PHILOSOPHY 211 - ETHICS

 

PROFESSOR:  Dr. Gary L. Angel

OFFICE:  Britt 211

PHONE:  Ext. 4343

HOURS:  MWF  3:15-4:15

                 TTH    2:15-4:15

 

TEXT:  No text

 

OBJECTIVES:

 

   1.   To acquaint the student with some of the major concepts, problems, trends, and writers in classical and contemporary ethical theory.

   2.   To help provide the students with a sense of the complexity of moral phenomena and moral reasoning, to stimulate personal reflection on moral issues, and to introduce possible frameworks within which responsible moral decisions may  be  made.

 

Format:  Lecture/Discussion

                                                                                                                                                                              

REQUIREMENTS:

1. Class attendance, as such, will not be required.  Student participation, however, is a requirement.  Students are, therefore, strongly advised to attend class in order that they may participate.  Excessive absence will be seen as constituting a failure to meet the participation requirement.  Class participation will make up 25% of the final grade, and will include participation in a debate on some moral issues.

 

2. There will be three major exams which are likely to include essay-type questions.  There will be no make-up exams.  If a student absolutely cannot be present for an exam, and if this student has contacted the professor in advance, other arrangements will be made.  Exams will constitute 50% of the final grade.

 

3. Every student will be required to write a paper which will be a semester long project.  The topic for the paper will be one of the issues in the course outline headed by “Confusing Moral Issues.”  Students will be called on at random to read these papers in their various developmental stages during the course of the semester.  Other students will make comments, and the author will be required to make changes that will take into account the comments of the classmates as well as the professor.  This paper will constitute 25% of the final grade.

   

 

COURSE OUTLINE:

 

I.  Basic Philosophical Preliminaries

             A.  What is philosophy?

             B.  How does a philosopher approach his subject matter?

                  1.  Uses of argument

                  2.  Definitions of philosophical terms

             C.  Ethics and Morality

 

P     II.   Some Confusing Moral Issues

             A.  Smoking

             B.  Suicide/Euthanasia

             C.  Abortion

             D.  Pornography/Censorship

             E.  Confidentiality

 

       III.   Theoretical Distinctions

             A.  The Role of Universalizability                                                          

             B.  Teleological Theories

                 1.  Value:  What is good?

                      a.  Intrinsic

                      b.  Extrinsic

                 2.  Obligation:  Best for whom?

                      a.  Ethical Egoism

                      b.  Utilitarianism

             C.  Deontological Theories

                 1.  Divine Command

                 2.  Natural Law

                 3.  Kant's Theory

 

       IV.   Challenges to Moral Knowledge

             A.  Relativism

             B.  Subjectivism and Emotivism

 

       V.   Ethical Theories

             A.  Divine Command

             B.  Natural Law

             C.  Ethical v. Psychological Egoism

             D.  Utilitarianism

             E.  Kant’s Theory