please keep a copy of the assignment for your records. Unless an exemption has been approved by the Associate Dean (Education) submission must be through Turnitin.
For some forms of assessment (hand written assignments, art works, laboratory notes, etc.) hard copy submission is appropriate when approved by the Associate Dean (Education). Hard copy submissions must utilise the Assignment Cover Sheet. Please keep a copy of tasks completed for your records.
Individual assessment tasks may or may not allow for late submission. Policy regarding late submission is detailed below:
- Late submission not permitted. If submission of assessment tasks without an extension after the due date is not permitted, a mark of 0 will be awarded.
- Late submission permitted. Late submission of assessment tasks without an extension are penalised at the rate of 5% of the possible marks available per working day or part thereof. Late submission of assessment tasks is not accepted after 10 working days after the due date, or on or after the date specified in the course outline for the return of the assessment item. Late submission is not accepted for take-home examinations.
Accepted academic practice for referencing sources that you use in presentations can be found via the links on the Wattle site, under the file named “ANU and College Policies, Program Information, Student Support Services and Assessment”. Alternatively, you can seek help through the Students Learning Development website.
Notification of grades and feedback on assignments will be provided through Wattle.
Extensions and Penalties
Extensions and late submission of assessment pieces are covered by the Student Assessment (Coursework) Policy and Procedure. Extensions may be granted for assessment pieces that are not examinations or take-home examinations. If you need an extension, you must request an extension in writing on or before the due date. If you have documented and appropriate medical evidence that demonstrates you were not able to request an extension on or before the due date, you may be able to request it after the due date.
Resubmission of Assignments
Resubmission of assignments is not offered in this course. The marking scheme for essays will be: the stronger of the two essay marks will contribute 55% of the overall mark for the course; the weaker of the two essay marks will contribute 25% of the overall mark for the course.
Distribution of grades policy
Academic Quality Assurance Committee monitors the performance of students, including attrition, further study and employment rates and grade distribution, and College reports on quality assurance processes for assessment activities, including alignment with national and international disciplinary and interdisciplinary standards, as well as qualification type learning outcomes.
Since first semester 1994, ANU uses a grading scale for all courses. This grading scale is used by all academic areas of the University.
Support for students
The University offers students support through several different services. You may contact the services listed below directly or seek advice from your Course Convener, Student Administrators, or your College and Course representatives (if applicable).
- ANU Health, safety & wellbeing for medical services, counselling, mental health and spiritual support
- ANU Diversity and inclusion for students with a disability or ongoing or chronic illness
- ANU Dean of Students for confidential, impartial advice and help to resolve problems between students and the academic or administrative areas of the University
- ANU Academic Skills and Learning Centre supports you make your own decisions about how you learn and manage your workload.
- ANU Counselling Centre promotes, supports and enhances mental health and wellbeing within the University student community.
- ANUSA supports and represents undergraduate and ANU College students
- PARSA supports and represents postgraduate and research students
Theoretical and practical ethics, political philosophy, philosophy of action.
Prof Garrett Cullity