Undergraduate Module Descriptor

PHL2118: Moral agency in social context

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

Module Content

Syllabus Plan

Whilst the module’s precise content may vary from year to year, it is envisaged that the syllabus will cover some or all of the following topics: 

1. Introduction: moral agency & moral responsibility.

2. Collective responsibility?

3. The Marxian view of morality.

4. & 5. Social context and moral ignorance.

6. & 7. Social change and moral agency: the case of slavery and abolition.

8. Inequality, functional importance and incentives.

9. Personal/political agency & collective responsibility (I): Rich egalitarianism?

10. Personal/political agency & collective responsibility (II): Duties to alleviate absolute poverty?

11. Moral saintliness & the demandingness of morality. 

Learning and Teaching

This table provides an overview of how your hours of study for this module are allocated:

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

...and this table provides a more detailed breakdown of the hours allocated to various study activities:

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled learning and teaching activities16.5Weekly 1.5 hour lectures. Lectures provide you with a broad overview of types and ways of social analysis; they cover more ground than is possible in tutorials, and are designed to establish a context in which to think about the issues discussed in tutorials.
Scheduled learning and teaching activities5Fortnightly tutorials. A specific reading is assigned, and you are provided with a list of key issues to identify and discuss for each tutorial. Texts are carefully chosen as classic exemplars of the core course themes.
Guided independent study45Preparation for tutorial participation including reading and planning
Guided independent study83.5Preparation for essay, library, research etc.

Online Resources

This module has online resources available via ELE (the Exeter Learning Environment).