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1 Instructor contact information Instructor: Ferdinand R. Durano Office hours: By appointment only Course Title: Intro. To Ethics Semester and Year: Summer II 2013 Course Prefix: PHIL 2306 CRN Class Days & Times: Monday thru Thursday 1:00 p.m. to 3:25 p.m. Credit Hours: 3 Prerequisite: English 1302 or Department approval Lecture Hours: 3 Class Room Location: 206 Total Contact Hours: 48 Course Description: This course explores the major problems and questions of moral philosophy from ancient to modern times by critically evaluating and applying various ethical theories and principles to historical and contemporary moral dilemmas. Included in this course are specific studies on Plato s and Gandhi s moral theories as well as de Beauvoir s. Course Goals: This course provides a practical, community-minded introduction to questions of character and human excellence in a multi-cultural, global environment. Traditional and contemporary views concerning the nature of goodness, happiness, duty, and freedom (HCCS Catalog) serve as points of departure for this largely thematic inquiry into right conduct and ways of thinking that leads to that conduct. Particular emphasis is placed on the scope and problems of sound reasoning and decision-making and may include correlative inquiries into current social, workforce, and professional moral issues. This course fulfills ethics requirement for various academic and professional four-year college majors and HCC Philosophy AA degree plan. Course Objectives: Acquire a broad familiarity with the names of major thinkers, the schools they represent, geographical location, and historical periods. Learn historically significant questions of philosophy, definitions of special terms, and concepts of knowledge, ethics, and ethical decision-making. Cultivate reading comprehension of writings specific to ethics and cultivation of character. Distinguish various approaches to ethics, including conceptual analysis, and practical bases for ethical decision-making. Articulate the relevance of ethics and questioning about ethics to everyday life. Consider how ethics may or may not apply to differing ways of thinking and cultural differences. Inventory, summarize, and assess correlative questions, concepts, and schools of thought found in the history of ethics, both personal and professional. Create and cultivate alternative ethical positions on presented course content. Develop coherent arguments for chosen positions, bringing to bear the rules of logic, written expression and disciplined thinking. Critique chosen positions and adequately defend against possible objections, both theoretical and applied.

2 Outcomes: 1. Recall and identify the major thinkers, schools, core philosophical questions, terms and concepts found in the history of ethics cross-culturally construed, from ancient times to the contemporary world. 2. Interpret and explain core ethical questions and concepts in terms that illustrate a comprehensive understanding of each. 3. Apply core ethical questions and concepts to contemporary issues and personal experience. 4. Compare and contrast related core ethical questions and concepts, and the correlative thinkers and schools with which they are commonly associated. 5. Justify a sound philosophical position on a topic, or topics of contemporary human interest in the area of ethics, including its relation to freedom and human rights, that integrates and logically demonstrates a synthesis in thought. Required Texts: a) Plato. Meno.Hackett Publishing.2 nd ed ISBN b) Ghandi, Mahatma. Selected Political Writings. Hackett Publishing. 1 st ed ISBN c) De Beauvoir, Simone. Ethics of Ambiguity. B. Frechtman, trsl. Citadel Press, ISBN X d) Aquinas. The Cardinal Virtues: Prudence, Justice, Fortitude and Temperance. R.J. Regan, trsl. Hackett Publishing Company ISBN e) Kant, Immanuel. Groundwork on the Metaphysics of Morals. Mary Gregor, trsl. Cambridge University Press st ed. f) Bentham & Mill: Classical Utilitarianism. J. Troyer, ed. Hackett Publishing st ed. ISBN Instructor guidelines and policies Attendance: All students are strongly encouraged to attend all classes. 1) Excessive absences from the class can result to a failing grade. Excessive absence means that a student has missed more than 12.5 percent of a 48-hour course (equivalent to six contact hours). 2) Attendance and on time arrival are absolutely essential to your success in this class. You will earn an attendance grade based upon the following scale: 0 absence = 100; 1 absence = 90; 2 absences= 80; 3 absences= 70 and 4 or more absences is a failing grade for this portion of final grade distribution. 3) Tardiness: Please arrive on time. I will call roll every day at the beginning of class. 4) Absences for medical reasons requiring an extended time necessitate the professor s signature. 5) If you cannot complete the course for any reason, it is your responsibility (not mine) to withdraw the class. Please be aware of the deadline of the withdrawal date: July 29 Monday at 12:00 pm. Academic Honesty: The HCC Student Handbook lists cheating, plagiarism and collusion as scholastic dishonesty. defines: a) Cheating as copying from someone else s paper or using unauthorized materials during a test. b) Plagiarism as "the appropriation of another's work and the unacknowledged incorporation of that work in one's own written work offered for credit." c) Collusion as "the unauthorized collaboration with another person in preparing work for credit." Any work submitted for this course that is determined by the professor to be the result of either cheating, plagiarism, or collusion will earn a "0" for that assignment, and may easily cause the student to receive an "F" in the course depending on the weight of the assignment in determining your course grade. Your professor may also recommend a further punishment of probation, or dismissal from HCC and ALL of its several colleges. See the Student Handbook for further information. It Withdrawal: The final date for student withdrawals is July 29 (Monday), If you drop the course, you must complete the necessary forms with the Registration personnel prior to this date. If you do not complete the withdrawal form and do not complete the required work in this class, you will receive an F for the course. HCCS instructors are no longer allowed to give students a grade of W at the end on the semester. The only way your grade will appear as a W on your course record is if the withdrawal form is submitted prior to the deadline date.

3 Assignments: Students are expected to read the material in advance for the topics to be discussed. This is one way of preparing themselves for the class in order to participate actively in philosophical discussions. Make-up Exams (Prelim, Midterm & Finals) and Quizzes: 1) No make-up exam is allowed unless the student has a valid reason and proof presented to me. Please see me personally if a situation like this occurs. 2) Late submission of quizzes are allowed, but with a three-point deduction. Cell phones, beepers, laptops, etc. 1) Cell phones and beepers are to be turned off or put in a vibrate mode during the class. 2) The students use of laptops, I-pods and other electronic devices is likewise discouraged, unless if they are used in class presentations and other class activities that are assigned by the professor. 3) Repeated offenses can result in a grade change. No student has the right to disrupt the education of other students. Class Civility Note: In this class many in depth and controversial ideas are talked about. It is at times common to hear some concepts or opinions either from the professor or your classmates that are often thought taboo for public discussions. Please conduct yourself in a civil or adult manner. Arguing a poor or unclear idea is tolerable - but attacking the person giving the idea is not. If a student is personally attacked or demeaned, the offending party will be dropped from the class without further discussion. Americans with Disabilities Act Statement Houston Community College System is dedicated to providing the least restrictive environment for all students. It promotes equity in academic access through the implementation of reasonable accommodations as required by the Vocational Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Title V, Section 504 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) which will enable students with disabilities to participate in and benefit from all post-secondary educational activities.

4 GRADE DETERMINATION: Your grade will be determined by the following Details Percent of Final Average Prelim Examination Multiple Choice and essay exam. 20% Midterm Examination Multiple Choice and essay exam. 20% Final Examination Multiple Choice (Cumulative) 20% Quizzes Written tests and group activities 30% Class participation Attendance and class discussions 10% Total: 100% The prelim and midterm examinations will contain a mixture of multiple-choice (80%) and an essay question (20%). The final examination is purely multiple-choice. It covers all the topics discussed from the prelim examination to the finals. Quizzes are in the form of individual or group activities. These are done by answering an exercise or a series of exercises either taken from the required textbook or given by the professor. Class participation includes attending the class, being active and cooperative in the class discussion and group activities. Final Average in Percent Letter Grade A B C D F

5 COURSE OUTLINE: Week Number TOPICS Objectives and Details 1 Syllabus discussion Understand the course syllabus; the life of Socrates. Branches of Philosophy Socrates: the Father of Ethics Ethics; Plato Moral Reasoning Enumerate the branches of philosophy and its relation to Ethics. Analyze Plato s Meno. First Quiz Stress reasoning and critical thinking as Logic and Fallacies Types of Reasoning Emotivism 2 Ethical Skepticism Relativism: An Overview Ethical Subjectivism Rousseau s Subjectivism The Kitty Genovese Case Cultural Relativism Ruth Benedict Social Darwinism important tools in resolving moral dilemmas. Enumerate and define the different types of fallacies. Contrast deductive from inductive type of reasoning. Contrast ethical subjectivism from emotivism and ethical skepticism. Discuss the roots of ethical subjectivism, its strengths and weaknesses. Analyze the Kitty Genovese Case. Second Quiz Discuss the roots of cultural relativism, its strengths and weaknesses. Contrast Darwin s ethics from Benedict s. PRELIM EXAMINATION July 17 (Wednesday) 3 Mahatma Gandhi Identify and elaborate Gandhi s moral ideas. Religion and Ethics The Divine-Command Theory Third Quiz Paper/Presentation Distinguish Moral Philosophy from Religion. Kai Nielsen s Contention Aquinas: The Natural Law Theory & The Cardinal Virtues Henry David Thoreau Analyze the pros and cons of the divine-command theory. Discuss Nielsen s reaction against the divine-command theory. Contrast the divine- command theory from the natural law theory. Elaborate Aquinas s cardinal virtues. Enumerate Thoreau s guidelines on Civil Disobedience Fourth Quiz

6 Week Number Conscience TOPICS Define conscience. Objectives and Details Factors That Shape Our Conscience Enumerate the various factors that shape our conscience. 4 The Affective and Cognitive Sides of Conscience Stages of Moral Development Socratic and Platonic Ethics Review Discuss the affective and cognitive sides of conscience. Enumerate the various stages of moral development according to Kohlberg and Gilligan. Fifth Quiz Contrast consequentialism from non-consequentialism Compare and contrast Socrates Ethics from Plato s. Review for the Midterm. Epicurus Epictetus Egoism Utilitarianism Compare and contrast Epicurus ethics from Epictetus. MIDTERM EXAMINATION July 30 (Tuesday) Compare and contrast Hobbes egoism from Rand s. Enumerate the fundamental ideas of utilitarianism. 5 Utilitarianism (Continuation) Compare and contrast Bentham s utilitarian principles from Mill s. Analyze the pros and cons of utilitarianism. Simone de Beauvoir Identify and understand de Beauvoir s moral theories. Sixth Quiz Deontology: Aristotle Discuss Aristotle s virtue ethics. Compare and contrast Kant s deontology from Ross. Immanuel Kant William David Ross. Review Final Exam schedule will be announced. Review for the final exam.

HOUSTON COMMUNITY COLLEGE SYSTEM Northeast College NOLN

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