- Singer, "Animal Liberation" (in RTD and online)
- Norcross, "Torturing Puppies and Eating Meat: It's all in good taste" (in RTD and online)
- John Simmons, "Reasonable Humans and Animals" (online ) http://aphilosopher.googlepages.com/veg.pdf
Michael Huemer, "American's Unjust Drug War" (in RTD and online). See also Michelle Alexander, "The New Jim Crow"
James Rachels, article on euthanasia in RTD and the better article "Active and Passive Euthanasia" (online)
Monday, we will talk about drugs (and justice). Please re-read Rachels, Huemer's essay and videos of Michelle Alexander discuss her book "The New Jim Crow ."
WEDNESDAY AND FRIDAY WE WILL DISCUSS THE TREATMENT OF ANIMALS.
Please first read Simmons and then the other readings.
1. Remaining reading:
Due next Friday, April 26, in class and via Turnitin. Read and write detailed summaries of the two chapters on Kant's ethics. These chapters are entitled "Are there absolute moral rules?" and "Kant and Respect for Persons."
2. Paper due final day of class:
Due final day of class: I would like you to revisit the topic of your very first paper. In your paper on homosexuality, I asked you to write a "methods section" that would explain how to find and evaluate moral arguments. (Some people did not do this and their paper's grade suffered because of that). I would like you to return to your first topic to apply those argument analysis skills to that topic. I would like you to address at least five arguments about that topic, all in logically valid form, and explain whether they are sound or not. Some (at least two) of these arguments must come from Rachels' The Elements of Moral Philosophy and you must cite that book in a scholarly appropriate way.
Your paper should be well organized, grammatical, with an introduction and a thesis (e.g., "I will argue that doing X is morally permissible," or "I will argue that doing Y is wrong."). It should be something that a smart person not familiar with your topic could read, understand and learn from.
If your first paper was on the topic of homosexuality *or* eating meat, please see Dr. Nobis to devise an alternative assignment, since we don't want a student doing two papers at the end of the semester on the same topic.
Length: likely 3-5 pages.
3. Final paper, due at the time of the final exam:
Topic: Eating Meat.
Question: Is it morally permissible to eat meat? Present the argument(s) - in logically valid form - from John Simmons, Alastair Norcross and/or Peter Singer for the conclusion that eating meat is morally wrong (or, the conclusion that that it's wrong to raise, kill and eat chickens, pigs and cows for food). Raise and respond to at least five objections to that argument, all stated in logically valid form; explain whether the objections are sound arguments or not either for the view that eating meat is not wrong and/or that Simmons', Norcross and/or Singer's arguments are unsound.
This must be submitted via Turnitin and in class, in hardcopy, as always.
Your essay must conform to the guidance on writing philosophy given by Vaughn and Pryor. Your paper should be well organized, grammatical, with an introduction and a thesis (e.g., "I will argue that doing X is morally permissible," or "I will argue that doing Y is wrong."). It should be something that a smart person not familiar with your topic could read, understand and learn from.
Length: likely 4-6 pages.
4. Final quiz:
A final quiz, on the last section of readings and discussions, at the time of the final exam.
5. EXTRA CREDIT ASSIGNMENT: TOP TEN LIST: due at due date above.
Make a "Top 10 List of helpful things to do and/or not do when thinking about moral issues and addressing moral problems." Explain what people can do to better think about and address moral issues: these might be things to look out for and avoid, as well as positive techniques or attitudes or skills to use. For each of your suggestion of what to do (or not do), illustrate it with an example (or examples): explain why your suggestion is a good one. The goal of this assignment is for you to critically reflect on what we have done and develop a list of helpful ideas that you can use in the future (and help others use) when thinking about moral issues. This assignment is intended for you to reflect carefully on what we have learned this semester! 3-4 pages.