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Postgraduate Module Descriptor

ANTM111: Animal Ethics

This module descriptor refers to the 2022/3 academic year.

Module Content

Syllabus Plan

Whilst the precise content may vary from year to year, it is envisaged that the syllabus will cover all or some of the following topics:

  • Reading and Writing Philosophy and Ethics
  • The Metaethical Triumvirate: Utilitarianism, Deontology and Virtue Ethics. Exploring the classic theories in ethics (and a realist’s disclaimer).
  • Non-Human Life and Philosophy: a history of animals and other living things in philosophical discourse.
  • Souls 1: Philosophy of Mind, Rationality, Language and Human Exceptionalism: Are humans different to other animals and why might that matter?
  • Utilitarianism and Singer: Are pleasure and pain the things which matter?
  • Animal Liberation and Kantian Means to Ends: Understanding intrinsic and instrumental value and how using animals fits in.
  • Vegetarianism and Veganism: What justification is there for or against these ‘lifestyles’?
  • Souls 2: Sentience, Interests and the Boundaries of Personhood: Discussing the possible problems with the concept of sentience and where we should draw the boundaries of personhood.
  • The Peculiar Weight of Death and Killing: To whom is death harmful? Is it particularly harmful? How and why?
  • Wisdom and Moral Pluralism: Do we need to stick to one of these ethical theories? Are our lives with animals important for us being good people?

Learning and Teaching

This table provides an overview of how your hours of study for this module are allocated:

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

...and this table provides a more detailed breakdown of the hours allocated to various study activities:

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled Learning & Teaching activities1010 x 1 hour podcast audio lectures with accompanying powerpoint presentations
Scheduled Learning & Teaching activities1010 x 1 hour discussion/seminar participations
Guided Independent Study1010 x 1 hours participating in the discussion forums
Guided Independent Study88Research and writing of summative assessments
Scheduled Learning & Teaching activities2010 x 2 hours participating in the VLE discussion forums (formative assessments)
Guided Independent Study100Research and writing of summative assessments

Online Resources

This module has online resources available via ELE (the Exeter Learning Environment).

Online journals and ebooks including Oxford Handbook of Animal Ethics, Journal of Animal Ethics, Journal of Agricultural & Environmental Ethics, Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science.