Tuesday, September 28, 2010

For Wed., we will start EMP Ch. 3.

Friday, and part of Monday, we will watch this video "What's Morally Wrong With Homosexuality?" for which there is an online preview:


Soon I will give a new OPS assignment and your first philosophical essay assignment.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

I hope you don't mind, but I was thinking that the ops on the article on FGM / FC for Friday should be be EXTRA CREDIT; the 3 articles OPS due Monday are not extra credit, however.

More details on this later!

Details on these assignments (re. the 3 essays) are a below. Link to the "What's Culture Got to Do with it?" article is below too.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Monday, Essay 1 is due in class, in harcopy with the Turnitin receipt AND submitted via Turnitin online.

Readings for this week:

MONDAY: We will discuss the theoretical aspect of this chapter, i.e., the moral theory known as "cultural relativism":
5. Ch. 2, "The Challenge of Cultural Relativism" (Elements)

Wednesday we will discuss Female Genital Mutilation; in addition to EMP, please read this article online:

6. “What’s Culture Got to Do with it? Excising the Harmful Tradition of Female Circumcision,” Harvard Law Review, http://sites.google.com/site/nobisphilosophy/female_circumcision.pdf

Friday, OPS due of these readings from RTD; please identify the main issues from each article, and submit 1 OPS containing all three articles:

7. "Monogamy: A Critique," John McMurtry (RTD, #28) [This goes with the brief discussion of polyamory on pp. 29-30 of Elements; the readings below also concern sexual ethics.]

8. "Our Sexual Ethics," Bertrand Russell (RTD, #29)

9. "Alcohol and Rape," Nicholas Dixon (RTD, #30)

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Friday & next week

Friday we will finish EMP Ch. 1

Monday we will move onto EMP CH. 2.

Monday Essay 1 is due, in hardcopy in class and submitted via Turnitin. The assignment is below.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Monday and Wednesday.

Monday and Wednesday we will discuss EMP Ch. 1. Your OPS writing assignment, although due today - Friday - can also be turned in Monday, in hardcopy and via Turnitin.

Friday we will move on to EMP Ch. 2.

Essay #1, assignment previously posted, below, is due Monday, Sept. 20.

Please always put your class time on all assignments.

Error in 1 PM Turnitin Code

If (and only if) you are in the 1 PM ethics course and have not signed up for Turnitin, please use this as the course code:



I made a mistake and gave the 1PM course the 11 PM's code.
Thank you,

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Paper 1

Intro to Ethics PAPER 1: How do you write a philosophy paper?

DUE MONDAY, SEPT 20, by your class time, handed in in class and posted on the Turnitin site.

4-5 pages, typed (i.e., word-processed), double spaced, 12 pt font Times New Roman, 1” margins.

No late papers will be accepted. Students have had many weeks to get the Turnitin account; you need to get the PIN card and do the paper before the due date. No excuses. If the bookstore doesn’t have the cards, you need to get them to order one for you.

First, there are two writings online on how to write a philosophy paper that you need to carefully read and study:

1. "Guidelines on Writing a Philosophy Paper," by Jim Pryor: http://www.jimpryor.net/teaching/guidelines/writing.html

2. "Writing A Philosophy Paper," by Peter Horban: http://www.sfu.ca/philosophy/writing.htm

The assignment is this:

A friend knows that you are in a philosophy course. This friend asks you to come to her group to give a presentation on what philosophy essays are like and how to effectively write them. Your job is to carefully read the readings above on how to write philosophy and then effectively summarize them for this person. Write up the text that you could read -- or pass out -- to this audience so that they can learn from you. Write so you teach them how to write a philosophical essay: pass on what you learn from Pryor and Horban! This assignment requires you to summarize advice from a number of different sources and explain this advice to other people in your own words.

Papers must by typed and carefully written: put your name, email, the date, course # and time at the top of the first page; DO NOT USE A COVER PAGE. And give your paper a title.


9-10= excellent

8 = good

7 = fair

6 = poor

5 or below = very poor

They will be graded on clarity, organization, thoroughness, grammar and spelling, and, most generally, whether your reader would get a good sense for what philosophical / argumentative essays are like and how to write them.

Although citations -- i.e., direct quotations -- are not necessarily needed for this paper, if you use them you should use an official citation method that you learned in introductory English.

Sunday, September 05, 2010

For Wed and Friday, next week.

A change in plans:

Monday, of course, we have off.

I was thinking that Wednesday we should really discuss the Rachels SHORT INTRODUCTION TO MORAL PHILOSOPHY, RTD, Ch. 2. Please have read that, focusing on the 2nd half dealing with "impartial" ethical theories such as utilitarianism and Kantianism.

Thus, for Friday (not Wednesday as previously announced), EMP Ch. 1 needs to be read and a detailed OPS written and turned in online and in hardcopy in class.

Saturday, September 04, 2010

For Wednesday, OPS of EMP Ch. 1 due. See the syl. for explanation of the assignment. This is due in class and posted via the Turnitin site, which you need to have an account for.

For Wednesday, please also complete this assignment: make a list of actions that you think most people would think are obviously wrong and/or bad; a list of actions you think most people would think are obviously MP, MO or otherwise good. If you think of any actions that don't fall into that category, put them on another list.

Thursday, September 02, 2010


Assignments thusfar:

o Rachels, The Right Thing to Do (RTD: Ch. 2, “Some Basic Points About Arguments,” available here if you don’t yet have the books: http://aphilosopher.googlepages.com/rachels-on-arguments.pdf

Handouts on Overview of Logic & Arguments



· Overview of Basic Moral Evaluations: Permissible, Obligatory, Impermissible/Wrong

o See pp. 3, 5-8; also discusses logic and moral theories:


FOR FRIDAY: Rachels, The Right Thing to Do: 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


o Ch. 1, "What is Morality?" (Elements of Moral Philosophy, EMP) OPS Writing Assignment on Chapter 1, the whole chapter.


o "The New Eugenics," Matt Ridley (RTD, #36) [This goes with the bioethics theme of ch. 1.]