Schedule of readings and assignments

Download 43.07 Kb.
Size43.07 Kb.

Every human problem must be considered from the standpoint of time [or history]. Ideally, the present will always contribute to the building of the future. ~Frantz Fanon
[Socrates seems to say] but if the wind of thinking, which I shall now stir in you, has shaken you from your sleep and made you fully awake and alive, then you will see that you have nothing in your grasp but perplexities, and the best we can do with them is share them with each other. ~Hannah Arendt


FOOD FOR THOUGHT: According to Frankena, what is a typical pattern of reasoning in moral matters? What are the differences among descriptive morality, normative ethics, and meta-ethics?

SET ONE: Value Theory and Meta-ethics

8.25: Introductions and syllabus

Judith Jarvis Thomson, The Trolley Problem (428-433)

8.27: William K. Frankena, Morality and Moral Philosophy (2-5)

Kwame Anthony Appiah, The Honor Code (BB)

Video: Socrates and the Nature of Justice [9min] (BB)

FOOD FOR THOUGHT: For Regan, are moral judgments merely personal preference? According to Rachels, what is the cultural differences argument?

), are moral judgments merely personal preferences? Explain.

9.1: Tom Regan, How Not to Answer Moral Questions (45-49)

Michael Sandel, Ch.1 Doing the Right Thing

9.3: James Rachels, The Challenge of Cultural Relativism (54-66)

Video: Appiah & Cosmopolitanism [8min] (BB)

FOOD FOR THOUGHT: Are we born with a sense of morality? Is the law written on our hearts?

9.8: Thomas Hobbes, The Social Contract (150-157)

Aquinas, excerpts from Treatise on Law (BB)

Video: Stevenson & the Nature of Ethical Disagreement [30min] (BB)

FOOD FOR THOUGHT: Can people who practice different religions agree about how to resolve moral disagreement?
SET TWO: Theological and Philosophical Theories of Ethics

9.10: Stephen M. Cahn, God and Morality (50-53)

Bible, various passages (BB)

FOOD FOR THOUGHT: Does ethical living require religion?

9.17: John Calvin, John 14:15-18 (BB)

Martin Luther, Two Kinds of Righteousness (BB)

FOOD FOR THOUGHT: Should we make ethical decisions based on consequences such as happiness or utility, or should we make decisions based on a rational understanding of duty?
9.22: Michael Sandel, Ch.2 The Greatest Happiness Principle

Video: Ethical Theories & Utilitarianism [65min] (BB)

John Stuart Mill, Utilitarianism (114-125)

9.24: Michael Sandel, Ch.5 What Matters is the Motive

Video: Kantian Ethics [20min] (BB)

Immanuel Kant, The Categorical Imperative (98-109)

Onora O’Neil, A Simplified Account of Kant’s Ethics (110-113)

FOOD FOR THOUGHT: According to Aristotle, what is the function of a human being? How is moral virtue acquired?
9.29: Michael Sandel, Ch.8 Who Deserves What

Video: Virtue Ethics [18min] (BB)

Aristotle, The Nature of Virtue (135-140)

FOOD FOR THOUGHT: How does and ethics of care differ from the other theories we’ve studied?
Bernard Mayo, Virtue Ethics (141-143)
10.1: Video: An Ethics of Care [21min] (BB)

Virginia Held, An Ethics of Care (144-149)

Simone Weil, What is Sacred in Every Human Being? (BB)

FOOD FOR THOUGHT: What is human freedom? What is the relationship between freedom and responsibility?

10.6: Augustine, excerpts from City of God XIX (BB)




FOOD FOR THOUGHT: Does the ethical permissibility (or lack of it) of aborting a fetus depend on the conditions of conception? Does it depend on the status of the fetus as life, being, or person?

SET THREE: Contemporary Moral Problems

10.20: Michael Sandel, Ch.9 What Do We Owe One Another?

Judith Jarvis Thomson, A Defense of Abortion (166-184)

Video: Thomson on Abortion [12min] (BB)

10.22: Don Marquis, Why Abortion is Immoral (203-211)

Rosalind Hursthouse, Virtue Theory and Abortion (212-224)

FOOD FOR THOUGHT: Is “mercy killing” ever justified? Why of why not?

10.27: James Rachels, Active and Passive Euthanasia (226-232)

10.29: Bonnie Steinbock, Intentional Termination of Life (233-242)

FOOD FOR THOUGHT: Do we show respect for human life by not taking the lives of those who commit murder?

11.3: Video: Pope Francis & Pro/Against Arguments [48min] (BB)

Walter Berns, The Morality of Capital Punishment (311-315)

11.5: Stephen Nathanson, Death Penalty as Symbolic Issue (316-323)

Angela Y. Davis, The Prison Industrial Complex (BB)

FOOD FOR THOUGHT: According to Singer, if you can prevent something bad from happening at a comparatively small cost to yourself, are you obligated to do so? According to Arthur, how do positive rights differ from negative rights?
11.10: Video: Singer & Zizek [40min] (BB)

Michael Sandel, Ch.10 Justice and the Common Good

Peter Singer, Famine, Affluence, and Morality (244-257)

11.12: John Arthur, World Hunger and Moral Obligation (258-264)

Aquinas, excerpts from On Charity (BB)

FOOD FOR THOUGHT: Under what circumstances, if any, is terrorism justified? To what extent is terrorism akin to conventional warfare?

11.17: Video: Berti, Davis, & Inside Terrorist Groups [30min] (BB)

Michael Walzer, Terrorism (266-274)

11.19: Lionel K. McPherson, Is Terrorism Distinctively Wrong? (275-280)

FOOD FOR THOUGHT: What is Pope Francis’ criticism of contemporary society? What does he propose as a way of alleviating our present problems?

11.24: Pope Francis, Laudato Si’ (BB)

Vandana Shiva, Principles of Earth Democracy (BB)


FOOD FOR THOUGHT: What does Regan mean by “inherent value”? According to Cohen, are there different kinds of rights?
12.1: Video: Shiva, Goodall, & Animal Rights [44min] (BB)

Tom Regan, The Case for Animal Rights (325-338)

12.3: Carl Cohen, Why Animals Have No Rights (339-342)

FOOD FOR THOUGHT: How does the principle of human dignity undergird the other principles of Catholic Social Teaching?
12.8: Kimberlé Crenshaw, Mapping the Margins (BB)

12.10: William Byron, Framing the Principles of CST (BB)


Share with your friends:

The database is protected by copyright © 2020
send message

    Main page