PHIL 122
Philosophical Approaches to Contemporary Moral Issues Fall 2012
Division II Writing Skills
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In this course 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, famine relief, abortion, capital punishment, terrorism and torture, food ethics, environmental ethics, and the like. Writing assignments will employ a “target essay” approach that involves writing groups in which students share their work with each other. For each issue we cover in class, one student in each group will write a five to seven page “target essay” on an assigned topic; all of the remaining members of each group will then read that essay and write a two page response to it. Depending on the number of students in the class, each person will write either one or two target essays, as well as four or five response essays throughout the course of the term. In addition, students will be required to substantially revise and expand one target essay in light of the peer response papers and written comments from the instructor, and to submit it as a final paper for the course.
The Class: Format: lecture/discussion
Limit: 19
Expected: 19
Class#: 1477
Grading: yes pass/fail option, yes fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: attendance and participation, four or five short response papers (h/p/f, 2 pages each), one or two target essays (graded, 5-7 pages each), and one revised final essay (7-10 pages)
Prerequisites: none
Enrollment Preferences: first years and sophomores
Distributions: Division II Writing Skills

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