This course is discontinued

FIL4353 – Feminist ethics with long essay

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

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Course content

How does gender influence moral philosophy and the construction of ethical theories? What is the basis for the claim voiced by feminist ethicists that traditional ethical theories ignore the interests of women while favoring those of men? What are the consequences from this criticism, and what is the relation between feminist ethics and ethical relativism? These questions are all central to this course, as is the examination of alternative ethical approaches and theories put forth by feminist ethicists, such as the ethics of care, maternal ethics, lesbian ethics and theories of justice in private, social and global relations. Simone de Beauvoir is considered a forerunner to contemporary feminist ethics, and her existential ethics will be incorporated into the discussion of the current feminist ethics.

Learning outcome

At this course you will gain insight into the contemporary theories and main positions within feminist ethics, their strengths as well as weaknesses. You will also learn to identify gender bias in the design and application of traditional normative theories. More generally, working with these texts will provide you with the ability to critically analyze the structures and practice of normative theories. This course will also support the development of more general academic skills, such as examining new normative positions, relate them to established traditions, analyze and discuss explicit and implicit philosophical assumptions, and to identify problems and possibility within normative theories.


Students who are admitted to study programmes at UiO must each semester register which courses and exams they wish to sign up for in Studentweb.

If you are not already enrolled as a student at UiO, please see our information about admission requirements and procedures.

Only master degree students in philosophy can formally enroll, and take the course for credits. The 30-credits version of the course is available only for students who choose to write a MA-essay, FIL4091, instead of a Master's Thesis, FIL4090, and therefore need further 30 credits.


Recommended previous knowledge

Overlapping courses


14 double sessions with seminar.

Compulsory tuition activity:

An oral presentation of approximately 15 minutes based on the reading list for the course. In special cases a student might be allowed to hand in a written presentation of approximately 3 pages instead.

As a student you are expected to participate actively during the seminar. We expect you to attend regularly the seminar meetings, be prepared before each meeting and participate in discussions.

In order for you to qualify for the final examination, all compulsory tuition activities must be approved by the teacher. The acitivity is only valid for one semester.


A Master's essay of 25-50 pages à 2300 characters, literature list not included. The topic must be related to the reading list and must also be approved of by your teacher. The paper is to be submitted in Fronter.


When you write an essay you are entitled to receive individual tutoring. However, this requires that you submit a draft to your teacher. An exact deadline for handing in the draft will be given by the teacher during the seminar.

In order for you to qualify for the final examination, all compulsory tuition activities must be approved by the teacher.





Grading scale

Grades are awarded on a scale from A to F, where A is the best grade and F is a fail. Read more about the grading system.

Explanations and appeals

Resit an examination

Special examination arrangements

Application form, deadline and requirements for special examination arrangements.

Facts about this course






Every spring


Every spring

Teaching language

Norwegian (English on request)