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How do I Choose the Best Ethics Class?

Klaus Strasser
Klaus Strasser

Ethics is a subdiscipline of philosophy, in which questions concerning behavior and morality are asked. For example, ethicists will pose questions such as "What is right?" or "What is good?". There are many specific branches of ethics, such as legal ethics, bioethics, or animal ethics. When choosing the best ethics class, it can be a good idea to familiarize yourself with the type of ethics you wish to study. It can also be important to choose a class that is offered at a quality school and features excellent instructors, since this will help you get the most from your education.

In many ways, ethics can be considered inseparable from basic philosophical questions. For example, the question "What is justice?" is the theme of Plato's classic book Republic. Since these questions tend to lack a definitive answer, ethics is a dynamic field with many different approaches and solutions. To illustrate this, the philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein said that if someone would write a comprehensive book on ethics, it would be a book that would destroy all the others in the world.

Woman standing behind a stack of books
Woman standing behind a stack of books

If you have never taken an ethics class before, it can be a good idea to take an introductory course. This should introduce you to some of the key concepts of the field, while also familiarizing you with some of the classical literature on the subject. A good ethics class should generally inform you about the various subdivisions of ethics, and offer an overview of different schools of ethical thought.

The academic institution offering the ethics class can also be important. It may be a good idea to look at the school's website to learn more about its philosophy faculty, and perhaps read the biographies of potential instructors. In doing this, you may be able to find an instructor whose interests closely match with your own.

Some ethics classes specialize in a certain aspect of the field. For example, there are ethics courses that specifically focus on subdisciplines, such as business ethics, biomedical ethics and legal ethics. A biomedical ethics class will typically address issues such as euthanasia and abortion, discuss how those concepts affect society, and identify arguments for and against them. A legal ethics class, on the other hand, may discuss some of the moral obligations faced by lawyers. The best ethic classes should present a thorough background of related theoretical approaches, along with an evaluation of the current topics related to the subdiscipline.

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Discussion Comments


Though ethics sounds like an interesting and fairly easy course of study, don't assume that it will be simple to get a good grade in an ethics class. These courses require a lot of deep thinking, reading, and studying. It is not even uncommon for a student to have to seek the assistance of a tutor to get through ethics class with a good grade.


Many career fields have ethics courses, such as ethics and medicine or ethics and business. Regardless of the field a student decides to go into, he or she should take any ethics classes that are offered in that particular field. The knowledge that the student will learn will serve as a guide to do the right thing throughout his or her career.

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      Woman standing behind a stack of books