Is lying categorically wrong, or is it permissible under certain circumstances? Where do moral rules, duties, and prohibitions come from, and how are they justified? Is morality based on religion? Does it require free will?
These are among the questions Immanuel Kant addresses his Groundwork for the Metaphysics of Morals and Critique of Practical Reason, the two books under discussion in this reading seminar. Class will meet one hour per week, with intelligent and active participation expected of each student. Grades will be based equally on class participation and short quizzes. There will be no tests or papers.
The seminar’s primary aim is to provide an enjoyable and intellectually stimulating environment in which to think and talk about the contributions to moral theory of one of history’s greatest thinkers.