There is a prima facie duty not kill people. But, in certain circumstances it seems permissible to do so. The course explores under which conditions killing is morally acceptable and the kinds of constraints that we face when killing someone. We will address some of the following questions: do we have to save the greater number of people? When is killing in self-defence permissible? Is abortion morally acceptable? What constraints do apply when killing in war?
At the end of the course the student shall be able to: • Understand the key positions within contemporary debates in moral philosophy. • Produce critical and well-structured arguments in moral philosophy. • Balance and contrast the weakness and strengths of different positions in contemporary debates in practical ethics. • Summarise arguments clearly and succinctly.