HUMN 3036 Ethics in Historical Perspective

Credit Points 10

Legacy Code 102007

Coordinator David Burchell Opens in new window

Description The subject provides an historical overview of the different types of ethical beliefs and practices that have been used in specific social settings from the classical world to the modern West. It looks at different types of spiritual and secular ethical behaviours, and the doctrines associated with each. It focuses upon the types of ethical argument and judgment-making specific to particular professions, occupations and social statuses over time. It concludes by surveying the different types of ethics taught to professionals today in the West, and on the differences between each, as well as the specific requirements of each. It will be of interest both to students with an interest in the history of ideas, and to students who want to learn more about ethics and moral decision-making.

School Humanities & Comm Arts

Discipline History

Student Contribution Band HECS Band 4 10cp

Check your fees via the Fees page.

Level Undergraduate Level 3 subject

Equivalent Subjects LGYA 0908 - Ethical Cultures


Successful completion of 60 credit points of study in currently enrolled program.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this subject, students should be able to:

  1. demonstrate an understanding of several different kinds of ethical practices and doctrines operating in public and private life from the classical world to the modern West
  2. assess the strengths and weaknesses of at least some of these cultures and traditions
  3. demonstrate in-depth understanding of at least one historical case-study pertinent to these debates
  4. use skills in written and verbal argumentation

Subject Content

Topics may include:
- ethics as A way of life: Classical philosophy and shaping The moral self
- social ethics in Ancient Greece and Rome
- The emergence of Christian ethics: Augustine and The church fathers
- Monks and courtiers: Ethical teachings in The Medieval courtly and monastic worlds
- books of The courtier: The ethics of counsel in The Renaissance
- Conscience and responsibility: The Reformations and The Ethical subject
- Ethical reasoning: The casuistical tradition
- Guardians and Spectators: the moral periodical in the 18th century
- Philophising ethics: Hume and Kant
- The emergence of The social Conscience in The Anti-Slavery Campaigns

Prescribed Texts

  • Subject Reader