units

AZA1371

Faculty of Arts

Undergraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2013 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

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6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

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LevelUndergraduate
FacultyFaculty of Arts
Organisational UnitSchool of Social Science, South Africa
OfferedSouth Africa First semester 2013 (Day)
Coordinator(s)Charles Villet

Synopsis

The unit is an introduction to moral philosophy. The focus of the unit is the ethics of killing. The unit adopts a global perspective but looks at issues through a South African and African lens. We examine questions such as: When, if ever, is killing justified? Many of us think that killing is permissible in emergency rescue situations, or in self-defence. Is it possible to explain this in a way that is consistent with our more typical attitudes to killing? What about killing non-human animals for food? Like all philosophy units, this unit will also develop critical and analytic thinking skills. These issues are linked to the situation regarding life and death in South Africa and Africa in general, with particular reference to some of the ethical dilemmas (such as violent crime) encountered within this context.

Outcomes

On completing the unit, students will have an understanding of some central issues in applied ethics and of the role philosophy can play in clarifying the discussion of them. They will have acquired some understanding of the nature and methods of philosophical inquiry, and an enhanced capacity for critical reasoning and rigorous thought. Students will also be able to critically assess the situation in South Africa and its accompanying ethical dilemmas as it relates to the ethics of killing.

Assessment

Written exercises: 50% (2250 words)
Tutorial Participation: 10%
Exam: 40%

Chief examiner(s)

Contact hours

One 2-hour lecture and one 1-hour tutorial per week

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study