In general, ethicists seek to answer questions about how we ought to live. Answers to this question draw on the full range of human knowledge and experience, including our great religious and philosophical traditions. Here at Villanova University, we believe that at the heart of every human endeavor we find assumptions about what it means to live well as human beings in the world and in relationships with others—human, non-human, and divine. The aim of the Ethics Program is to provide students with opportunities to explore these assumptions, to understand their origins in our great intelltucal traditions, and to engage them critically using methods and resources both theological and philosophical.
With this in mind, the Ethics Program offers an introductory course in ethics (ETH 2050) that is a required course for all students in the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences and the School of Business. In addition, the Ethics Program provides both a concentration and minor that is available to students in all of the university’s undergraduate colleges. These offer students opportunities to pursue in depth an intellectual discipline that studies human character and conduct—who we ought to be and what we ought to do. Both the concentration and the minor promote a greater understanding of ethics as a discipline from theological and philosophical perspectives, and both contribute to Villanova’s character as a Catholic, Augustinian university.
The Ethics Program is staffed by the director, associate director, three post-doctoral Catherine of Siena Fellows, and an administrative assistant. Additional faculty from Theology and Religious Studies, Philosophy, Humanities and Augustinian Traditions, and the Center for Peace and Justice serve the program through teaching and administrative service on our steering committee. We are proud to be an interdisciplinary program that works with interested parties from around our great university.