Contemporary Moral Problems - UCI Sp15 Syllabus

July 22, 2017 | Autor: Brandon Holter | Categoria: Applied Ethics
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“Contemporary Moral Issues” Course Outline Instructor: Office:

Brandon Holter KH 558

Email: [email protected] Office Hours: Wed. 2pm-4pm (or by appointment)

Required Text: Contemporary Debates in Applied Ethics, 2nd Ed. Andrew I. Cohen and Christopher Heath Wellman, Wiley-Blackwell. Course Description and Objectives: This course will examine contemporary issues in applied ethics, including matters of moral principle and real world consequence. We will begin by looking at normative ethical theories and then explore and apply them to a variety of cases. Life and death issues will include: abortion, euthanasia, the death penalty, and animal rights. We will also look at privacy issues, pornography, and human cloning. The course goals are for students to 1) successfully identify when issues of morality are at stake, 2) learn the conceptual tools of ethical evaluation, 3) apply those conceptual tools to a variety of cases, and 4) improve their understanding of the analytic methods of philosophy. Exams:

A take home midterm exam due 4/28 (25% of the total grade). An in-class final exam on 6/11 (40% of the total grade). Exams will consist of short answer and essay questions.

Course Paper: 1,200 words max. – Papers should address one topic or argument discussed in class. Begin by summarizing the main argument, explaining the important concepts involved and how the arguments works. Then offer your own analysis of the issue. You might defend the author's view from opposing criticisms discussed in class, revise the original argument against the view, or provide some unexplored alternative position. Be sure to consider the argument and objections discussed in class. Due 5/19 (35% of the final grade). Written work is graded based on the following criteria: Demonstrated understanding of the philosophical material. This includes understanding the view presented, how the argument supports that view, and how that argument relates to the other issues discussed in class. Ideas should be explained in your own words, especially technical vocabulary. Logic and argumentation. Provide clear and convincing reasons for the ideas you present, and anticipate obvious responses. Organization and Style. Clarity and concision are important. Words and phrases should be easy to read, precise (with little room for misinterpretation), and relevant. This also includes things like spelling, grammar, and elegance of writing. Organization should be clear and explicit. Show how each idea you present relates to the overall argument at hand, and indicate the organization of the paper.

Late Work: Exams will be rescheduled only in case of emergency or prior arrangement, at my discretion. Papers incur a penalty of 5% (half a letter grade) for each day they are late, and may not be turned in more than 48 hours late. Class Attendance and Participation: Success in this course will required not only understanding the issues presented, but articulating and defending your own views from problems and criticisms raised in class. Attendance is therefore strongly encouraged. Class consists of both lecture and discussion, so readings should be completed before class. It is useful to take notes while you read. Summarize the most crucial points, note questions or confusions that arise, and identify points of disagreement or contention. Topics and Schedule: I. Introduction “Theories of Ethics” -Stephen L. Darwall II. Life and Death A. Abortion “The Wrong of Abortion” -Patrick Lee and Robert P. George “The Moral Permissibility of Abortion” -Margaret Olivia Little B. Euthanasia “In Defense of Voluntary Active Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide” -Michael Tooley “A Case Against Euthanasia” -Daniel Callahan C. Animals “Empty Cages: Animal Rights and Vivisection” -Tom Regan “Animals and Their Medical Use” -R.G. Frey Midterm Exam Due 4/28 III. Justice A. Capital Punishment “A Defense of the Death Penalty” -Louis P. Pojman “Why We Should Put the Death Penalty to Rest” -Stephen Nathanson B. Affirmative Action and Racial Profiling “A Defense of Affirmative Action” -Albert Mosley “Racial Profiling and the Meaning of Racial Categories” - Celia Wolf-Devine Paper is Due 5/19

IV. Privacy A. The Limits of Privacy “The Limits of Privacy” -Amitai Etziomi “The Case for Privacy” -David D. Friedman

B. Pornography “The Right to Get Turned On: Pornography, Autonomy, Equality” -Andrew Altman “'The Price We Pay'? Pornography and Harm” -Susan J. Brison C. Human Cloning and Reproduction “Why I Oppose Human Cloning” - Jeremy Rifkin “The Poverty of Objections to Human Reproductive Cloning” -John Harris Final Exam on 6/11 Grading Method 98-100 = A+ 93-97 = A 90-92 = A-

87-89 = B+ 83-86 = B 80-82 = B-

77-79 = C+ 73-76 = C 70-72 = C-

67-69 = D+ 60-66 = D 0-60 = F

Intellectual Honesty and Plagiarism Plagiarism is a serious academic offense which may result not only in automatic failure of the course, but further administrative action by the University. Please familiarize yourself with UC, Irvine's policy regarding plagiarism. Academic Accommodation Accommodations will be made for students with disabilities which significantly impact their learning. Students must disclose this information well before due dates and deadlines, however. Preferably in the first two weeks of class. Please visit the Disability Service Center for more information, or go to the website:

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