PHIL 122
Philosophical Approaches to Contemporary Moral Issues Fall 2019
Division II Writing Skills

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In this tutorial we will examine a number of prominent and controversial social issues, using our study of them both as an opportunity to better understand the moral dimensions of those issues in and of themselves, and to consider the ways in which selected classical and contemporary moral theories characterize and address those moral dimensions. Topics will depend to some extent on student interest, but are likely to include concerns that fall under such headings as euthanasia, conscientious eating, abortion, capital punishment, and the ethics of protest. The course will use a case-based approach to examine these issues, and so in most weeks we will (1) read philosophical articles focused on a key concept or set of arguments central to the issue, and (2) consider in detail one morally complex case in which the concept or arguments have special application or relevance. In addition, we will devote several class meetings interspersed throughout the semester to reading foundational sources in ethical theory.
The Class: Format: tutorial
Limit: 10
Expected: 10
Class#: 1984
Grading: no pass/fail option, no fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: bi-weekly tutorial papers, oral commentaries, and tutorial discussion
Prerequisites: none; this course is suitable for first-year students
Enrollment Preferences: first-year students, then sophomores, then Philosophy majors
Distributions: Division II Writing Skills
WS Notes: Students will write five tutorial papers of 5-7 pages in length, one of which they will revise and submit at the end of the term. In each of the tutorial papers students will describe and evaluate arguments that appear in the assigned readings, and will develop arguments in support of their own ethical positions. Students will receive written and oral feedback, concentrated particularly in the first half of the semester, to improve their ability to present clear and effective written arguments.

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