Essential Ethics for Global Leaders to begin on April 9, 2019

 Class List of Spring Semester 2019

“Essential Ethics for Global Leaders” will begin on April 9. This class is designed as one of the Doctoral Program Liberal Arts for “Minor Course of Science and Technology for Global Leaders”. The class is open to all master’s & doctoral students who want to be active in the international community no matter which major/minor course they belong to. The lecture will be conducted in English.

Theme & Objective

Key themes:
– Perfection & happiness, right & good (as ends of ethics/moral philosophy)
– Ethics as study and practice
– Old and new ethics
– Contemporary ethical problems
– Exercise of reason
– To understand the facts of morality
– To reflect on life in its moral aspects
– To rethink personal moral convictions
– To strengthen old and/or adopt new ethical principles

Message to Students

posterWelcome to Essential ETHICS!
Most people are sensible about behaviour and attitude. The task of ethics is simply to rectify conduct. Parents, teachers, maybe all of us attempt to teach ethics, yet, ethics is something that can be learnt, rather than taught. In this course we will survey a range of topics related to ethics as an essential driver for general, intellectual and scientific achievement. Together we will discuss ethically questionable behaviour, consumption, research, business, law etc., and learn from a variety of viewpoints.
This course will be conducted in English. The audience is any student concerned with « good » and « right ».

Lecture Outline

Essential Ethics for Global Leaders [19S1014]
Number of Credits
RAVENOR-YAMAMOTO, Roxanna (Project Lecturer of Ochanomizu University)
Target Audience
Graduate Students
Undergraduate students can also attend.
Graduate School of Humanities & Sciences Building R408
Date & Time
Tuesday, Period 5-6 (13:20-14:50)
April 9, 16, 23
May 7, 14, 21, 28
June 4, 11, 18, 25
July 2, 9, 23, 30
Lecture Plan
Each lecture will begin with a brief introduction on the scheduled topic, followed by discussions in relation to the topic.

  • Course 1. An introduction to Ethics
    – Concept & facts emphasizing the importance of ethics in our everyday life
    – (Discusssion) Is ethics a science or an art? Should we study or practice ethics?
  • Course 2. Fundamentals of Ethics
    – Branches, tasks and methods
    – (Discussion) What should I do? Are we‘free’to do what we think is right?
  • Course 3. Main doctriness
    – Exploring the core ethical principles
    – (Discussion) Humans ought to seek happiness egoistically or universalistically?
  • Course 4. Reason and feeling
    – Analysing reasonable conduct
    – (Discussion) What to do in a situation when telling the truth is wrong?
  • Course 5. Pleasure and desire
    – Analysing impulses that conflict with reason
    – (Discussion) Can the desire to win a game/competition be unethical?
  • Course 6. Egoism
    – Self-realization as the aim
    – (Discussion) Is egoism vice or self-protection?
  • Course 7. Intuitionism
    – The view that everyday moral decisions are made in an ordinary way, intuitively
    – (Discussion) What if everybody did what I do?
  • Course 8. Hedonism
    – Maximizing pleasure and minimizing pain
    – (Discussion) Extremes of increasing pleasure (e.g. drugs) and limit pain (e.g. suicide)
  • Course 9. Common sense
    – Code imposed on individuals by public opinion or consensus of mankind
    – (Discussion) Common sense vs. common pursuits (of health, joy, wealth, social position, power)
  • Course 10. Duty and justice
    – Right acts; Fulfillment of agreements or expectations
    – (Discussion) Can rights and duties conflict (e.g. nomad settlements in protected places, abortion)? Is it just to penalize unintended crime and not reward unintended aid?
  • Course 11. Promise and law
    – Fulfillment of obligation as understood by promiser and promisee; Obeying the law
    – (Discussion) Can a promise to do something immoral be morally binding? Can a contract that holds a person to do something illegal be legally valid?
  • Course 12. Benevolence and intellectual virtues
    – Cultivate affection, piety, friendship, neighbourliness, citizenship, universal benevolence
    – (Discussion) Are there priorities for benevolence?
    – Wisdom, will, caution, decision
    – (Discussion) How to achieve harmony between our ends and ethics?
  • Course 13. The Ethical Seminar
    – (Discussions) How to ethically respond to unethical behaviour of others?
  • Course 14 and 15: Final Presentations and class discussion
    – Presentation of a personal approach to an ethical problem (written or oral)
Out-of-class Learning
Apart from the time students will invest in their final presentation, this course requires no learning time outside the classroom. Students are encouraged to dedicate as little/much time outside the class as they deem necessary to fulfil their personal ethical goals.
Try reading:
Plato. (any edition). The Republic – 国家 (対話篇)
Aristotle. 1857. Nicomachean Ethics – ニコマコス倫理学


Registration Period: Tue., April 9 through Mon., April 22
If you cannot register during above period, please contact Academic Affairs Office in Student Affairs Building.
*For undergraduate students, please contact Leading Graduate School Promotion Center.


Ochanomizu University Leading Graduate School Promotion Center
Tel: 03-5978-5775