Credit hours: 03
GEC categories: GE Cultures and Ideas
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Example Syllabus: 130 Su 12 ONLINE SYLL 4-18-12.pdf
Course Objectives: To introduce the student to the most important and influential ethical theories - that is, those systems of thought designed to answer in detail questions such as: which acts are right? and what does the good life look like? The objective is to put you in a position to handle ethical decisions with a degree of sophistication made possible only by a clear grasp of the main alternative ethical theories. Whether one is a painter, a police person, or a lawyer, one faces moral dilemmas each day and can profit from studying a variety of approaches to such situations. Students are encouraged to become active participants in the art of philosophizing and in interpreting some of the major theories in the field of ethics. The readings for the course help maintain a practical emphasis, as the authors pay close attention to cases of moral decision-making which arise every day in our culture.
Course Content: Traditional Ethical Theory: Kant, Utilitarianism, and the Virtue Tradition. Selected issues: Relativism and Egoism.
Method of Presentation: Online presentation. Note: in Summer 2012, the course (which on quarters was called "Philosophy 130") will be offered 100% online, with exams taken online rather than in person, as they were in Summer 2011. With the University's permission I am again this year offering it in the 5-week format rather than the 7-week time frame now used by the University. Thus the syllabus will have the class beginning June 18 and ending July 20, 2012 and the final exam will be opened for 1 or 2 days at the end of the class. The time frame within which you watch the lectures and take the online quizzes is somewhat flexible, but the exams will open on set days and so you'll have to have completed a certain stretch of the material by those days. Special circumstances can sometimes allow you to take an exam at a different time, but those must be explained in advance and justified.
Method of Evaluation: 3 exams, each worth 30% of the grade; quizzes jointly worth 10% of the grade. Participating in the course "discussion room" and in private email discussions with the instructor is expected and will be used to determine several of the quiz grades.