Phil. 321, Sect. 1 & 2

Course Schedule
Spring Semester, 2010
Lawrence M. Hinman, Ph.D.

Back to Syllabus

Jan. 26

Tuesday

Introduction

28

Thursday

Defining Moral Problems: Everyday Moral Reasoning

Feb 2

Tuesday

Ethical Theory: Overview, Utilitarianism

4

Thursday

Ethical Theory: Rule-based approaches to morality

First Journal Assignment: Write an essay discussing the various major approaches in ethical theory and your own position in this regard.

9 Tuesday

Ethical Theory: Character-based approaches to morality

 

 

 

Cloning, Genetic Manupulation, Regenerative Medicine

     

11

Thursday

Shaping Our Children through Genetic Manipulation

  • Read CMI, Chapter One

The octuplets case

Case Study: Down Syndrome

Stock-Fukuyama debate

Additional Resources

Stem Cell Ethics & Regenerative Medicine

Video

PowerPoint presentations:

Recommended on eReserve (password "phil321" without the quotation marks):

  • "Girl or Boy? As Fertility Technology Advances, So Does an Ethical Debate." Grady, D.
  • "There is No Me Without You." Shapiro, D.
  • "Wanting Babies Like Themselves, Some Parents Choose Genetic Defects." Sanghavi, D.M.
  • Katrina Clark, "My Father Was an Anonymous Sperm Donor" Washington Post. December 17, 2006.
  • Peggy Orenstein, "In Vitro We Trust" New York Times. July 20, 2008.

Additional resources:

Second Journal Assignment: Genetic testing has made it increasingly possible to test for genetic traits extremely early in a pregnancy. In some cases the results of these tests may result in abortion, in non-implantation of embryos, or in modification of embryos. What general principles should be used in deciding (a) when such tests can be performed and (b) what actions may be taken as a result of such tests. (1-2 pages, double-spaced).

16

Tuesday

Genetic Enhancement and Designer Babies

18

Thursday

Video: Gattaca

Genetic Enhancement and Cloning (continued)

23

Tuesday

Ethics in the news:

Third Journal Assignment: Essay discussing ethical issues in "Gattaca."


25

Thursday

Abortion

PowerPoint

March 1 Monday Extra office hours: 11:30 AM - 2:00 PM

March 2

Tuesday

Abortion

PowerPoint

Fourth Journal Assignment: Write an essay discussing your views on the moral status of the embryo. Is it a person? Why, why not? When? How does your view relate to the authors we are considering?

4

Thursday

Mid-Term Exam

Possible long essay questions: (I will choose one of these for the mid-term exam.):

  • Consequentialist and deontological approaches to ethics sometimes produce quite different conclusions about what the right course of action is.  Showing a critical awareness of the course readings and resources, write an essay in which you explain these two approaches to ethics and critically evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of each. 
  • The movie "Gattaca" depicts an imaginary future society in which genetic screening has come to play a major role. Write an essay in which you analyze the ethical issues raised by the movie, showing a critical awareness of the course readings and resources. Be sure to include in your discussion the difference between consequentialist and deontological ethical theories and the applicability of that distinction to our understanding of the ethical issues raised by the movie.

Previous exam

Journals:.

  • four journal entries, covering topics in ethical theory, genetic technologies and abortion.

9

Tuesday

USD Spring Break

11

Thursday

USD Spring Break

16 Tuesday

Abortion (conclusion)

Please note my office has moved to Founders 160B (inside the Logic Center)

18 Thursday

Return of mid-term exams

Stem Cell Research

PowerPoint

Videos

Web Resources

Recommended on eReserve:

Fifth Journal Entry: Ethics of stem cell research

23

Tuesday

Euthanasia & End-of-Life

Read CMI, Chapter Three

Recommended: reading

Fifth Journal Assignment: Write an essay in which you discuss the issues raised by the Moyers' video "A Death of One's Own."

25

Thursday

Euthanasia & End-of-Life (Moyers, conclusion)

30

Tuesday

No formal class meeting--LMH to eye surgery

Outside class assignment:

April 1

Thursday

USD Easter Holiday

 

6

Tuesday

No formal class meeting--LMH to eye surgery

Outside class assignment:

8

Thursday

Punishment

PowerPoint on Punishment

Read:

  • CMI, Chapter on Punishment
  • Atul Gawande, "Hellhole," New Yorker, March 30, 2009.

Capital Punishment

Journal entry on issues in punishment or capital punishment.

13

Tuesday

Punishment and Sex Offenders

  • Readings to be assigned

15

Thursday

 

20 Tuesday Class cancelled
22 Thursday

Punishment, Deterrence, Surveillance

Death Penaly

27

Tuesday

The Death Penalty

29

Thursday

Just War

Just War Theory; Humanitarian Intervention; Torture

Read: CMI, Chapter on war

Jus post Bellum: Justice and Reconciliation

Bill Moyers Video with Mark Danner and Bruce Fein (not: this link takes you to the first of the five segments for this on-line video. Links to the remaining four parts are given on the page for part one.

29

Thursday

Humanitarian Intervention; Torture

PowerPoints

ICRC Report on the Treatment of Fourteen "High Value Detainees" in CIA Custody

Mark Danner, The Red Cross Torture Report: What It Means, New York Review of Books, 56, 7 (April 30, 2009)

Mark Danner, "US Torture: Voices from th Black Sites," New York Review of Books, 56, 6 (April 9, 2009).

New York Times guide to the Torture Memos

Office of Legal Counsel Legal Memoranda (April 19, 2009)

"In Adopting Harsh Tactics, No Look at the Past," NYT, April 22, 2009.

US Senate Final Report on Detainees in U.S. Custody Released April 21, 2009.

Timeline. Senate Intelligence committee. Released April 22, 2009. Washington Post summary. April 23, 2009; Post article.

Thomas Friedman, "A Tortorous Compromise"

 

May 4

Tuesday

World Hunger & Moral Obligation

PowerPoint

Expanding the Circle

Resources:

6

Thursday

World Hunger & Moral Obligation

Journal: World hunger

11

Tuesday

Last day of class -- concluding comments

13 Thursday Additional office hours: 11:30 AM -1:00 PM.
   

Information for the final exam

Short answer questions will cover:

  • PowerPoint presentations:
    • Abortion
    • Euthanasia
    • Stem Cell Ethics
    • Punishment
    • Capital Punishment
    • Just War Theory
    • Torture
    • World hunger
  • Videos:
    • Bill Moyers, "A Death of One's Own"
    • "Dead Man Walking"
  • Readings:
    • CMI, "Euthanasia" chapter
    • CMI, "Punishment and the Death Penalty" chapter
    • CMI, "War, Terror, and Counterterrorism" chapter (no short answer questions on this chapter reading)
    • CMI, "World Hunger" chapter

Possible long answer questions:

  • Showing a critical awareness of the course readings, videos, and discussions, write an essay in which you analyze the moral issues relating to the morality of physician-assisted dying and develop and defend your position on this issue.  Be sure to discuss the difference between deontological and consequentialist approaches to this issue and evaluate its use in Oregon.

  • Drawing on the course readings and lectures, write an essay in which you analyze the moral issues relating to the use of the death penalty by the United States.  Be sure to discuss the difference between deontological and consequentialist approaches to this issue as well as the relevant empirical data about the death penalty in the United States and the larger international context.

Four Journals due on any four of the following topics:

  • Dead Man Walking
  • Bill Moyers' video: "A Death of One's Own"
  • Euthanasia readings
  • Punishment/death penalty readings
  • Stem cell research
  • Just war theory/torture
  • World hunger
18 Tuesday

Final Exam.

  • Section #1: 8:00-10:00 AM
20 Thursday

Final Exam.

  • Section #2: 8:00-10:00 AM