Undergraduate Module Descriptor

PHL2118: Moral agency in social context

This module descriptor refers to the 2021/2 academic year.


NQF Level 5
Credits 15 ECTS Value 7.5
Term(s) and duration

This module ran during term 1 (11 weeks)

Academic staff

Dr Nigel Pleasants (Convenor)





Available via distance learning


The core theme of this module is the extent to which, and ways in which, moral perception, judgement and action may be socially conditioned and constrained. It consists in examination of the social conditions of morality, moral belief, moral agency, and moral responsibility, addressing such questions as: Is moral consciousness and agency determined by individuals’ social conditions of existence, or are individuals’ moral beliefs and agency internal powers that actively contribute to social reproduction and change? It will look at philosophical analyses of the nature and conditions of morality, and of the relation between individual moral agency and social context. It will examine these ideas in relation to the major social and economic institutions of modern society, such as, the maintenance and abolition of slavery, the justice and necessity of economic inequalities, obligations to aid people suffering life-threatening poverty, and the relationship between moral or political belief and action in conformity with such belief.

Module created


Last revised