Issues in Ethics


1. High level of understanding of the meaning and specificity of Ethics and of its articulation with other branches of philosophy and other scientific subjects; 2. High level of knowledge of the various approaches that have been taken in trying to provide an answer to ethical questions; 3. High level of knowledge of the most important concepts involved in the studying of Ethics; 4. High ability to analyse, compare, criticise and use these concepts, and also to independently interpret and discuss concepts or propositions in the Ethics area; 5. Detailed knowledge of the fundamental texts in the Ethics area, with a mastering of past interpretations, of the current state of research and of all the relevant bibliography; 6. Carrying out research work under supervision in the Ethics area, that demonstrates original explanations and adheres to scientific quality standards; 7. Acquire the skills necessary for carrying out research independently in the Ethics area

General characterization





Responsible teacher

Mário Jorge Pereira de Almeida Carvalho


Weekly - 3

Total - 280

Teaching language



Not applicable


FICHTE, J. G., Gesamtausgabe d. Bayerischen Akad. d. Wiss., Stuttgart-Bad Cannstatt, Fromann-Holzboog, 1962-2012
– The System of Ethics According to the Principles of the Wissenschaftslehre, Tr. D. Breazeale/G. Zöller, Cambridge, C.U.P., 2005
– Il sistema di etica secondo i principi della dottrina della scienza, ed. C. De Pascale,Tr. R. Cantoni, Roma/Bari, Laterza, 1994
HEGEL, G. W. F. , Gesammelte Werke, hrsg. v. d. Rheinisch-Westfälischen Akad. d. Wissenschaften, Hamburg, Meiner, 1968–.
– Werke in 20 Bänden, hrsg. v. E. Moldenhauer & K. M. Michel, Frankfurt a. M., Suhrkamp, 1971
– Phenomenology of Spirit, tr. T. Pinkard, Cambridge, C.U.P, 2017.
KANT, I., Kant's Gesammelte Schriften, hrsg. v. d. Preußischen Akad. d. Wiss. u. v. d. Deutschen Akad. d. Wiss., Berlin/Leipzig, Reimer/de Gruyter, 1902-
– Vorlesung zur Moralphilosophie, hrsg. v. W. Stark, Berlin/N.Y., De Gruyter, 2004
– Practical Philosophy, Tr. M. J. Gregor, Cambridge, C.U.P.,1996

Teaching method

This curricular unit has a theoretical-practical character.
Seminar-oriented classes.
Reading and interpretation of and commentary on the relevant philosophical texts and related philosophical questions and concepts.
The teaching methodology combines: a) a thorough interpretation of the texts in question (of their different components and of their connection with other texts) b) a theoretical analysis of philosophical problems, and c) a discussion of alternative views, objections, counter-examples, etc.

Evaluation method

Class participation(25%), Each student will have to present a research paper(75%)

Subject matter

Three Views on the Categorical Imperative: Kant, Fichte, Hegel
Kant's views on ethics mark a milestone in the history of ethics. But on closer inspection it turns out that they are much more intricate, many-sided and profound than usually described. Our first task is to rediscover Kant.
Fichte and Hegel follow in Kant's footsteps. But the fact is that they end up very far from Kant. Our second task is to follow the particular way in which Fichte and Hegel think "with Kant against Kant" on ethical matters. The point is that they both a) challenge Kant, b) make his thought appear in a new light, and c) challenge each other and make each other's thought appear in a new light. Our purpose is to follow the intricate ‘chess matches’, as it were, between Kant, Fichte and Hegel. What is at stake is not just a doxographic matter. It is rather the very question as to whether the "ought" itself is anything more than a pure mirage – and if so, what its nature is and what its implications are.