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Phil 321: Social Ethics
Sect. 1

Post-Summer Session
August, 2014
9:00 AM - 12:15 PM
M-T-W-Th
Office Hours: During break, after class

Olin Hall 226

Schedule

Last updated on Wednesday, 20-Aug-2014 6:03 AM

CMI/4 = Contemporary Moral Issues, 4th ed.

Quick Overview

Class Meeting Number

Date

Day

Topic/Assignments, etc.

1 4 M Introduction; Utilitarianism; Deontology
2 5 T

Reproductive Technologies; Virtue Ethics

3 6 W Gattaca
4 7 Th Reproductive Technologies & Abortion
       
5 11 M End-of-Life; Moyers, "A Death of One's Own"
6 12 T Mid-Term Exam
7 13 W Return of Exams; Ethics of Punishment.  Death Penalty
8 14 Th "Dead Man Walking"
     
9 18 M "Saving Private Ryan"
10 19 T Just War Theory
11 20 W Terrorism and Torture
12 21 Th Final Exam
       


Detailed Schedule

Class Meeting Number

Date

Day

Topic/Assignments, etc.

0    

Before our first class meeting, please complete the following assignments:

Contemporary Moral Issues, 4th ed. Read:

  • CMI/4: Introduction ( pp. xiii-xxii)

Qualtrics Take survey on Reprodutive Technologies:

1

August 4

Monday

9:00-10:25 AM:  Introductory Matters

  • Course overview
  • Syllabus, Requirements, Exams, Journals, Attendance, etc.

10:40:11:40 AM: Utilitarian Ethical Thought

Presentation icon Presentations

Reading iconRecommended reading: Hinman, "The Ethics of Consequences," eReserve.


10:40-12:15 PM: Deontological Ethics

Presentation icon Presentation:

Rule-based Approaches

Reading iconRecommended reading:

  • Hinman, "The Ethics of Duty." eReserve.

Homework for Tuesday

Contemporary Moral Issues, 4th ed. Read:

  • CMI/4: Chapter One and Introduction

Notebook imageJournal Entry #1:     (journal guidelines)

  • 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 even in modification of embryos. What general principles should govern the use of such technologies?
2 August 5 Tuesday

9:00-10:25 AM: Reproductive Technoiogies

Presentation icon Presentation:

Presentation icon Presentation:

Presentation iconPresentation on Eugenics

Case Studies: Liver Cancer, Down Syndrome

Video iconView "Embryo Screening", New York Times video

Video iconView Down Syndrome, New York Times video

Reading iconRead:

Qualtrics  Review survey results on genetic technologies

Stem Cell Ethics & Regenerative Medicine

Video iconVideos

Presentation iconPresentations:

Recommended on eReserve:

  • "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.
  • "Can Science Resolve the Ethical Impasse in Stem Cell Research?" Snyder, E.Y., Hinman, L.M. and Kalichman, M.W. Nature Biotech
  • Stem Cell Reviews: Volume 1, Number 4
  • Michael J. Sandel, "Embryo Ethics: The Moral Logic of Stem-Cell Research," NEJM 351;3 (www.nejm.org , July 15, 2004) (eReserve)
  • Shari Roan, "Infertility patients caught in the legal, moral and scientific embryo debate," Los Angeles Times, October 6, 2008.

Additional resources:

Video icon Videos

Journal iconJournal Assignment:

 

Designing Humans: Shaping Our Children through Genetic Manipulation

Reading iconRequired Reading:

  • Read CMI, Chapter One
  • "Making Laws about Making Babies," New York Times, Sept. 13, 2011. (also on eReserve)
  • "Sandel, "Enhancement--with commentary."  (on eReserve); this provides you with a model of how to analyze a philosophical article.

The octuplets case

Stock-Fukuyama debate

 Presentation iconPresentation

Video iconStock-Fukuyama Debate on-line in RealVideo and available in transcript from from the Cato Institute. This is an excellent resource.

Additional Resources

nd (b) what actions may be taken as a result of such tests. (2 pages, double-spaced).

 


 

 


Homework for next class:

Notebook image Journal Entry #

 

 

3 August 6 Wednesday

9:00-10:25 AM:  Enhancement and Designer Babies

Envisioning the Future: Gattaca

Video icon Video: Gattaca

 

 

Gattaca

In the news:

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

Presentation iconPresentations:

Video iconVideos

Reading iconRecommended on eReserve:

  • "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.
  • "Can Science Resolve the Ethical Impasse in Stem Cell Research?" Snyder, E.Y., Hinman, L.M. and Kalichman, M.W. Nature Biotech
  • Stem Cell Reviews: Volume 1, Number 4
  • Michael J. Sandel, "Embryo Ethics: The Moral Logic of Stem-Cell Research," NEJM 351;3 (www.nejm.org , July 15, 2004) (eReserve)
  • Shari Roan, "Infertility patients caught in the legal, moral and scientific embryo debate," Los Angeles Times, October 6, 2008.

WWWAdditional WWW resources:

Video icon Videos

Presentation iconPresentation: Genetic Technologies

In the News:

Journal iconJournal 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. (2 pages, double-spaced).

Qualtrics  Review survey results on

10:40-11:40 AM: Ethics of Character

Presentation icon Presentation:

Reading iconRequired reading: Hinman, "The Ethics of Character."  (eReserve)


Homework for next class:

Contemporary Moral Issues, 4th ed.  Read:

  • CMI/4, Chap. 2.
4 August 7 Thursday

9:00-10:25 AM:  Abortion

Reading iconRequired Reading: CMI, Chapter 2

Qualtrics survey Surveys

In the news:

Presentation icon Presentationa: Abortion; The Concept of Personhood

Presentation icon Presentation on the Principle of Double Effect


Homework for next class:

Notebook imageJournal Entry #

  • Write an essay describing your position of the moral permissibility of abortion.  Integrate a discussion of some of the ideas presented in this section of the course.
  • OR: 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?

Qualtrics  Take survey on abotion:

Contemporary Moral Issues, 4th ed.  Read:

  • CMI/4, Chapter 2.
5 August 11 Monday

9:00-10:25 AM:  Moyers, "A Death of One's Own"

Presentation icon Presentation:

Video icon Moyers, "A Death of One's Own"

Presentation icon Presentation on End-of-Life Issues

Reading icon: Required Reading: CMI, Chapter Three

Recommended: reading

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


Homework for next class: Study for mid-term exam.

6 12 Tuesday

9:00-10:25 AM:  Mid-Term Exam

Exam Rules

Please bring a black pen for the exam!

Possible material for short answers:

  • class lectures, discussions

Readings:

  • CMI/4, Intro to Ethical Theories, Intro to Part One on Life and Death,, Chap 1-3

PowerPoints: (slides emphasized in class)

  • Ethical Theories (Overivew)
  • Reproductive Technologies
  • Abortion
  • Personhood
  • Double-Effect
  • End-of-Life

Videos:

  • NYT video on PGD
  • Gattaca
  • Moyers, "A Death of One's Own"

Possible long-answer questions:

  • Write an essay in which you discuss the ethical issues raised by the film "Gattaca."  Don’t be modest—show me how much you know and understand!
  • The moral status of the embryo has been an issue in the first two chapters of our book.  Write an essay in which you develop and defend your position on the moral status of the embryo, showing a command of the required readings and class presentations/discussions as well as any outside sources you may want to integrate into the essay.  Show the ways in which you draw support from some of our readings and how you reply to those with which you disagree.  Again, don’t hesitate to dazzle me with your knowledge, insight, and argumentative skill

    .

Mid-term exam from last semester.

At beginning of exam, turn in three journal entries.

 


Punishment

Presentation iconPresentation:

Punishment

Reading iconRead:

Video icon Video:

WWW iconSome useful staistics:

Presentation icon Presentation on Capital Punishment

Video icon Watch first half of "Dead Man Walking"

Qualtrics Review survey results on

Homework for next class:

Notebook image Journal Entry: Write an essay in which you discuss the question of what government-imposed punishment should attempt to accomplish. Conversely, when would we say that punishment has failed?

Qualtrics  Take survey on

Contemporary Moral Issues, 4th ed.  Read:

  • CMI/4, Chapter 4

 

 

7 August 13 Wednesday

9:00-10:25 AM:  Return of Exams; Punishment

Presentation iconPresentation:

Punishment

Reading iconRead:

Video icon Video:

WWW iconSome useful staistics:

Presentation icon Presentation on Capital Punishment

Video icon Watch first half of "Dead Man Walking"

Qualtrics Review survey results on


Homework for next class:

Notebook imageJournal Entry #

  • Write an essay in which you develop your views on the ethics of the death penalty. entering into a dialogue with some of the resources in this section of the course.
8 August 14 Thursday

9:00-10:25 AM:  "Dead Man Walking"

Video iconVideo: Dead Man Walking

California Death Penalty

In the news:

Journal iconJournal entry on issues in punishment or capital punishment.

9 August 18 Monday

Just War Theory: Saving Private Ryan

9 August 19 Tuesday

Discussion of "Saving Private Ryan"

10:40-11:40 AM:

Presentation iconPresentation:


Homework for next class:

Notebook imageJournal Entry: Write a journal entry on Saving Private Ryan, either examining the issues of just war theory or analyzing the first portion of the movie from the perspective of character-based ethics (virtue ethics).

Contemporary Moral Issues, 4th ed. Read:

  • Finish Chapter 5 CMI/4
10 August 20 Wednesday

9:00-10:25 AM:  Just War Theory

Presentation iconPresentation:

Video iconVideo on the ethics of torture

  • "Torture and the War on Terror." Case Western Reserve University. Note: the papers from this conference are available on eReserve for our course in the folder "Torture."
    Moderator: Professor Robert Lawry, Case School of Law; Director, Center for Professional Ethics, Case
  • "Defining Torture" – Professor David Sussman, University of Illinois
  • "Exceptionalism: Torture American Style"– Professor Henry Shue, Oxford University
  • "Torture: Morality and Convention" – Professor Jeff McMahan, Rutgers University
  • Notes on Sussman, Shue an McMahan

Additional Resources:

Video icon Video on the ethics of torture

  • "Torture and the War on Terror."  Case Western Reserve University. Note: the papers from this conference are available on eReserve for our course in the folder "Torture."
    • Moderator: Professor Robert Lawry, Case School of Law; Director, Center for Professional Ethics, Case
    • "Defining Torture" – Professor David Sussman, University of Illinois
    • "Exceptionalism: Torture American Style"– Professor Henry Shue, Oxford University
    • "Torture: Morality and Convention" – Professor Jeff McMahan, Rutgers University
    • Notes on Sussman, Shue an McMahan

Homework for next class:

Notebook imageJournal Entry

  • Write a journal entry discussing when, if ever, torture is justified.
11 August 21 Thursday

Final Exam

Journals due:

  • Please turn in three journal entries on any topics of your choice in the second half of the semester.
  • You may submit them either:
    • in person on Thursday morning, August 21, in our classroom from 9:00-9:15 AM. or
    • by email no later than Monday morning, August 25th at 9 AM. 

Take-home exam:

The final exam is a take-home exam.  Here are the guidelines:

  • You may submit it either:
    • in person on Thursday morning, August 21, in our classroom from 9:00-9:15 AM. or
    • by email no later than Monday morning, August 25th at 9 AM. 
  • Length
    • 4 pages, typed, double-spaced
  • Format
    • If you submit the essay in person on Thursday morning, please submit a paper copy.
    • if you submit the essay by email to me at hinman@sandiego.edu, please either attach as a PDF or else copy and paste your essay directly into the body of the email.

Possible questions.  Answer any one of the following questions:

  • Bill Moyers' "A Death of One's Own" provides a detailed portrait of three individuals facing their immanent death.  Write an essay in which you discuss the ethical issues in this documentary, relating them to the class readings and to the distinction between deontological and consequentialist ethical theories.
  • Drawing on the relevant course materials (and any other outside resources you think are relevant), write a brilliant essay in which you develop and defend your position on the morality of the death penalty within the context of a discussion of "Dead Man Walking." 
  • "Saving Private Ryan" provides many instances in whcih ethical theories can be applied to specific war-related situations, and it also provides some interesting insights into the strengths and weaknesses of particular moral theories.  Write a scintillating essay in which you examine this complex interplay between the movie and the ethical theories we have studied.