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Title: PHIL 301-01, Ethics, Fall 2007
Authors: Shade, Patrick A.
Keywords: Philosophy, Department of;Syllabus;Curriculum;Academic departments;Text;2007 Fall
Issue Date: 22-Aug-2007
Publisher: Memphis, Tenn. : Rhodes College
Series/Report no.: Syllabi CRN
Abstract: General Description: The field of ethics is quite large, but it generally concerns the goods (or goals) and standards (or norms or guidelines) that guide human action and interaction. Central questions include: What is the human good, i.e., the good unique to humans that best represents their highest fulfillment? What are the marks of good character? What are the criteria for right and wrong action? What differentiates good consequences from bad? Can (or should) norms be applicable universally? What role, if any, do emotions play in ethical deliberations? In addressing these questions, we will focus our study on the central ethical norms of four systems: ethics of excellence (represented by Aristotle and Aquinas), deontology (represented by Kant and Feinberg), utilitarianism (as formulated by Bentham and Mill), and ethics of care (represented by Noddings). Our approach will be structured both historically and topically. Especially in ethics, a theory/practice split is deeply problematic. An ethical position that is judged theoretically sound but suspect (or unrealistic) in its application misses the point of ethics: to live well or rightly. We will thus integrate “theoretical” concerns (about issues of the nature and justification of ethical criteria) with “practical” concerns (about specific courses of action or responses to moral problems) – especially in Group Work. Main Course Goals: • To develop a sophisticated and insightful understanding of the criteria that guide and govern meaningful human action and interaction, with special attention to the arguments for (and against) these criteria. The course will explore different orientations by focusing on the arguments and applications of key ideas or norms of four general ethical systems (noted above). • To become adept at applying the criteria of these systems to concrete (usually) contemporary issues, recognizing the importance of checking “theory” with “practice,” and vice versa • To successfully work in groups as you discuss, apply, and evaluate criteria and issues
Description: This syllabus was submitted to the Rhodes College Office of Academic Affairs by the course instructor.
Appears in Collections:Course Syllabi

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