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Module TOPICS IN MORAL PHILOSOPHY: LAW, MORALITY, PUNISHMENT & RIGHTS

Module code: PH154
Credits: 7.5
Semester: 2
Department: PHILOSOPHY
International: Yes
Coordinator: Dr Cyril McDonnell (PHILOSOPHY)
Overview Overview
 

This module introduces students to moral philosophy through an investigation of three important issues of moral concern in society today, namely: the legal enforcement of morality; the state’s right to punish those who infringe state law; the legal recognition of moral rights. In pursuit of this aim, the module will address such question as: should the law enforce a moral conviction shared by many in a society, or legislate against only those actions that do harm to others? Is the purpose of state punishment to reform the lawbreaker, or to deter other potential lawbreakers, or to exact retribution for the crime committed? Why are more rights being discovered today? What is the difference between a right and a privilege? How has the concept of rights evolved from the English, American and French revolutions of the 17th and 18th centuries, down to our current United Nations Declaration of Human Rights? Is there a right to revolt? Have animals and robots, as well as humans, rights? Through addressing such questions, students will engage in debate about moral controversies of common concern today.

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