課程目的為使同學有系統地熟悉道德哲學一些重要著作並且歸納這些觀點研究文學經典。道德課程與文學題材息息相關，大部分的道德爭議起因於「我是誰」與「所為何故」等自省的疑問；同時，文學作品卻又無法承載道德危機與具象化。這項課程藉由四位哲學家探討道德哲學思辯的歷史脈絡：其中二位是古哲世界的代表，另外兩位是傳承文藝復興的近世哲學代表。前者是柏拉圖和亞里斯多德，後者是康德與約翰彌兒。 我們將設法參照四位代表的理論並且嚙合霍布斯的哲學觀權充作古老和現代思想，一窺康德與彌兒之高下。進一步分析哲學假說的新潮流，力爭柏拉圖和亞里斯多德應有的定位。此課程對道德哲學的討論僅止於一些重要文學作品的閱讀和討論。作者包括索佛克里斯、但丁、莎士比亞、赫曼．梅爾維爾、杜思托也夫斯基、康拉德、蕭伯納和奧康納。 課程主題將包含；個體權利抵抗法定權力、領導責任、對力量的需要在一個不公義世界的權力需求、倫理操作、誠實的價值和騙術。閱讀這些文本時，我們不僅要注意字符的道德示義而且也要注意文本的示義。不管我們接不接受「詩意正義」的故事結局，這都將是一個無限解的問題，因為字符必會牽動情節。關於聖經的內容的需要時間再多做討論，節錄自《創世紀》和《馬太福音》。
每週兩堂課，每堂課上課時間九十分鐘。 每次上課會先講述課程約莫二十到三十分鐘不等，且第一、二次上課講述會更長。課程的剩餘時間會分配工作給各小組討論，有時候會要求小組同學在下課前二十分鐘上台發言。 參與分組討論是基本的上課方式，並且也是評量同學成績的標準之一。成績大半由同學的三次書面報告評等地：第一次繳交報告(五到七頁)、期中報告(七到九頁)、期末報告(十到十二頁)。報告中應包含閱讀與評論部分；題目可由學生自訂，但老師會先定好一張題目單，同學須在二週內勾選完畢。這堂課沒有期末考。
講義：包含《安提岡尼》(Antigone)、《馬太福音》(Gospel according to St Matthew)、莎士比亞的《凱薩大帝》(Julius Caesar)，梅爾維爾的《比利．巴德》(Billy Budd)、蕭伯納的《芭芭拉少校》(Major Barbara)，奧康納的〈難民〉(The Displaced Person)。
但丁《神曲煉獄篇》(Unferno)。 由Allen Mandelbaum翻譯。班坦出版。
杜思托也夫斯基《罪與罰》(Crime and Punishment)。 由Pevear 和Volokhonsky 翻譯。藍燈書屋出版。
康拉德〈黑暗之心〉(The Secret Sharer)。
另外，以下參考資料只需要節錄：亞里斯多德的《尼可馬古倫理學》( Nichomachean Ethics)、馬基維利《君王論》(The Prince)、托馬斯•霍布斯的《利維坦》(Leviathan)、康德的《道德形上學》(Metaphysics of Morals)、彌兒的《功利主義》(Utilitarianism)。
The aim of this subject is to acquaint the student with some important works of systematic ethical philosophy and to bring to bear the viewpoint of those works on the study of classic works of literature.
The subject-matters of ethics and literature are closely related. Most ethical arguments arise out of stories that we tell ourselves about who we are and what we are doing; at the same time, there is scarcely a work of literature that does not carry a weight of moral urgency or exemplify an ethical position. This subject will trace the history of ethical speculation in systematic philosophy by identifying four major positions: two from the ancient world and the two most important traditions of ethical philosophy since the renaissance. The two ancient positions will be represented by Plato and Aristotle, the two modern positions by Immanuel Kant and John Stuart Mill. We will try to understand these four positions as engaged in a rivalry with one another, and we will also engage with the philosophy of Thomas Hobbes, which offers a bridge between ancient and modern conceptions and provides a source for the rivalry between the viewpoints of Kant and Mill. Further, we will be mindful that the modern positions are subject to criticism today by new currents of philosophical speculation, some of which argue for a return to the positions of Plato and Aristotle.
Our attention to ethical philosophy, however, will be always in service to close reading and discussion of a number of important works of literature. Authors will include Sophocles, Dante, Shakespeare, Herman Melville, Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Joseph Conrad, George Bernard Shaw, and Flannery O. Connor. Topics covered will include: the rights of individuals to resist legal authority, the responsibilities of leadership, the need for power in an unjust world, the ethics of manipulation, the values of truthfulness and deception. In reading these texts, we will not only pay attention to the ethical commitments of the characters but also to the commitments of the texts. It will be an open question whether we accept or not the "poetic justice" of the outcome of a story, the way in which it distributes fortune to the characters involved in the plot.
Time will also be devoted to discussion of Biblical materials, excerpts from the Book of Genesis and The Gospel according to St. Matthew.
The subject meets twice a week for two ninety-minute sessions. Each session begins with a lecture of varying length, but usually running for twenty-minutes to half an hour, although the lectures of the first two meetings will be somewhat longer. The rest of the session is devoted to class-discussion of the materials assigned for the session. Groups of students will be appointed from time to time to present a view of some of the materials during the last twenty minutes of the session. Participation in discussion is essential to the life of the class and the force and cogency of students' remarks will have a marked influence on grades. Much of the grade will also depend upon the quality of the three written assignments required by the course: an early paper (running from five to seven pages) a mid-term paper (running from seven to nine pages) and a final paper (running from ten to twelve pages). The papers will each deal with some aspect of the readings and discussion; topics may be invented by the students but an extensive list of suggested topics will be circulated two weeks in advance of each paper's due date for those students who require it. There is no final examination for this subject.
Coursepack: containing Antigone, Gospel according to St Matthew, Shakespeare, Julius Caesar, Melville, Billy Budd, Shaw, Major Barbara, Flannery O. Connor, "The Displaced Person."
Plato. Republic. Translated by Desmond Lee. Penguin.
Dante. Inferno. Translated by Allen Mandelbaum. Bantam.
Dostoyevsky. Crime and Punishment. Translated by Pevear and Volokhonsky. Random House.
Conrad. "The Secret Sharer."
Also, the following materials will be made available in excerpt: Aristotle, Nichomachean Ethics, Machiavelli, The Prince, Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan, Kant, Metaphysics of Morals, Mill, Utilitarianism.