University of Kansas, Fall 2003
Philosophy 160: Introduction to Ethics

Introduction to Ethics

Welcome to the course! Consider this page to be a “pre-syllabus”—a very preliminary guide to the course, with the information that you need to have right now (including information about how to get much more information).

The full syllabus is available on the web site for the course, at

(You can get to this site by typing in ‘’—at which point you’ll be at my personal web site—and then using the links to get to the above site.) I strongly encourage you to visit this site at your earliest convenience, to familiarize yourself with its contents, and also to bookmark it and to check it regularly. I tend to make small changes to my courses’ syllabi (reading assignments, etc.) as courses progress, so you should check the syllabus online rather than printing a hard copy at the beginning and then relying on it throughout the semester. Also, as the course progresses, I’ll be posting other course documents, such as class notes and writing assignments, on this site.

Along with visiting the course web site, the other thing you should do right away is to buy the books for the course (if you have not already done so). They are

You can buy them on campus (I ordered them as textbooks), or elsewhere, including online. Be sure to get the first one, in particular, right away, since you’ll need to read some of it before our second class on Wednesday, August 27. The KU bookstore is selling it bundled with A Dictionary of Common Philosophical Terms, by Gregory Pence, but we won’t be using this latter volume, so feel free to buy The Elements of Moral Philosophy somewhere without this Dictionary if you see it for a good price. As for the second book for the course—the one by Peter Singer—you won’t need it until late October, so you can take some time to shop around, if you want.