Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Philosophy 302 Course Outline

Here is the order of topics and readings. Exact dates and assignments will be announced in class and on the blog/webpage/email. We will likely not get to all of this material, but we will do our best: we are mainly looking to improve our quality of understanding and ability to argue, so we might sacrifice the quantity of readings to get that.

"Some Basic Points about Arguments," James Rachels (TRTTD)

“A Short Introduction to Moral Philosophy: James Rachels (TRTTD)

Ch. 1, "What is Morality?" (Elements)

Ch.2, "The Challenge of Cultural Relativism" (Elements)

Online: “What’s Culture Got to Do With It? Excising the Harmful Tradition of Female Circumcision” Harvard Law Review

Ch. 3, "Subjectivism in Ethics" (Elements)
"Is Homosexuality Unnatural?" Burton M. Leiser (TRTTD)

Ch. 4, "Does Morality Depend on Religion?" (Elements)

Online: “The Moral and Legal Status of Abortion,” Mary Anne Warren
"Why Abortion Is Immoral," Don Marquis (TRTTD)
"A Defense of Abortion," Judith Jarvis Thomson (TRTTD)

Online: “Patterns of Resistance,” Tom Regan: addresses arguments from American history in defense of slavery, against women’s rights, against homosexuality and other topics.

Ch. 5, "Ethical Egoism" (Elements)
"9/11 and Starvation," Mylan Engel, Jr. (TRTTD)
"The Singer Solution to World Poverty," Peter Singer (TRTTD)

Ch. 6, "The Utilitarian Approach" (Elements)

Ch. 7, "The Debate over Utilitarianism" (Elements)
"Utilitarianism," John Stuart Mill (TRTTD)

"Utilitarianism and Integrity," Bernard Williams (TRTTD)
"The Experience Machine," Robert Nozick (TRTTD)

"The Morality of Euthanasia," James Rachels (TRTTD)
"Assisted Suicide: Pro-Choice or Anti-Life?" Richard Doerflinger (TRTTD)

Ch. 8, "Are There Absolute Moral Rules?" (Elements)

Ch. 9, "Kant and Respect for Persons" (Elements)

"All Animals Are Equal," Peter Singer (TRTTD)

"Reasonable Humans and Animals," John Simmons

"Do Animals Have Rights?" Tibor R. Machan (TRTTD)

Handout: "Why There are No Obligations to Animals," Kant

"Is Racial Discrimination Arbitrary?" Peter Singer (TRTTD)

"In Defense of the Death Penalty," Ernest van den Haag (TRTTD)
"The Case against the Death Penalty," Hugo A. Bedau (TRTTD)

Ch. 10, "The Idea of a Social Contract" (Elements)
"Letter from the Birmingham City Jail," Martin Luther King, Jr. (TRTTD)
"In Defense of Quotas," James Rachels (TRTTD)

Ch. 11, "Feminism and the Ethics of Care" (Elements)
"The Feminist Revelation," Christina Hoff Sommers (TRTTD)

Ch. 12, "The Ethics of Virtue" (Elements)
"Preserving the Environment," Thomas E. Hill, Jr. (TRTTD)

Ch. 13, "What Would a Satisfactory Moral Theory Be Like?" (Elements)

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