Class 10:30 am - 11:50 am MTWRF Sale Hall 110 Jun 02, 2009 - Jul 15, 2009
Instructor: Dr. Nathan Nobis (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Office: Philosophy & Religion Department, Sale Hall 113
Office Hours: before and af
Course blog: http://philosophy302.blogspot.com
Email announcement group: http://groups.google.com/group/philosophy302/
Catalogue Description: Provides an introduction to philosophical reflection about the nature and function of morality.
Extended Description: This course provides students with the opportunity to improve their skills at reasoning critically about moral issues. Students will learn some basic logic and critical thinking skills and apply them to theoretical and practical questions about morality. We will practice identifying precise and unambiguous moral conclusions (i.e., exact perspectives taken on moral issues) and the reasons given for and against these conclusions. We will then practice evaluating these reasons to see if they provide rational support for these conclusions or not. We will think about what helps people think more carefully and critically about moral issues and what factors and influences discourage this. We will discuss influential ethical theories and moral principles – answers to the questions ‘What’s the basic difference between a right and wrong action?’ and ‘What makes right actions right and wrong actions wrong?’ – and apply our critical thinking skills to moral issues such as female genital mutilation, homosexuality, abortion, famine and absolute poverty, racism, sexism, and speciesism, vegetarianism and the treatment of animals, euthanasia and assisted suicide, capital punishment, affirmative action, civil disobedience, and environmentalism, among others.
Required course ma
James and S
James and S
ANY EDITION OF THESE BOOKS WILL DO: SEE AMAZON.COM OR ABEBOOKS.COM FOR USED COPIES
Lewis Vaughn, Wri
1. “OPS” (Outline, Paraphrase, &/or Summarize) writing assignments:
· The absolute most important thing you can do to succeed in this class is to do the reading and do the reading well. To encourage you do to do, you will be required to write 1-3 page outlines, paraphrases &/or summaries of many of the readings or selections of them. Vaughn’s Writing Philosophy, Ch. 1 provides instruction on how to do this. What most important for these assignments is that you (a) identify the author’s main conclusions, and (b) explain the reasons he or she gives in favor of these conclusions and (c) explain whether these reasons are a valid and sound argument for that conclusion or not. Merely copying the writing’s Introduction by Rachels will result in a zero for the assignment. (3 points each; 12 assignments; 36 points total)
- Five 4-6 page Essays (argumen
ta tive essays, where a moral conclusion is defended, objec tions are responded to, e tc.): (10 poin ts each; 50 poin ts to tal)
- Two Exams, Midterm and Final:
- All of lec
ture, discussion and reading con ten tis fair game. S tudy guides will be available online wi th possible ques tions for each exam to help focus your s tudying. Exams will mos tly be shor tanswer and shor tessay ques tions. (25 poin ts each; 50 poin ts to tal).
Nearly always come to class. Be on time. Do the reading, carefully. Be prepared. Take the time to do a very good job on everything we do. Bring your materials, always. Contribute to class discussion. Ask questions. Do not plagiarize or cheat in any way: if you do, you will fail the course immediately. Have fun, learn a lot, and grow to become a more ethically engaged person!
- Get the books and needed materials.
- Sign up for
the email announcemen tgroup here: http://groups.google.com/group/philosophy302/
First reading assignments; dates TBA:
o Vaughn, Ch.1, “How To Read Philosophy”
o Vaughn, Ch.2, “How To Read An Argumen
o Rachels, RTD:
o Rachels, RTD: Ch.1 “A Short Introduction to Moral Philosophy,” available here if you don’t yet have the books: http://aphilosopher.googlepages.com/rachels-intro-to-ethics.pdf Writing assignment: which theory or theories are best and why? 2 pages
EMP Table of Con
1. WHAT IS MORALITY?
1.1. The Problem of Defini
2. THE CHALLENGE OF CULTURAL RELATIVISM
3. SUBJECTIVISM IN ETHICS
3.1. The Basic Idea of E
4. DOES MORALITY DEPEND ON RELIGION?
4.1. The Presumed Connec
5. ETHICAL EGOISM
5.1. Is There a Du
6. THE IDEA OF A SOCIAL CONTRACT
6.1. Hobbes's Argumen
7. THE UTILITARIAN APPROACH
7.1. The Revolu
8. THE DEBATE OVER UTILITARIANISM
8.1. The Classical Version of
9. ARE THERE ABSOLUTE MORAL RULES?
9.1. Harry Truman and Elizabe
10. KANT AND RESPECT FOR PERSONS
11. FEMINISM AND THE ETHICS OF CARE
11.1. Do Women and Men Think Differen
12. THE ETHICS OF VIRTUE
12.1. The E
13. WHAT WOULD A SATISFACTORY MORAL THEORY BE LIKE?
RTD Table of Con