Universitat Internacional de Catalunya

General Ethics

General Ethics
First semester
Main language of instruction: Catalan

Other languages of instruction: English, Spanish

If the student is enrolled for the English track then classes for that subject will be taught in the same language.
If the student is enrolled for the English track then classes for that subject will be taught in the same language.

Teaching staff

 Please make an appointment by e-mail


In the event that the health authorities announce a new period of confinement due to the evolution of the health crisis caused by COVID-19, the teaching staff will promptly communicate how this may effect the teaching methodologies and activities as well as the assessment.

Professional activity, like our personal life, involves morality and personal responsibility. Ethics seeks to reflect on this by providing concepts and a framework for moral behaviour. Formally, ethics is the branch of philosophy that considers what is good and bad in human life and which actions are right or wrong. In a more general sense, ethics tries to determine how we ought to live.

In this course we will firstly explore the history of ethical thought. Secondly, we will discuss some key ethical concepts and issues that can help to shape sound moral reasoning and correct behaviour in professional life. Thirdly, we will study a branch of ethics termed “areteology”, in which the central claim is that certain traits of character (virtues) are essential for good behaviour. We also discuss how character has an influence on business leadership.

Pre-course requirements

There are no previous requirements.


1) To provide students with theoretical tools for analysing human behaviour.
2) To introduce students to the use of the basic elements of moral thought and the main concepts in ethics.


  • 50 - To acquire the ability to relate concepts, analyse and synthesise.
  • 51 - To develop decision making skills.
  • 52 - To develop interpersonal skills and the ability to work as part of a team.
  • 54 - To be able to express one’s ideas and formulate arguments in a logical and coherent way, both verbally and in writing.
  • 56 - To be able to create arguments which are conducive to critical and self-critical thinking.
  • 57 - To acquire skills which favour reading comprehension.
  • 60 - To acquire knowledge that promotes respect for other cultures and habits.
  • 62 - To acquire mechanisms that facilitate the adoption of ethical commitments.
  • 63 - To be able to analyse business related behaviour and decisions and evaluate them from an economic, social and ethical point of view.

Learning outcomes

Students who take this course will learn ethical concepts, increase their sensitivity to the role of moral character in professional activity, and develop their capacity to identify values and ethical issues, and to exercise ethical judgements in particular situations.



Theme 1. Introduction. What is ethics?

Theme 2. Historical refences

Theme 3. The meaning of life. Ultimate end. 

Theme 4. Happiness

Theme 5. Virtue

Theme 6. Voluntary actions

Theme 7. Practical virtues

Theme 8. Justice 

Theme 9. Intellectual virtues

Theme 10. Autogobierno e incontinencia

Theme 11. Friendship 

Theme 12. Excellence


Evaluation systems and criteria

In blended

50% Practical work and exercises

Practical work consists on work in class, practical cases and answers through Foro in Moodle. This anwers through the Foro are compulsory in the weeck in which corresponds to attend the classe from home and will be evaluated as equivalent to attendance.

The attendace is compulsory. The 80% of it is necesary to pass the subject.

50% final examination

Final examination:

The two scores must be over 5, otherwise the final mark will be never over 4.75         

Note on academic honesty: All work you submit for this course must be entirely your own. The words or ideas of others must not in your written work without giving proper acknowledgement. Plagiarism will not be tolerated in any form.

Resit: the evaluation criteria for the second sitting is the same as for the first sitting. The same applies the part corresponding to practical. Exercises that cannot be repeated will be replaced by others. In the second call, in addition to the written exercices an oral exam will be compulsory. The evaluation of practical work will be done on this interview. 


Bibliography and resources

ARENDT, H., The human condition, University of Chicago Press, Chicago 1998
ARISTÓTELES, Ética a Nicómaco. Ed. bilingüe, Instituto de Estudios Políticos, Madrid, 1970.

BASTONS, M.; La toma de decisiones en la organización, Ariel, Barcelona 2000

BOSCH, M.; La ética amable, EUNSA, Pamplona 2015

CICERO, On Dities; On friendship; On old age

GRISEZ, G., y SHAW, R., Ser persona. Curso de Ética, Rialp, Madrid, 1993.

LLANO, A.; La vida lograda, Ariel, Barcelona 2006
MACINTYRE, A., After Virtue. A study in moral theory. Notre Dame University Press, Nostre Dame (Indiana) 3rd edition 2007

MARÍAS, J. La felicidad humana, Alianza, Madrid, 1989.

MENSCH, J., Ethics and Selfhood. Alterity and the Phenomenology of Obligation, State University of New York Press, NY, 2003.

PIEPER, J. The four cardinal virtues, University of Notre Dame Press, Notre Dame, 2014
RODRÍGUEZ LUÑO, A. Ética, Eunsa, Pamplona, 1986.

SENECA, Sobre la felicidad, Alianza, Madrid 1997
SPAEMANN, R., Happines and benevolence, University of Notre Dame Press, Nostre Dame 2000

TAYLOR, Ch.; La ética de la autenticidad, Paidós, Barcelona 1994

TRIGO, T.; En busca de una ética universal: un nuevo modo de ver la ley natural. Eunsa. Pamplona 2011 
YEPES STORK, R. Fundamentos de antropología. Un ideal de la existencia humana. Eunsa. Pamplona. 1996.




Teaching and learning material