Credit hours: 03
GEC categories: GE Cultures and Ideas
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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, Egoism, and possibly a few more.
Method of Presentation: Class discussion of readings interspersed with lecture is the class format. There will be three general tests over course content.
Method of Evaluation: Three or four exams will be used to evaluate performance. Occasional quizzes will be given, often through Carmen.