INTRODUCTION TO ETHICS AND SOCIETY PHIL 1020-001
Summer 2007, 1st Term
Dr. David Hildebrand
TTh 9:45 A.M.—to140 p.m. (NC 1326)
Course Description: All who live in this world must choose what to do. Yet to live in the world we must live with people. When we make choices involving people we are engaged in ethical activity. Ethical debates arise from those situations where there is disagreement about: 1) how we should treat others and 2) the reasons (or arguments) for treating them in one way rather than another. This course will examine specific ethical theories as well as more concrete issues such as abortion, the death penalty, sexual morality, animal rights, and the effect of consumerism on ethical inquiry, etc. Our goal will be to gain a better understanding by reading, thinking, and talking carefully and critically.
1. Familiarization. Gain a good sense of what is at stake in issues of course.
2. Comprehension. Be able to comprehend the arguments offered by various philosophers.
3. Critical analysis. Be able to criticize those arguments by pointing out where they lack evidence, make an unreasonable leap, hold a false assumption, etc.
4. Demonstration of (1) - (3) through writing.
5. Verbalization. Be able to summarize a philosophical position, without notes, using your own words. Be able to criticize a position this way.
6. Conversation and Debate. Be able to discuss issues in a focused and informed way with others in the class. This will involve listening closely to their points, then responding in a way that moves the discussion ahead.
Time commitment To do well in this class (get an A or B) plan on spending A MINIMUM of twice the time out of class on our readings and studying. Because this is an intensive class, this comes to a minimum of about 8 hours a week. (This time minimum does NOT guarantee a good grade. It is just a first step toward doing well--see website tips for other hints.)
Required Texts: Available at Auraria and Big Dog Textbooks (1331 15th Street). Also, if you desire, online (see, for example, http://used.addall.com). If you buy your book online, make sure (1) that it is the correct edition, and (2) that you have it in time for class. See also http://www.bigdogtextbooks.com here in Denver.
1. Social Ethics: Morality and Social Policy 6th or 7th edition, Ed. Mappes and Zembaty (McGraw Hill)
2. Online. Occasionally there will be readings at one of the following places:
(a) on my website: www.davidhildebrand.org (DH)
(b) at our blackboard site http://blackboard.cuonline.edu/ (BLACKBOARD)
YOU MUST PRINT OUT ANY ONLINE READING THAT IS ASSIGNED AND BRING IT TO CLASS.
Short papers: 15%---Attendance/Participation 20%---First Exam 30 %---Final Exam 35 %
Blackboard/Website: There are 2 online sites related to this course (see above). Familiarize yourself with them right away. They will offer you access to information about the course such as study questions, announcements, grades, extra credit assignments. The most important one is our course Blackboard site. Please make sure you enroll right at the beginning of the class.
Readings: It is expected that you have done the Readings before we discuss them. As you read, copy out important points and questions you have onto a separate sheet of paper. (These will help you with your short reflection papers.) You may also want to note problem passages (e.g., with a "?" or "Q.") in your text as you read. These are good points for class discussion. You should come to each class able to discuss the main issues of the reading and you could be asked during class to present the main points to the class. Your well-prepared participation is crucial for a successful class. Please see the Tips for Understanding Philosophy and for Writing Philosophy Papers on my home page. See also this page for tips on participating and reading. Very important: please set aside about 10 minutes shortly before class to look back over (skim-review) the Readings and whatever you have written for that day.
Study questions: There are study questions for many of the readings covered in this course. They are most likely posted online, either at my website or on Blackboard. These questions do not cover every single issue you will be tested on, but they will give you a great start.
Short Papers (5 total) The purpose of these assignments is to help you clarify your understanding of the readings and to help you think critically about the issues. These assignments should be:
1. One page, typewritten reactions or questions about some specific issue which you find compelling in the readings. Your paper must not simply sum up the reading or repeat points made there. (I.e., no book reports, please.) Rather, you must try to raise a question or discuss some original insight. You may use these papers to demonstrate your application of a concept/idea in the readings to an experience you have with media or technology. See the website link "Writing short, critical papers" for further hints about how to write a good paper.
2. The first paragraph should state in 1-2 sentences a summary of what the paper is about.
3. You must do 10 papers total and you may not hand in more than one paper on the same date.
4. Only papers that are written on a reading or topic that will be discussed in the class immediately coming up are acceptable.
5. You must come to class for a paper to be accepted.
6. This will be a “graded” assignment only in a loose sense; in other words it will be either S-satisfactory (100) or U-unsatisfactory (50). A zero (0) will be awarded if nothing (or next to nothing) is turned in.
How to write a short paper: http://davidhildebrand.org/index.php?page=teaching//shortpaper.html
Attendance. Attendance is part of participation. This is an accelerated summer course and each day is the equivalent of three days during a regular semester. For that reason, I will allow only one unexcused/discretionary absence. Other than that one class day, attendance is absolutely required except in cases of medical illness or emergency. An absence may be excused, exams may be made up, or homework may be turned in late only if (1) the absence has been approved in advance by the professor or (2) the absent student can document illness or emergency. Documents about absence must be brought to professor within one week of returning to class. Unexcused absences beyond one will severely impact the final grade.
Participation Course participation grades are not automatic. They are based on oral contributions to the collective learning experience of the class as a whole in terms of asking pertinent questions, answering questions correctly or, at least, provocatively, making insightful observations, and offering other meaningful expressions of interest in the material that help encourage learning. Shyness is not an excuse—oral participation is part of your evaluation. There will be ample opportunity for active and well prepared participation, which I value and which will affect the final grade. "Participation" must include the following: class attendance, ability and willingness to contribute to class discussion and group activities; these activities will also influence "participation" e-mail dialogue, extra-credit (when assigned) etc.
Exams: Likely a mixture of short answer, multiple choice, and essay. The final exam is take home and it must be typed. NO MAKE-UP EXAMS WILL BE GIVEN WITHOUT EXTENUATING CIRCUMSTANCES AND ARRANGEMENTS MADE PRIOR TO THE EXAM. Such circumstances include severe medical problems; talk to me for the full list of acceptable excuses.
Plagiarism/Academic Dishonesty: Plagiarism is a form of stealing. It occurs when an author uses the words or ideas of others as if they were the author’s own original thought. (It may include word-for-word copying, interspersing one’s own words with another’s, paraphrasing, inventing or counterfeiting sources, submitting another’s work as one’s own, neglecting quotation marks on material that is otherwise acknowledged.) Plagiarism is often unintentional. It can be avoided by always acknowledging one’s debt to others by citing the exact source of a quotation or paraphrase. Since plagiarism is such a serious violation of academic honesty, the PENALTY for it will be an AUTOMATIC “F” FOR THIS COURSE.
Academic dishonesty is the intentional disregard of course or university rules. This may include (but is not limited to) collaborating with others when rules forbid or using sources/experts not permitted by an assignment. The CU handbook has a more complete description of plagiarism and academic dishonesty.
Grades: For CU, I use the plus/minus system. Values for those letters, as well as the policies regarding other grades such as Incomplete, are available in the CU Academic Policies and Regulations section of the handbook.
Access, Disability, Communication: The University of Colorado at Denver and Health Sciences Center is committed to providing reasonable accommodation and access to programs and services to persons with disabilities. Students with disabilities who want academic accommodations must register with Disability Resources and Services (DRS), 177 Arts Building, 303-556-3450, TTY 303-556-4766, FAX 303-556-2074. I will be happy to provide approved accommodations, once you provide me with a copy of DRS’s letter. [DRS requires students to provide current and adequate documentation of their disabilities. Once a student has registered with DRS, DRS will review the documentation and assess the student’s request for academic accommodations in light of the documentation. DRS will then provide the student with a letter indicating which academic accommodations have been approved.]
Students called for military duty: If you are a student in the military with the potential of being called to military service and /or training during the course of the semester, you are encouraged to contact your school/college Associate Dean or Advising Office immediately.
Course Communication: In addition to announcements made and written handouts distributed in class, I may need to contact you between classes, which I'll do through individual and group email messages. One of the requirements for this course is that you maintain an email address, check it regularly for messages, be sure it is working, and let me know if you change your email address. You are responsible for any messages, including assignments and schedule changes, I send you via email. You also may contact me via email, in addition to seeing me during office hours or calling me.
Civility: Turn off beepers and cell phones during class. Students who are speaking deserve your attention and respect as much as I do. Listen to one another. Adherence to the Student Conduct Code is expected.
CONTACT INFORMATION AND OFFICE HOURS
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; Website: http://davidhildebrand.org
Office and Hours: Plaza M108; Hours TTh 1:40-2:40 p.m., and by appointment.
Purpose: I strongly encourage you to participate by dropping by during office hours. We can talk about the class Readings and lectures, exams and papers, your progress, or just philosophy in general. Note: If you are a student with a disability, I will make myself available to discuss appropriate academic accommodations. Before accommodations will be made, you may be required to provide documentation. Students with disabilities will be accommodated. Students with disabilities are required to register disabilities with the UCD Disability Services Office, and are responsible for requesting reasonable accommodations at the beginning of the term.
PLEASE FEEL FREE TO CONSULT WITH ME about your progress in the class, or about how you think the class is going. (I try to be a very open-minded teacher! We should not wait until the course is over before we improve things—but, you must speak up!).
Course help is available at my web address: http://DavidHildebrand.org
• May 29, 2007; First day of Class
• May 31, 2007; Last day to be added to a wait list
• March 12 – June 7, 2007; Students are responsible for verifying an accurate summer 2007 course schedule via the SMART registration system. Students are NOT notified of their wait-list status by the university. All students must check their scheduled prior to June 7, 2007 for accuracy.
• June 2, 2007 at 5PM; Wait lists are dropped. Any student who was not added to a course automatically from the wait list by this date and time MUST complete a drop/add form to be added to the class. Students are NOT automatically added to the class from the wait list after this date and time. If your name is not on the official student roster, you are not registered for the course.
• June 4, 2007; First day an instructor may approve a request to add a student to a course using the Schedule Adjustment Form (drop/add form).
• June 4, 2007; Last day to add a course using the SMART Web Registration system. Students MUST check their registration to verify what classes they are enrolled in.
• June 7, 2007 at 5 PM; Last day to add structured courses without a written petition for a late add. This is an absolute deadline and is treated as such. This deadline does not apply to independent study, internships, and late-starting modular courses.
• June 7, 2007 at 5 PM; Last day to drop a summer 2007 course with a full tuition refund and no transcript notation. Drops after this date will appear on your transcript. This is an absolute deadline and is treated as such.
• June 7, 2007 at 5 PM; Last day to completely withdraw from all summer 2007 courses with a full tuition refund and no transcript notation. Drops after this date will appear on your transcript. This is an absolute deadline and is treated as such.
• June 7, 2007 at 5 PM; Last day to request pass/fail option for a course.
• June 7, 2007 at 5 PM: Last day to request a no credit option for a course.
• June 7, 2007 at 5 PM: Last day to register for a Candidate for Degree.
• June 7, 2007 at 5 PM: Last day to petition for a reduction in thesis or dissertation hours.
• June 7, 2007 at 5 PM: Last day to apply for summer 2007 graduation. You must make an appointment and see your academic advisor to apply for graduation.
• July 2, 2007 at 5 PM; Last day for non CLAS students to drop or withdraw from all classes without a petition and special approval from the student’s academic Dean. This is treated as an absolute deadline.
• July 6, 2007 at 5 PM; Last day for CLAS students to drop or withdraw from all classes without a petition and special approval from the student’s academic Dean. This is treated as an absolute deadline.
• No schedule changes will be granted once finals week has started. There are NO exceptions to this policy.
Reading and Exam Schedule
This reading schedule will give you a rough idea of what we’re going to read and when.
Readings may be added as we go along. Any changes will be announced in class.
Key: (SE) = Social Ethics; all else is either a film or online on Blackboard. SE page numbers refer to 6th edition.
5/29 Introduction, What is Ethics, Abortion
Introduction to ethics: What is "Ethics"?
Abortion introduction (Timmons and textbook's Introduction), snapshot of Blackmun (Roe vs. Wade)
Group work ("Conversation about Abortion")
Readings: Recommended: Timmons on Abortion (online); Timmons Morality Primer to top of page 4.
Roe vs. Wade (Blackmun)
Pope JP II, editorial; discussion
of theory and examples in abortion;
Readings: Timmons on Abortion (online); (SE) Introduction of abortion section of textbook, Blackmun; Pope JP II
Readings: (SE): Warren, Marquis, Sherwin
6/7 Death Penalty
Introduction to topic, facts figures (see online material);
Justice Stewart majority opinion (Gregg vs. GA)
Justice Marshall, dissenting opinion (Gregg vs. GA)
Primoratz, group work
Readings: (SE) Introduction of DP section of textbook, Justices Stewart, Marshall, Primoratz
The Bible and the Death Penalty (P. Gathje)
An Interactive Map of Death Penalty Facts
Another death penalty map of the United States (for higher resolution version, click here)
Some key arguments, pro and con
How does each execution method actually work?
6/12 Death Penalty
Review for exam 1
Readings: (SE): Nathanson
6/14 Exam1, Consumerism
Introduction: Connection of Media, Consumerism and Ethics
Film, Advertising and the End of the World
Schor, Overspent American (Read all up to p. 67; ONLINE)
Readings: Schor (online)
6/19 Consumerism, Liberty, Sexual Morality
Schor, Overspent American (p. 67 to end; ONLINE)
(SE) Mill, On Liberty (214-217)
Killing Us Softly3 (FILM, 34 min.)
Readings; Schor, Mill,
6/21 Sexual Morality
(SE) Introduction, Natural Law Theory, Punzo (157-170)
Readings:(SE) Introduction to Sexual Morality, Punzo, Mappes, Corvino
6/26 Animals and Environment
Peter Singer, All Animals Are Equal
Tom Regan, The Case for Animal Rights
Readings: (SE) Singer, Regan
Take Home Exam Out
Bernard E. Rollin, Environmental Ethics
Take home distributed
Reading: (SE) Rollin