Charles Durning Carroll

Scales of Justice background – legal law concepts

This text is intended as an introduction to questions of moral philosophy. While the text itself is a survey, covering many of the topics in a standard philosophy course, the aim here is twofold–first to teach students about the power of stories as a vehicle for understanding moral questions, and second to give students a set of interpretive tools that will allow them to make good ethical decisions in a world that is becoming more ethically complex. At the risk of claiming too much for a course in moral philosophy, the most important skill students need when entering the working world is not so much a knowledge of marketing or accounting, finance, programming, or venture capital, as an understanding of the diverse audiences they will be working with as both colleagues and customers. In essence, the most valuable skills employers need today are¬†human skills. In a world where we are are all attached to our social media accounts and we live and die by how many pings we receive on our phone, this text attempts to do something more old-fashioned–to tell stories about people–about their feelings, thoughts, desires. This text hopes to show both that each individual is unique and that we are all for better and for worse separate beings, but at the same time that we share with other creatures on this planet a sense of living, a wish for respect and dignity, and a connection to all that is. In teaching to face head-on the contradiction¬† between being different and yet like everyone else I hope that the text will give students the tools to negotiate this difference.


Charles Carroll,

Vancouver, British Columbia, August 2019


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To the extent possible under law, Charles Durning Carroll has waived all copyright and related or neighboring rights to A Philosophy Reader, except where otherwise noted.

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