INTRODUCTION TO ETHICS
J. Arthur (ed.), Morality and Moral
Controversies, Seventh Edition (Prentice-Hall, pb).
The course handouts and other postings will be on Blackboard.
Office hours and contact information
Lycan: W 1:30 - 4:00,
or by appointment; Caldwell 215B. firstname.lastname@example.org.
Web site: www.unc.edu/~ujanel.
Blatti (sections 604, 608): TBA; Caldwell 13. email@example.com.
Bowers (sections 603, 607): TBA; Caldwell 13. firstname.lastname@example.org.
Fraser (sections 601, 605): T 10:00 - 12:00, or by appointment; Caldwell 12B. email@example.com.
Ross (sections 602, 606): TBA; Caldwell 206A. firstname.lastname@example.org.
This course is an introduction to the
elements of moral reasoning and deliberation. What sorts of factors
should I consider in making a moral decision?
We will examine some of the classic theories of moral right and wrong, such as Bentham and Mill's Utilitarianism and Kant's Categorical Imperative. Then we shall investigate a number of controversial moral issues, applying the classic theories and also seeing what they overlook. The special topics will be chosen by the students collectively, but may well include abortion, capital punishment, or euthanasia.
One very short exercise (roughly 5%
of your overall grade); two short papers (1000-1250 words each), with a
rewrite opportunity on the first (30% and 35%); midterm (10%) and final
exam (20%). Participation will be recognized as a fudge factor.
Syllabus for first half of course
Wednesday, January 11: Introductory matters. A sample moral issue: euthanasia. Reading: For section, Friday the 13th, Dyck, “An Alternative to the Ethic of Euthanasia” (pp. 241-45); Rachels, “Active and Passive Euthanasia” (pp. 245-49).
Wednesday, January 18, and in sections Friday the 20th: Continuing discussion of euthanasia as a case study. Reading: Court opinion in JFK Memorial Hospital v. Heston (pp. 237-39); Godwin, “Comparing Human Lives: The Archbishop and the Chambermaid” (pp. 240-41); Brandt, “Defective Newborns and the Morality of Termination” (pp. 249-55); Callahan, “Aging and the Ends of Medicine” (pp. 256-62); Harris, “The Survival Lottery” (pp. 262-67)
Week of January 23: The Utilitarian theory of ethics. Reading: Mill, “Utilitarianism” (pp. 65-72). Exercise due, Monday the 23rd, in class.
Week of January 30: Utilitarianism, continued. Reading: Brandt, “The Real and Alleged Problems of Utilitarianism” (pp. 83-89).
Week of February 6: Kant’s moral theory. Reading: Kant, “The Fundamental Principles of the Metaphysic of Morals” (pp. 56-65).
Week of February 13: Kant, continued; respect for persons. Reading: O’Neill, “Kant and Utilitarianism Contrasted” (pp. 78-83). Paper #1 due, Monday the 13th, in class.
Week of February 20: Vs. rules. Reading: Aristotle, “Nicomachean Ethics” (pp. 51-56); Held, “Feminist Transformations of Moral Theory” (pp. 89-94).
Week of February 27: Begin special topics in applied ethics. Rewrite of Paper #1 due, Monday the 27th, in class. Midterm exam, Wednesday, March 1, in class.
Week of March 13: Spring Recess. Wine, significant others, and song.
Monday, April 3: Paper #2 due.
Friday, April 14: No sections; holiday.
Last class is Wednesday, April 26:
Review session. Final exam, Monday, May 8, 12:00 noon.
Chancellor Moeser has asked faculty to include the following statement in all course syllabi.
Thank you.Academic dishonesty in any form is unacceptable, because any breach in academic integrity, however small, strikes destructively at the University’s life and work.
The Honor Code and the Campus Code, embodying the ideals of academic honesty, integrity, and responsible citizenship, have for over 100 years governed the performance of all academic work and student conduct at the University. Acceptance by a student of enrollment in the University presupposes a commitment to the principles embodied in these codes and a respect for this most significant University tradition.
Your participation in this course comes with my expectation that your work will be completed in full observance of the Honor Code.
If you have any questions about your responsibility or my responsibility as a faculty member under the Honor Code and as the instructor in this course, please bring them to me, or consult with someone in either the office of the Student Attorney General or the Office of the Dean of Students.