Moral Problems

 

INSTRUCTOR: Bradley Rettler

CONTACT: rettlerb@gmail.com

OFFICE HOURS: Monday 3-4, Tuesday 2-3, and by appointment.

OFFICE: Malloy 112

MAILBOX: Malloy 100

 

Resources

  • Course Syllabus

  • On How to Write Good Philosophy Papers

  • On How To Read Philosophy

  • On How to Understand Philosophy

  • What is a Good Argument?

 

Schedule and Readings

Jan 14: Course Overview

  • Glossary of Philosophy Terms

 

Jan 16: Arguments and Logic

  • Good and Bad Arguments

  • Validity and Soundness

 

Moral Theories

Jan 21: Moral Relativism.

  • Phillipa Foot – Moral Relativism

Jan 23: Consequentialism.

  • Brad Hooker – Consequentialism

Jan 28: Deontology.

  • Larry Alexander and Michael Moore – Deontological Ethics

Jan 30: Divine Command Theory.

  • Louis P. Pojman and James Fieser – Religion and Ethics

 

Moral Issues

Feb 4: Torture.

  • Henry Shue – “Torture”

Feb 6: Torture.

  • Jamie Mayerfeld – “In Defense of the Absolute Prohibition of Torture”

 

Feb 11: Abortion.

  • Don Marquis – “Why Abortion is Immoral”

Feb 13: Abortion. First Paper Assigned.

  • Judith Jarvis Thomson – “A Defense of Abortion”

 

Feb 18: Immigration.

  • David Miller – “Immigration: The Case for Limits”

Feb 20: Immigration.

  • Chandran Kukathas – “The Case for Open Immigration”

 

Feb 25: Gun Control. First Paper Due.

  • Jeffrey Snyder – “A Nation of Cowards”

Feb 27: NO CLASS.

 

March 4: Privacy.

  • James Rachels – “Why Privacy is Important”

March 6: Privacy. Final Paper Assigned.

  • James Taylor – “A Defense of Big Brother”

 

March 11: SPRING BREAK.

March 13: SPRING BREAK.

 

March 18: Capital Punishment.

  • Louis Pojman – “A Defense of the Death Penalty”

March 20: Capital Punishment.

  • Stephen Nathanson – “Why We Should Put the Death Penalty to Rest”

 

March 25: Drugs. Final Paper Due.

  • Intelligence Squared – “Legalize Drugs”, up to 1:04:33

March 27: Drugs. Comments Assigned.

  • Intelligence Squared – “Legalize Drugs”, remainder

 

April 1: Taxation.

  • Douglas J Amy – “Taxes are Good”

April 3: Taxation. Comments Due.

  • Frank Chodorov – “Taxation is Theft”

 

April 8: Same-sex marriage.

  • Jonathan Rauch – “Who Needs Marriage?”

April 10: Same-sex marriage. Papers Returned.

  • Robert Knight – “How Domestic Partnerships and ‘Gay Marriage’ Threaten the Family”

 

April 15: NO CLASS.

April 17: NO CLASS.

 

April 22: Charitable Giving.

  • Peter Singer – “Famine, Affluence, and Morality”

April 24: Charitable Giving.

  • Thomas Crisp – “Jesus and Affluence”

 

April 29: Genetic Engineering. Final Paper Due Again.

 

May 6: Final Examination, 10:30am (for 3:30pm class)

May 7: Final Examination, 7:30pm (for 5:05pm class)