FILO Etik og samfund


Ethics and Society

This course covers different topics within contemporary political and ethical thought. The two topics listed below will be part of the course, but more topics will be added.

The fact of pluralism: Probably, the most profound insight, and definitely the greatest challenge of Rawls' legacy concerns the fact of pluralism; profound, yet reasonable disagrement among free and equal citizens. In ight of ths, only common, or "public" reason can generate legitimate political outcomes. But what is public reason, and does it relate to the actual, or "private" reasons that ciizens hold? In this part of the course, we focus on some central thoughts on public reason, from Rawls to Gauss and Quong.

Environmental virtue ethics: Virtue ethics has its roots in Greek antiquity and has been revived over the last fifty years by modern ethicists. The key element is the claim that moral character is central to any ethical theory, and its focus is directed towards those motivations and structures of motivations that influence the choices of ordinary human beings on a daily level. Virtue ethics is now a well-established position in normative ethics along with consequentialism and deontology. Over the two last decades a new branch of virtue ethics has emerged, namely environmental virtue ethics. It focuses on motivations and character formation, but it takes a special interest in those motivations that concern our relationship to nature as well as the formation of those character traits that are perceived as beneficial to nature. We shall look at some of the recent contributions to this field (Thomas Hill, Philip Cafaro, Ronald Sandler).

The main part of the course  concerns Individual, group, corporate and collective responsibility. The issue about the nature of distributed moral responsibility between agents is addressed in the first series of lectures and seminars. Here, the method of ethics is also discussed, exemplified by Rawls’ reflective equilibrium followed by an introduction to the distinction between ideal and non-ideal theory. It is probed whether philosophers should be activists engaged in revising moral practices in society or rather be constrained to evaluation of existing moral practices. The concept of moral responsibility is explored in the context of both private and public spheres, and when applied to individuals, but also to groups, corporations and larger collectives. Consequently, individual agents, based on their membership of a group, can have a shared moral responsibility for how their organization acts and makes decisions. This is seen in current debates on, for instance, workplace democracy and corporate responsibility for climate change. In addition to reading the theoretical research literature on those topics, cases and examples from practice in society are used in lectures and seminars. Thus, the focus on corporate responsibility challenges some widely held philosophical assumptions that organizations cannot qualify as moral agents, and that they are norm-free zones irrelevant for moral evaluation.

Engelsk titel

FILO Ethics and Society


Kandidatuddannelsen i Filosofi, 2019-ordningen:

Etik og samfund:  HFIK04051E

Kandidattilvalg på filosofi, 2019-ordningen

Etik og samfund: HFIK14051E



Viden om

  • centrale teoridannelser i etisk teori: etiske teoriers fundamentale struktur (forskellige former for konsekventialisme vs. forskellige former for deontologi)
  • centrale spørgsmål i politisk filosofi, særligt vedrørende åbne, pluralistiske samfund (lighed, frihed, magt, identitet, anerkendelse, tolerance, legitimitet)
  • anvendelse af etisk teori og politisk filosofi på konkrete samfundsmæssige spørgsmål, herunder spørgsmål om metode i etisk teori/politisk filosofi, herunder reflekteret ligevægt og spørgsmål om faktuelle og normative antagelsers rolle i begrundelser.


Færdigheder i at

  • beskrive og analysere filosofiske aspekter af konkrete etiske og politisk-filosofiske spørgsmål
  • anvende etisk teori og politisk filosofi på konkrete etiske eller politisk-filosofiske problemstillinger i faglige eller offentlige debatter
  • vurdere uenigheder, argumenter, synspunkter.


Kompetencer til at

  • analysere komplekse normative uenigheder i fagfilosofi eller i den offentlige debat, med henblik på at identificere fundamentale normative antagelser
  • identificere gode og dårlige argumenter og slutninger i normative debatter

give en klar og velargumenteret skriftlig og mundtlig fremstilling af komplekse etiske og politisk-filosofiske sagforhold og uenigheder.

Undervisningen har form af forelæsninger og seminarer.

Kurset Etik og politisk filosofi BA eller tilsvarende

Løbende feedback i undervisningsforløbet
Feedback ved afsluttende eksamen (ud over karakteren)
Peerfeedback (studerende giver hinanden feedback)
Skriftlig aflevering
Ingen ekstern censur
Kriterier for bedømmelse

Enkeltfag dagtimer (tompladsordning)

  • Kategori
  • Timer
  • Holdundervisning
  • 56
  • Forberedelse (anslået)
  • 353,5
  • Total
  • 409,5


Delvist på dansk
Kandidat tilvalg

1 semester

Studienævnet for Medier, Erkendelse og Formidling
Udbydende institut
  • Institut for Medier, Erkendelse og Formidling
Udbydende fakultet
  • Det Humanistiske Fakultet
  • Nils Holtug   (4-7e787f7c5078857d3e7b853e747b)

Nils Holtug, Kristian Høyer Toft

Gemt den 27-05-2021

Are you BA- or KA-student?

Are you bachelor- or kandidat-student, then find the course in the course catalog for students:

Courseinformation of students