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PHL-330-20, Ethics (FA13)

INSTRUCTOR: Desirée Melton, Ph.D

SCHEDULE/DAY/TIME: T2/Thursday/6:00 p.m. -8:45 p.m., October 24, 31, November 7, 14, 21, December 5, 12

CONTENT:

This course introduces students to ethics, i.e., the study of good and bad and right and wrong as applied to the actions and character of individuals, institutions, and societies.  The course will combine developing an understanding of various ethical theories with reflection on pressing ethical problems such as: capital punishment, euthanasia, sexuality and marriage. Among the questions we will address are: What is the good life?  How should I live?  What is the right thing to do?  For what am I responsible?  How should I treat near and distant strangers? 

LEARNING OBJECTIVES:

--To gain an understanding that discussions in ethics have a long history

--To develop skills in recognizing and evaluating arguments

--To improve one’s ability to think critically

--To learn a select number of ethical approaches and their implications

METHODS:

The format of this course is lecture, discussion, and group work.  Since we will spend a good bit of time discussing, I expect everyone to come to class fully prepared to discuss the material.

REQUIREMENTS AND ASSIGNMENTS: 

Attendance at all 7 courses is required.  Under no circumstances will an absence be excused.

Four 2-3 page writing assignments - 40% (10% each)

Two exams - 30%

Group work - 30%

REQUIRED TEXT(S) OR MATERIALS: 

Lewis Vaughn, Doing Ethics: Moral Reasoning and Contemporary Issues, 3nd ed. Norton: 2012

RECOMMENDED READINGS OR MATERIALS: 

None

READINGS AND/OR ASSIGNMENTS TO BE DONE PRIOR TO THE FIRST CLASS:

Read “The Ethical Landscape”, and “The Elements of Ethics” Be prepared to complete discussion questions.