Philosophy and Ethics

Ref: C2224531

Free Will and Conscience: What do we mean when we talk about Free Will? Is everything we do determined? What do we mean by Conscience? Is it always right to follow one’s conscience? What are the views of the key scholars on conscience? • Religious Ethics: A brief study of how the 6 main world religions (Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity, Islam and Sikhism) come to ethical judgements. • Crime and Punishment: some ethical dilemmas: If what we do is determined, how responsible are we if we commit a crime? Is Justice served simply by exacting retribution? Do ends justify means? • Some classical ethical dilemmas: should we unplug the violinist?; who should we throw off the life-raft?; and other challenges. • Business ethics: What are the different ethical approaches to Business and how can we assess them? Is it possible to conduct a global business in an ethical way? How do we prevent the exploitation of workers in developing countries – caveat emptor?

Course aim

What do we mean by conscience? The ethical basis of the 6 main world religions. Is ‘business ethics’ an oxymoron? Some ethical conundrums – Right to Life; Crime and Punishment.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • No skills or experience needed

By the end of the course I should be able to:

  • Understand the key arguments and be able to use the course-specific terms
  • Develop your own arguments in response to the presented information
  • Ask questions and join in discussions as much as you are able.

How will I be taught?

  • The WEA tutor will use a range of different teaching and learning methods and encourage you and the group to be actively involved in your learning
  • You may be asked to undertake additional work in your own time to support your learning
  • There will be an opportunity to borrow books, videos and articles which will extend and develop your thinking

What kind of feedback can I expect?

  • A range of informal activities will be used by the tutor to see what you are learning which may include quizzes, question and answer, small projects and discussion
  • You will be encouraged to share your thinking and reading with the other members of the group.

What else do I need to know?

  • Nothing else is needed
  • However if you have films, books or articles that you wish to bring along to share with the group that is encouraged. You may also wish to bring your own notebook and pens although detailed notes will be provided.

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • No pre reading is required but research on the subject on the internet or in the library may be helpful
  • There are many books on ethics available several of which will be available to borrow during the course.

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course
  • Progress to a course with another provider
  • Become involved with the WEA in a range of voluntary work and other activities including campaigning as a WEA member
  • Become involved as a volunteer for a WEA partner or another organisation
  • Access the WEA What Next? booklet here

Download full Course information sheet

Philosophy and Ethics


You can if you meet all of the following requirements:

  • are paying the standard fee or are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • are paying with a credit/debit card or are not paying a fee because of a qualifying benefit
  • have a valid email address
  • have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2017
  • have read and accept the standard terms and conditions
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