PHIL 355 - Contemporary Moral Problems
Winter 2014, Section 001
Instruction Mode: Section 001 is (see other Sections below)
Subject: Philosophy (PHIL)
Department: LSA Philosophy
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Details

Credits:
4
Requirements & Distribution:
HU, RE
Other:
Sustain
Credit Exclusions:
No credit granted to those who have completed or are enrolled in PHIL 455.
Repeatability:
May not be repeated for credit.
Primary Instructor:

Description

Not long ago in this country it was considered extreme and even offensive to be vocally opposed to institutions based on racial, sexual, or social oppression — slavery being only the most glaring example of this. Today we look back at that time and are shocked. How could so many people — all but a small handful of visionaries, really — have been so deeply and systematically mistaken about a moral matter that now strikes us as relatively obvious?

In this course we will entertain the possibility that, not long from now, people very much like us will look back at our own time and be similarly shocked. We will do this by examining and evaluating a variety of recently published papers in philosophical ethics, each of which purports to establish that nearly all of us are living day to day on the basis of moral beliefs that are profoundly mistaken.

Is it a mistake for us to believe, for example, that we are sometimes justified in spending money on things like vacations, watches, and cars? Or that terrorism is always wrong? Or that some animals are more deserving of moral consideration than others? Or that it is all right for us to have children? Or that we owe something to future generations? Or that the redistribution of wealth is at least sometimes justified? Or that we have a right to privacy? Or that it would be bad for us to die?

We will ask ourselves these (and similar) questions by considering the arguments of philosophers who hold that in fact it is a mistake for us to believe these things. Our aim will be to figure out whether any of these philosophers are actually right, and what to do with ourselves if we decide that some of them are.

Course Requirements:

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Schedule

PHIL 355 - Contemporary Moral Problems
Schedule Listing
001 (LEC)
 In Person
22757
Open
1
 
-
MW 10:00AM - 11:00AM
002 (DIS)
 In Person
22758
Closed
0
 
-
MW 12:00PM - 1:00PM
003 (DIS)
 In Person
22759
Closed
0
 
-
MW 1:00PM - 2:00PM
004 (DIS)
 In Person
22760
Closed
0
 
-
TuTh 9:00AM - 10:00AM
005 (DIS)
 In Person
22886
Closed
0
 
-
TuTh 12:00PM - 1:00PM
006 (DIS)
 In Person
23620
Open
3
 
-
F 10:00AM - 12:00PM
007 (DIS)
 In Person
23621
Closed
0
 
-
F 1:00PM - 3:00PM

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