Master of Data Science for Public Policy   Master of International Affairs   Master of Public Policy  

Public ethics

This module explores the ethical dimensions of politics. It investigates the moral responsibilities of politicians, public servants and citizens. It also examines various philosophical methods through which one might morally evaluate the behaviour these actors exhibit and the policies they enact; and it assesses the advantages and disadvantages of these methods.

Combining theory and practice, the module combines abstract philosophical debates with concrete case studies. The course focuses on the process of political debate and policymaking. It addresses such issues as the use of violence and official secrecy, the morality of lying, the dangers of hypocrisy, the necessity of compromise, the permissibility of protest, and the moral limits of the market.

 Students will reflect on such questions as whether the ends justify the means, whether a good character is necessary or sufficient for taking ethically good political decisions, the relevance of context to the moral criteria we apply and conclusions we draw, and the nature of public reasoning and justification.

This course is for 2nd year MIA, MPP and MDS students only.