PHIL 102: Moral ProblemsSpring 2018 Dr. Amy McKiernan she/ her/ hers [email protected]Office: East College 212 Office Hours: 10:30 AM –12:00 PM Tuesdays & Thursdays Class Meets: 9:30 AM –10:20 AM MWF Classroom: Stern 103 Course Description What constitutes a moral problem? How should we determine what we ought to do when faced with moral dilemmas? What makes an agent or an action right or wrong? In this course, we will explore these questions with a focus on normative ethical theories and practical ethical problems. During the first half of the semester, we will establish the theoretical groundwork to think critically about contemporary moral problems. Then, we will turn to two specific moral problems in the United States, eugenics and mass incarceration. We will begin by exploring the history of these moral problems with the aim of thinking creatively about contemporary moral solutions. This course will develop your skills as careful readers, critical thinkers, and argumentative writers. You will learn to identify arguments, assumptions, and absences in texts and in your own thinking. In other words, you will learn to think on paper and on your feet about historical and contemporary moral problems, which have implications for how you live your everyday lives. Required Texts Plato, Five Dialogues Aristotle, Nicomachean EthicsKant, Groundwork of the Metaphysics of MoralsMill, UtilitarianismNietzsche, On the Genealogy of MoralityLombardo, Three Generations, No Imbeciles: Eugenics, the Supreme Court, and Buck v. BellAlexander, The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness All other readings on Moodle Assignments Paper One 5 pages: (25%) Paper Two 5 pages: (25%) Final Exam: (30%) 5 Reading Reflections: (10%) Participation and Attendance: (10%)
Grading Rubric A range: This grade is assigned to exceptional work with clear and creative arguments, excellent understanding and use of textual evidence, excellent structure and organization, anticipation of counterarguments, and very few grammatical errors. B range: This grade is assigned to goodwork with room for improvement in the areas of argument, understanding, evidence, clarity, organization, anticipation of counterarguments, and grammar. C range: This grade is assigned to acceptable work and may indicate the need to gain a better understanding of the texts and a better understanding of how to make and support arguments. D range: This grade is assigned to below acceptablework and indicates that you fell below the standards for what is acceptable given the assignment.