Ch 1: Introduction to the Study of Morality

About This Chapter

In this chapter, you'll take a look at the foundations of morality through a collection of engaging lessons and self-assessment quizzes. Use this chapter to study for upcoming philosophy tests, complete homework assignments, catch up in class or boost your grades.

Introduction to the Study of Morality - Chapter Summary

This comprehensive chapter outlines fundamental concepts related to the study of morality. Our expert instructors help you define basic morality terms, and you'll take a look at various approaches to the study of morality. Use any computer or mobile device to access these resources, and take the accompanying mini quizzes to reinforce the knowledge you gain. If you have any questions about morality, you can reach out to our instructors online. By the end of the chapter, you should be equipped to:

  • Explain the purpose of philosophy
  • Define values, morals and ethics
  • Identify the characteristics, origins and aspects of morality
  • Discuss fundamental morality principles
  • Compare different approaches for studying morality
  • Explain ethical theories related to natural laws and rights
  • Summarize Gilligan's theory of moral development and Kohlberg's stages of moral development

9 Lessons in Chapter 1: Introduction to the Study of Morality
Test your knowledge with a 30-question chapter practice test
Philosophy: Definition & Purpose

1. Philosophy: Definition & Purpose

In this lesson, explore one definition of philosophy and why it is hard to pin down in simple terms. Learn what it means to go beyond having a philosophy to 'doing philosophy.'

What is Morality? - Definition & Characteristics

2. What is Morality? - Definition & Characteristics

What is right and what is wrong? Explore the fine lines that make up morality and discover what this means to different people. Then, test your understanding with a brief quiz.

What Are Values, Morals & Ethics?

3. What Are Values, Morals & Ethics?

In this lesson, learn the differences between ethics and morals. Consider how these terms can mean different things to philosophers compared with the general public and how values factor into the conversation.

The Basic Principles of Morality

4. The Basic Principles of Morality

This lesson discusses the basic tenets of morality and highlights the six principles of the Moral Foundations Theory and how they are universally accepted.

Origin, Aspects & Reasons Behind Morality

5. Origin, Aspects & Reasons Behind Morality

What are morals? Where do morals come from? Why do we need morals? These questions have been debated throughout human history. In this lesson, explore some possible answers, and test your understanding with a brief quiz.

Approaches to the Study of Morality

6. Approaches to the Study of Morality

Morality is an immense topic, so how do we begin to study it? In this lesson, explore four standard approaches to the study of morality, and test your understanding with a brief quiz.

Theories of Ethics: Rights & Natural Laws

7. Theories of Ethics: Rights & Natural Laws

Legal rights are those rights provided to citizens through the Constitution and other articles of the US legal system. Natural rights are rooted in the ethical, based on what is right or wrong. Learn more about ethics in this lesson.

Carol Gilligan's Theory of Moral Development

8. Carol Gilligan's Theory of Moral Development

How does one choose between right and wrong? Are there differences in moral development based on gender? Psychologist Carol Gilligan proposed a theory that highlights the differences between male and female moral development.

Kohlberg's Stages of Moral Development

9. Kohlberg's Stages of Moral Development

How do people learn to make morally sound decisions? To illustrate Kohlberg's levels of moral development, we'll follow Lauren as she makes difficult decisions.

Chapter Practice Exam
Test your knowledge of this chapter with a 30 question practice chapter exam.
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Practice Final Exam
Test your knowledge of the entire course with a 50 question practice final exam.
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