This module is a resource for lecturers  




This Module explores the importance of ethics to society and the relationship between these two concepts. It is designed to be used by lecturers to help their students understand the concept of society - sometimes defined as humankind as a whole, sometimes in relation to a particular place - and to investigate the ways in which ethical approaches can be applied to increase our understanding of society, and ultimately our attempts to improve it. It also aims to illustrate that ethics is part of the fabric of any dimension of society. Particular attention is given to social contract theory and the work of John Rawls, with specific reference to the concepts of justice and fairness.

The Module is a resource for lecturers. It provides an outline for a three-hour class but can be used for shorter or longer sessions, or extended into a full-fledged course (see: Guidelines to develop a stand-alone course).


Learning outcomes

  • Define the concept of society
  • Understand the relationship between ethics and society
  • Describe different theoretical approaches that inform this issue, with specific reference to social contract theory
  • Articulate and defend a preferred position on the relationship between ethics and society while appreciating its limitations
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