Ethics and Social Issues syllabus (Summer 2013)

Note: This is a hybrid course: Class will meet on campus on Tuesdays ONLY. Each Thurday, an online Lecture and Quiz (based on reading and lecture material) will be released in SacCT, which will be due by the next day (Friday) by noon. This class lasts only six weeks, so stay in touch with me via email. Always identify yourself as an enrolled student in the course and if I do not respond within 12 hours then email me again. If you are an Open University student then you too will need to have a saclink account so that you may use SacCT. See this page for details: www.csus.edu/sacct/student/sacct-ready.stm


Meeting #1 - Tues. 6/4

  • Intro to moral theory
  • For Thursday: Two Excellent Moral Theories
    • Mill: Consequence-based Ethics
    • Kant: Duty-based Ethics
    • see the Blog for details, videos & handouts

 

Meeting #2 - Tues. 6/11

  • Topic Question 1 in the text: Is Moral Relativism correct?
    • discussion of online material from last Thursday
    • students present on Issue 1, peers evaluate
    • in-class exercise: Answering the Top 10 Questions and applying ethical theories

  • For Thursday: Question 4 in the text: Is Abortion Immoral?
    • see the Blog for details, videos & handouts
    • watch: The Last Abortion Clinic
    • Thursday by noon Quiz 1 question posted to the Blog and due at noon on Friday in your Journal

 

Meeting #3 - Tues. 6/18

 

Meeting #4 - Tues. 6/25

  • Question 3: Should sex involve commitment?
    • discussion of online material from last Thursday
    • students present on Issue 3, peers evaluate

  • For Thursday: Question 9: Should drugs be legalized?
    • See the text and the Blog
    • watch: The Meth Epidemic
    • Thursday by noon Quiz 3 question posted to the Blog and due at noon on Friday in your Journal

 

Meeting #5 - Tues. 7/2

  • Question 15: Does morality require vegetarianism?
    • discussion of online material from last Thursday
    • watch: Meet your Meat
    • students present on Issue 4, peers evaluate

  • For Thursday: Question 13: Is torture ever justified?
    • See the text and the Blog
    • watch: The Torture Question
    • Thursday by noon Quiz 4 question posted to the Blog and due at noon on Friday in your Journal

 

Meeting #6 - Tues. 7/9

  • Question 14: Is physician-assisted suicide wrong?
    • discussion of online material from last Thursday
    • watch: The Suicide Plan
    • students present on Issue 5, peers evaluate

  • For Thursday: Question 8: Should congress allow the buying and selling of human organs?


Required videos

  1. The Last Abortion Clinic
  2. Poison or Cure? Religious Belief in the Modern World
  3. The Constitutional Case for Same-sex Marriage
  4. The Meth Epidemic
  5. Meet your Meat
  6. The Torture Question
  7. The Suicide Plan
  8. We should legalize the market for human organs

Extra


Course Description

PHIL 101. Ethics and Social Issues. Moral controversies that divide society today, such as abortion, the death penalty, affirmative action, sexism, war and peace. Emphasis is on identifying the relevant values and moral principles underlying competing views and subjecting them to rational assessment.

Prerequisite: GWAR certification before Fall 09; or WPJ score of 80+; or 3-unit placement in ENGL 109M/W; or 4-unit placement in ENGL 109M/W and co-enrollment in ENGL 109X; or WPJ score 70/71 and co-enrollment in ENGL 109X. Graded: Graded Student. Units: 3.0

Required Course Text: Taking Sides: Clashing Views on Moral Issues, 13th Edition, by Stephen Satris - you can buy the eBook version online for about $40:

 

Assignments, Grades and Attendance

 

Objectives

  1. DEFINE basic ethical terms used in the course,
  2. DISTINGUISH various ethical concepts, theories and positions,
  3. ENGAGE in cogent and respectful discussion about controversial ethical issues,
  4. ANALYZE and PRODUCE practical, principle-based ethical arguments,
  5. APPLY ethical theories to moral dilemmas in professional and personal life.

 

Services to CSUS Students with Disabilities

If you have a disability and require accommodations, you need to provide me with your offical documentation from SSWD, which is in Lassen Hall 1008, (916) 278-6955. Please discuss accommodation needs with me ASAP during my office hours or by appt. early in the semester so that we may make a plan to help you out.

CSUS Policies and Procedures Regarding Academic Honesty

Review all academic responsibilities, definitions, sanctions and rights described herein.