Loyola University Chicago

University Core

Ethical Knowledge and Inquiry

Area Goal: This Core Area of Inquiry will invite students to explore topics in Ethics such as the nature of human flourishing, moral responsibility, and justice through critical reflection on a range of ethical frameworks and methodologies.

Area Objectives: Developing a student's ethical awareness and reflection is central to the Core Curriculum. By completing the Core Ethics course, students will explore the differences and similarities between ethical frameworks, the complexities of ethical frameworks and their applications, and historical or contemporary issues that can be interpreted through the lens of ethical frameworks.

Area Learning Outcomes: After completing the course in this Area, students will be able to:

  • describe and discuss the central features (e.g., concepts, constructs, and principles) that comprise different ethical frameworks or schools of thought.
  • compare and contrast various ethical frameworks, for example, how these frameworks can be applied to living well and promoting the flourishing of others.
  • identify central features of historical or contemporary ethical issues.
  • apply an ethical framework or school of thought to analyze a historical or contemporary issue, defend their analysis by explaining how the framework/school is present, and the advantages and disadvantages of using it.

Courses  (1 course required)

PHIL 181: Ethics
This course is a general introduction to ethics or moral philosophy.

Outcome: Students will be able to demonstrate understanding of criteria for choosing between conflicting ethical theories, moral disagreement, the justification of moral judgments, and the application of ethical standards to practical decision-making and ethical questions that arise in everyday life.
PHIL 182: Social and Political Philosophy
This course will investigate one of the central questions of philosophy and social theory: how we, as human beings, should live together. 

Outcome: Students will be able to demonstrate understanding of the major philosophical questions in the area of social philosophy with attention to the historical and conceptual development of these questions, and be able to articulate some of the major problems and responses central to this area of philosophy.
THEO 185: Introduction to Christian Ethics
This course explores the major sources, methods, and insights of Christian social and theological ethics. Particular attention is given to Roman Catholic thought.

Outcome: Students will identify the major sources of Christian ethics (Scripture, Church tradition, philosophy, the social and human sciences, and human experience), and gain practice in identifying how different thinkers use, interpret, and prioritize these sources.
 THEO 186: Global Religious Ethics
This course explores fundamental moral sources and methods in Christian ethics in dialogue with the ethical understandings of at least two religious traditions. In doing so, it explores moral issues faced by individuals and communities from theological perspectives, particularly mindful of how the economic, political and cultural structures in a religiously plural world affect those issues.

In this course, students will explore and compare the ethical understandings of Christianity and at least one other religious tradition.  With respect to each tradition, students will learn about the foundational sources, doctrines and questions that guide its ethical thinking.