Study abroad in Edinburgh

Course finder

Semester 1

Normative theory (PHIL10078)







Normal Year Taken


Delivery Session Year



**Spaces on Philosophy Honours courses are extremely limited, and so priority is given to visiting students coming through a direct exchange with the Philosophy department (including Erasmus students on a Philosophy Exchange). Exchange students outside of Philosophy and independent study abroad students cannot be guaranteed enrolment in ANY 3rd/4th year Philosophy courses** Please note that 3rd year Philosophy courses are high-demand, meaning that they have a very high number of students wishing to enrol in a very limited number of spaces. These enrolments are managed strictly by the Visiting Student Office, in line with the quotas allocated by the department, and all enquiries to enrol in these courses must be made through the CAHSS Visiting Student Office. It is not appropriate for students to contact the department directly to request additional spaces. If there is sufficient space for other visiting students to enrol at the start of the semester, visiting students must have completed at least 3 Philosophy courses at grade B or above to qualify for this course; we will only consider University/College level courses.

Course Summary

Normative Theories are theories about how we ought to act, or how we ought to live. This course examines different traditions in, and approaches to, normative theorising. These may include some or all of Consequentialism, Deontological Pluralism, Kantianism, Contractualism, and Virtue Ethics, as well as Particularism and other anti-theoretical approaches.

Course Description

The course will take some approaches to normative ethics and examine them in detail, assessing how well they do at explaining and justifying our moral beliefs (and questioning the extent to which this is a legitimate constraint upon them). It will also examine how these theories apply to particular moral questions such as those connected to procreation, duties to future people, aggregating harms and benefits to different people, and imposing risks of harm.

Assessment Information

Written Exam 0%, Coursework 100%, Practical Exam 0%

view the timetable and further details for this course


All course information obtained from this visiting student course finder should be regarded as provisional. We cannot guarantee that places will be available for any particular course. For more information, please see the visiting student disclaimer:

Visiting student disclaimer