PHILOSOPHY 103:08 HISTORY OF ETHICAL THEORY Nick Gier, Instructor
The TA for this section is Stacey Barron. She can be reached at IsisJean@aol.com. Her office hours are Mondays 1-2 in Morrill Hall 401. She will be responsible for grading your in-class writings (and EthicsTalk posting) as well as doing some class presentations.
REQUIRED TEXTS: Maitreya's translation of the Dhammapada
RESERVE TEXTS: William T. Jones, Kant and the 19th Century and Hobbes to Hume; Henberg & George, Readings in the Development of Moral Thought (2nd ed.).
Note: This schedule may change due to extended class discussion or unexpected early completion of a unit. The exam and in-class writing dates will be changed only under very special circumstances.
1/15-24 INTRODUCTION (4)
Synopsis: Three areas of philosophy and two types of logical argumentation.
Assignment: Readings on philosophical arguments and ethical objectivism and subjectivism.
1/24 In-Class Writing on the Origin of Moral Rules. See your questions here.
1/27 The Life of the Buddha. Slide Show. Read "The Savior Archetype."
1/29-2/7 BUDDHIST ETHICS (6).
Synopsis: The Buddha's "Process" Philosophy. The Middle Way and the 8th-Fold Path. The Five Precepts. Buddhist Virtue Ethics.
Assignments: Dhammapada on the web and the text of your Maitreya translation. Note: you need to read only the first 24 chapters of the Dhammapada.
2/7 In-Class Writing on Buddhism. Read Questions that tend not to Edification
2/10-24 ARISTOTLE (6).
Synopsis: Plato: Aristotles teacher. The relation of ethics and politics. Ethics as practical knowledge. Eudaimonia as the highest good. Aristotle's theory of the soul. Souls, persons, and abortion. Doctrine of the Mean. Aristotle's "Relativism."
Assignments: Selections from the Nicomachean Ethics and Politics on the website. For extra reading click here.
2/21 In-Class Writing on Aristotle
2/26-3/7 CONFUCIAN ETHICS (5)
Synopsis: Confucian Theory of Human Nature. The "Silver" Rule. Mencius' "Four Beginnings. Analogical Reasoning. Is Human Nature Good or Evil?
Assignment: Web Reading Assignment: The Analects of Confucius and the Book of Mencius. Also read this article on humanism.
3/7 In-Class Writing on Confucian Ethics.
3/10 FIRST EXAM. You will find your study questions here.
3/12-28 THOMAS AQUINAS (5)
Synopsis: Faith vs. reason. Types of Christian Ethics. Critique of Aristotle. Moral rationalism. Evil is in intention not in consequences. The Doctrine of Double Effect.
Assignments: Web Reading Assignment on Existence of God and Moral Law. For reading on the Doctrine of Double Effect, go to the library reserve website at www.lib.uidaho.edu/ereserve. Look up my reserve list under "G" and use <phil10302> as a username and <ZAZjaY> as a password to open the file. For Scriven reading, see file in Philosophy Department, 4th Floor Morrill Hall.
3/24 In-Class Writing on Aquinas.
3/31-4/7 DAVID HUME (5).
Synopsis: The empirical method and critique of speculative metaphysics. Morality based on sentiment. Benevolence as the highest virtue. The "Is" vs. the "Ought."
Assignments: Web Reading Assignment. Jones, Hobbes to Hume, 337-347.
4/4 SECOND EXAM. Your exam will be matching (Greek, Sanskrit, and Chinese terms), multiple choice, and true/false (with a focus on philosophical arguments). You will need to study the details of all PowerPoint outlines and lecture notes. A practice exam can be found here.
4/9 In-Class Writing on Hume
4/11-21 IMMANUEL KANT (5)
Synopsis: Kant's moral argument for God and the afterlife. Religion is morality. The centrality of a good will. Three forms of the categorical imperative. Categorical vs. hypothetical imperative. What is a person?
Assignments: Web Reading Assignment. Jones, Kant and the19th Century, 69-84. Review abortion reading. Read Puccetti article on e-reserve at www.lib.uidaho.edu/ereserve. Look up my reserve list under "G" and use <phil10302> as a username and <ZAZjaY> as a password.
4/18 In-Class Writing on Kant.
4/23-5/2 JOHN STUART MILL (5)
Synopsis: Bentham's hedonic calculus. The problem of Mill's On Liberty. Mill's qualitative utilitarianism and nonegoistic hedonism. Higher vs. lower pleasures. Utilitarianism and the ethics of Jesus.
Assignments: Web Reading Assignment. Read Broyles article on e-reserve at go to the library reserve website at www.lib.uidaho.edu/ereserve. Look up my reserve list under "G" and use phil10302 as a username and ZAZjaY as a password.
5/2 In-Class Writing on Mill.
5/5-9 WOMEN AND ETHICS (3).
Synopsis: Is moral rationalism sexist? A Critique of Kohlberg's Theory of Moral Development.
Assignments: Henberg & George, 161-171; 249-268. Kohlberg vs. Gilligan and Ivanhoe on Web.
5/9 In-Class Writing on Women and Ethics.
5/13 IN-CLASS FINAL (100 pts.). We meet at 3:30 in our own classroom. Study Questions on the Web. See Web for a paper in lieu of the final.
REQUIREMENTS. Two in-class exams (200 pts.); one in-class final (100 pts.); nine in-class writings (90 pts.); and one EthicsTalk posting (10 pts.). Those students taking the course pass/fail must do a good faith effort on all the requirements. The total number of points in the course is 400. The letter grades will be as follows: 360+ = A; 320+ = B; 280+ = C; 220+ = D; 220 and below is an F.
ETHICSTALK. There is a threaded discussion linked to the website called EthicsTalk. You must post a substantial paragraph one of these questions and you must also respond to another student's posting for two separate postings. You must print out a copy of your posting and your response turn it in to the grader by March 12.
RECITATION HOURS. Fridays 4-5 will be reserved for help sessions for both sections. These will be held in the Philosophy Seminar Room Morrill Hall 402. Please come prepared with your questions, especially before the exams.
CLASS ATTENDANCE. Six absences (20% of class time) will result in the lowering of one letter grade. Six absences before March 14 will be grounds for failing the class. This includes illness, field trips, and other excused absences. The student is responsible for keeping track and knowing when this limit has been reached.
OFFICE HOURS: MW 3:30-4:30 Morrill Hall 403. Office telephone 885-6284; 883-3360 (home). E-mail (email@example.com) is the best way to communicate with the instructor.