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Ethics II


Admission requirements

Admission to this course is restricted to:

  • BA students in Filosofie, who have successfully completed at least 70 ECTS credits of the mandatory components of the first and second year of their bachelor’s programme, including History of Modern Philosophy, Griekse en Romeinse filosofie or History of Political Philosophy, Ethiek, Politieke filosofie / Political Philosophy.

  • BA students in Philosophy: Global and Comparative Perspectives, who have successfully completed at least 70 ECTS credits of the mandatory components of the first and second year of their bachelor’s programme, including World Philosophies: Greek and Roman Antiquity, World Philosophies: Modern Europe, Ethics, Political Philosophy.

  • Pre-master’s students in Philosophy who are in possession of an admission statement and who have to complete an advanced seminar, to be selected from package B.


This year, the course is dedicated to the relation between free will and responsibility and what this tells us about the value of autonomy and its place in the good life.

We begin this course by studying the modern version of an ancient debate between those who think that determinism and moral responsibility are mutually exclusive (and then reject the one or the other) and those who think that they are compatible. We move on to a discussion of autonomy and its relation to the good life.

Course objectives

Students who successfully complete the course will have a good understanding of the following concepts and theories: determinism, free will, compatibility, responsibility as well as the various theories of moral responsibility, autonomy, various theories of free will both classic and contemporary. Students who successfully complete the course will be able to:

  • recognise these concepts and theories;

  • be able to evaluate their cogency and plausibility;

  • Express their understanding in discussion and in writing.


The timetables are available through MyTimetable.

Mode of instruction

  • Seminars

Class attendance is required.

Assessment method


  • Midterm paper of 3000 words (50%)

  • Final paper of 3000 words (50%)


The final mark for the course is established by determination of the weighted average of several subtests (see above).


The resit consists of a paper that replaces the final paper. No separate resit will be offered for the midterm paper. The mark for the resit (100%) will replace all previously earned marks for subtests.
Students who have obtained a satisfactory grade for the first examination cannot take the resit.

Inspection and feedback

How and when an exam review will take place will be disclosed together with the publication of the exam results at the latest. If a student requests a review within 30 days after publication of the exam results, an exam review will have to be organized.

Reading list

Required readings will be announced through Brightspace.


Enrolment through MyStudymap is not possible for this course. Students are requested to submit their preferences for the third-year electives by means of an online registration form. They will receive the instruction and online registration form by email (uMail account); in June for courses scheduled in semester 1, and in December for courses scheduled in semester 2. Registration in uSis will be taken care of by the Education Administration Office.


  • For substantive questions, contact the lecturer listed in the right information bar.

  • For questions about enrolment, admission, etc, contact the Education Administration Office: Huizinga


Not applicable.