Law, Politics, and Philosophy

Tuguegarao City, Cagayan. Atty. MICHAEL JHON M. TAMAYAO manages this blog. Contact:

Syllabus moral philo

              ethics _1



Sem./AY: Summer of 2012

Modular Credits: 3


Subject Teacher: Michael Jhon M. Tamayao, M.Phil.

Department: Social Sciences and Philosophy


E-mail Address:


Course Description

This course will introduce the students to the basic themes of Moral Philosophy or Ethics. In order to be truly faithful and to fully appreciate the ideas of the great ethicists (such as Plato, Aristotle, David Hume, Immanuel Kant, Thomas Hobbes, John Stuart Mill, & Friedrich Nietzsche among others), our discussions will be based on their philosophical written works. While our immediate focus is the understanding of these philosophical works, practical and relevant application of these ethical theories in case studies are also sought. Knowing the different ethical theories is very important, but more important than this is their actual application in real life situations. After all, our ultimate aim in studying ethics is to acquire the necessary tools in evaluating the rightness (or wrongness) of our actions and the goodness (or badness) of our lives.

The course must however be distinguished from theology or religion. Unlike the latter disciplines, ethics does not use the revealed truths found in the Sacred Scriptures in explaining the rationality of human morals. Instead, it uses human reason alone. This makes ethics a strictly philosophical discipline.

Course Objectives

At the end of the semester, the students must be able to:

  1. Understand and evaluate the central ideas and issues studied in Moral Philosophy.
  2. Acquaint themselves with the inescapable controversies which the past thinkers have raised, but which remain as yet unresolved.
  3. Construct their own value systems.
  4. Reflect on where they stand on important ethical issues.
  5. Develop philosophical thinking.


 Tentative Outline of Topics (subject to changes)


Week Topics



– What is Philosophy? (Roth & Sontag, 2-12)

– Ethics and its branches (Tamayao)


Greek and Hellenistic Moral Philosophy

– Socrates (Montemayor, 186-189)

– Plato (Montemayor, 189-193)

– Aristotle ( Montemayor, 194-201; Minton & Shipka, 257-271)

– Epicureanism (Roth & Sontag, 249-254)

– Stocism (Roth & Sontag, 255-259)


Christian Ethics

– Patristic Ethics: St. Augustine of Hippo (Roth & Sontag, 260-267)

– Scholasticism: St. Thomas Aquinas (Montemayor, 209-216)


Modern Moral Philosophy

– Thomas Hobbes (Roth & Sontag, 285-291)

– David Hume (Roth & Sontag, 393-403)

– Immanuel Kant: The Categorical Imperative (Minton & Shipka, 283-292)

              ethics _2

– John Mill: Utilitarianism (Minton & Shipka, 292-301; Roth & Sontag, 229-237)

– Kierkegaard and Nietzsche (Roth & Sontag, 267-278; 404-411)


20th Century Moral Philosophy

– Mikhail Gorbachev (Montemayor, 223-237)

– A.J. Ayer (Roth & Sontag, 314-320)

– John Rawls (Roth & Sontag, 238-243)


The Ethical Concepts and Problems

– The Branches of Ethics

– Natural Law & Conscience (Tamayao)

– Making Moral Judgments (Glenn)

– Virtue Ethics: Review of Aristotle & Thomas

– Ethical Relativism & Egoism (Montemayor,4-7; Minton & Shipka, 215-224)

– Ethical Objectivism: Review of Mill & Kant


Applied Ethics: The Issue of Abortion


Applied Ethics: The Issue of Euthanasia


Applied Ethics: The Issue of Artificial Birth Control Methods


Applied Ethics: The Issue of Homosexuality




Class Policy

1. Attendance is a must.

– Students exceeding seven absences will be force dropped.

– Additional points will be given to students with perfect attendance.

– Fifteen minutes late is considered absent.

– Only two things can excuse a student from attending class: health reasons, and school-activities. Each of which must be supported by corresponding certifications.

– If the student is unable to attend class, he/she is independently responsible for obtaining all materials covered during the class meeting.

2. Assignments and Take-home Examinations

– All written assignments and take-home exams are to be typed and double spaced. Assignments will be evaluated for grammar as well as composition.

– All papers are due at the beginning of class on the date specified. Late papers are given corresponding deductions.

3. Cheating and Plagiarism

– All students are expected to practice the highest standards of academic honesty.  Cheating on exams or plagiarizing other people’s work is unacceptable and may lead to a failing grade.



There will be no textbook for this course; required readings will be provided as the course progresses. However, students are especially recommended to read the following introductory books:

  1. Felix Montemayor. Ethics: The Philosophy of Life. Navotas: Navotas Press, 2006.

2. Paul Glenn. Ethics: A Class Manual in Moral Philosophy. St. Louis: Herder Book Co.

3. John K. Roth & Frederick Sontag. The Questions of Philosophy. California: Wadsworth Publishing Company, 1985.

4. Arthur J. Minton & Thomas A. Shipka. Philosophy: Paradox and Discovery. New York: McGraw-Hill Book Company, 1982.


You can also refer to the following online materials:


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This entry was posted on April 15, 2012 by in Ethics.




Tuguegarao City, Cagayan Atty. MICHAEL JHON M. TAMAYAO manages this blog. He is currently starting his private law practice. Contact:; Tel. No. 09353343739. PROFILE: Atty. Tamayao is currently teaching law, philosophy and social sciences at the Cagayan State University. He finished his Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy degree at the Faculty of Philosophy, University of Santo Tomas and graduated in 2005, garnering the highest academic honors in that Academic Year. He pursued Licentiate in Philosophy and Master of Arts in Philosophy degrees at the same university, completing them both in 2007. In 2009, he took up Bachelor of Laws and Letter at the Cagayan State University, where he also teaches. He passed the 2013 bar exams, and now currently taking up Master of Laws and Letters at the San Beda Graduate School of Law.

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