Introduction to Ethics

PHI 200.005; Fall 2011

Instructor: Jeremy J. Kelly, Ph.D. e-mail: Class meeting times: T/Th: 200am-3:15pm Ten Hoor Hall 111 Office hours: 12:15pm-1:00pm

Course Description: Three hours. An examination of representative theories of moral
conduct with attention to their practical applications. The study of ethics is concerned with questions such as “How can one claim to know the difference between right and wrong conduct? – If so, how can one rationally justify such a claim?” “Can moral judgments be „true‟ or „false‟?”, “Are moral values objective?”, “How are ethical theories relevant to today‟s most pressing ethical problems?” Though philosophers are in the business of providing answers to such questions, they are notorious for failing agree as to which are the right answers. Failures aside, we will be exploring these questions and will be operating on the assumption that, if ethical problems are soluble, then they are soluble through reason.

Student Learning Outcomes:
• Students will demonstrate the ability to analyze and evaluate arguments contained in assigned course readings. • Evaluate various ethical theories and their practical applications. • Develop the skills needed to identify ethical problems, evaluate potential solutions.

Required Texts:
James Rachels and Stuart Rachels, The Elements of Moral Philosophy (6th ed.) James Rachels and Stuart Rachels, The Right Thing to Do (5th ed.)

Course Requirements:
Composition of Overall Course Grade: • 4 examinations (65%) • 8 quizzes (25%) • Participation (10%)

Class Attendance Policy:
Regular attendance is compulsory. Students with three unexcused absences should not expect to earn a grade higher than an „A‟; students missing four classes should not expect a grade higher


2 . After one warning you may be asked to leave the classroom.than a „B‟ for the overall grade.. information regarding the dates on which assignments are due. Typically. If you are in a building. or corridors) and remain there until the tornado warning has expired. In general classes will remain in session until the National Weather Service issues safety warnings for the city of Tuscaloosa. Only absences for which there is a satisfactory explanation will be excused. by arrangement with the instructor. Students with disabilities must be registered with the Office of Disability Services. but have not contacted the Office of Disability Services. please obtain lecture notes from someone in class). be taken at a later date. offices. (In the case of an absence. In the former case. six or more classes no higher than a „D‟. a doctor's note is required. Clearly. explanations will standardly require documentation. lecture notes. or conspiracy to help.g. It is the student‟s responsibility to find out what s/he has missed. etc. reasons that would qualify as excusing an absence are serious illness and death in the immediate family. Students who may need course adaptations because of a disability are welcome to make an appointment to see me during office hours. If you have a disability. some students and faculty commute from adjacent counties. An exam missed on account of an excused absence may. Severe Weather Protocol: In the case of a tornado warning (tornado has been sighted or detected by radar. The Academic Misconduct Disciplinary Policy will be followed in the event of academic misconduct. 133-B Martha Parham Hall East. Disability Statement: If you are registered with the Office of Disability Services. UA is a residential campus with many students living on or near campus. Policy on Academic Misconduct: All students in attendance at the University of Alabama are expected to be honorable and to observe standards of conduct appropriate to a community of scholars. all university activities are automatically suspended. people in the path of the storm (tornado or severe thunderstorm) should take immediate life saving actions. Classes that have not yet begun will resume 30 minutes after the tornado warning has expired provided at least half of the class period remains. Please do not send text messages during class. e. Individuals should follow the advice of the National Weather Service for that area taking the necessary precautions to ensure personal safety. Cell phone use policy: Please turn off all cell phones before coming to class. before receiving academic adjustments. please make an appointment with me as soon as possible to discuss any course accommodations that may be necessary. please move immediately to the lowest level and toward the center of the building away from windows (interior classrooms. The University expects from its students a higher standard of conduct than the minimum required to avoid discipline. These counties may experience weather related problems not encountered in Tuscaloosa. five classes no higher than a „C‟. another student. Classes in session when the tornado warning is issued can resume immediately after the warning has expired at the discretion of the instructor. including all classes and laboratories. Academic misconduct includes all acts of dishonesty in any academically related matter and any knowing or intentional help or attempt to help. please call 348-4285 or visit 133-B Martha Parham Hall East to register for services. sirens activated). Whenever the National Weather Service and the Emergency Management Agency issue a warning.

" J. Leiser (RTD. The Office of Public Relations will disseminate the latest information regarding conditions on campus in the following ways:      Weather advisory posted on the UA homepage Weather advisory sent out through Connect-ED--faculty." Don Marquis (RTD. "Subjectivism in Ethics" (Elements) "The Subjectivity of Values. Check http://www. #13).55-59 D+ 50-54 D Schedule of Readings: Week 1: Ch." Mary Anne Warren (RTD. It is imperative to get to where you can receive information from the National Weather Service and to follow the instructions provided." John McMurtry (RTD." James Rachels (RTD.7 FM Weather advisory broadcast over Alabama Public Radio (WUAL) at 91.70-74 C+ 67-69 C 60-66 C. L. "The Challenge of Cultural Relativism" (Elements) "Monogamy: A Critique. conditions can change rapidly. 1.When West Alabama is under a severe weather advisory. "What is Morality?"(Elements). #11) "A Defense of Abortion. #28) Week 3: Ch.85-89 B+ 80-84 B 75-79" Judith Jarvis Thomson (RTD. Personal safety should dictate the actions that faculty. "Does Morality Depend on Religion?" (Elements) "Why Abortion Is Immoral. staff and students take. #6). "Is Homosexuality Unnatural?" Burton M. EXAM 1 Week 5: 3 . 3. #27) Week 4: Ch. #2) Week 2: Ch. 4.5 FM Weather advisory broadcast over WVUA 7. WVUA 7 Storm Watch provides a free service you can subscribe to that allows you to receive weather warnings for Tuscaloosa via e-mail.html for details. #12) "On the Moral and Legal Status of Abortion / Postscript on Infanticide. "Some Basic Points about Arguments. 2. Grading Scale: Letter grades for each of the requirements as well as for the course as a whole will be assigned according to a standard grading scale: 95-100 A 90-94 A. Mackie (RTD. staff and students (sign up at myBama) Weather advisory broadcast over WVUA at 90. pager or cell phone.wvua7.

" Robert Nozick (RTD. #3) "The Morality of Euthanasia. "Ethical Egoism" (Elements) "9/11 and Starvation. #12). Jr. #4) "The Experience Machine." Martin Luther King. #13) Week 6: Ch." Immanuel Kant (RTD." Judith Jarvis Thomson (RTD." Louis P. Jr." Michael Huemer (RTD. #7."In Defense of Quotas." Bernard Williams (RTD." Mylan Engel. 8. "Are There Absolute Moral Rules?" (Elements) "The Categorical Imperative. #5) Week 11: Ch. #19) Week 12: "Fifty Years after Hiroshima. (RTD. #17). "A Defense of the Death Penalty." Mary Anne Warren (RTD. EXAM 2 Week 10: "The Debate over Utilitarianism" (Elements) "Utilitarianism and Integrity. (RTD. #34) Week 9: Week 9: "Assisted Suicide: Pro-Choice or Anti-Life?" Richard Doerflinger (RTD. #26). "What Is Wrong with Terrorism?" Thomas Nagel (RTD. #35) Ch." Douglas P." John Rawls (RTD. "The Utilitarian Approach" (Elements) "Utilitarianism. "All Animals Are Equal. Lackey (RTD. #14). Fall Break 9/27-9/28 Week 7: "The Idea of a Social Contract" (Elements) "Letter from the Birmingham City Jail. 5. #33) Week 8: Ch. #20). "On the Moral and Legal Status of Abortion / Postscript on Infanticide." James Rachels (RTD. 10. 9. 4 . #21) Week 13: Ch." Peter Singer (RTD." John Stuart Mill (RTD. 7."The Ethics of War and Peace. #31). #24). Pojman (RTD."A Defense of Abortion." James Rachels (RTD. "America's Unjust Drug War. "Kant and Respect for Persons" (Elements).

Bright (RTD. #10)." Aristotle (RTD. 12. #8)." Virginia Held (RTD."Why the United States Will Join the Rest of the World in Abandoning Capital Punishment. Ch. "The Ethics of Virtue" (Elements) Week 15: "The Virtues." Friedrich Nietzsche (RTD." Stephen B. “Custom and Morality” in Cultural Particulars and Universals. "Master Morality and Slave Morality. Review Week 17: Final Exam (Exam 4) 5 . "Feminism and the Ethics of Care" (Elements). Bloomington. #9) Week 16: Kwasi Wiredu. 11. EXAM 3 Week 14: Ch. (Indiana University Press. 1983) (handout). Thanksgiving Break (11/24-11/25) Week 15: "Caring Relations and Principles of Justice. #25).


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