PHIL 160 - Moral Principles and Problems
Fall 2014, Section 001
Instruction Mode: Section 001 is (see other Sections below)
Subject: Philosophy (PHIL)
Department: LSA Philosophy
See additional student enrollment and course instructor information to guide you in your decision making.

Details

Credits:
4
Requirements & Distribution:
HU
Repeatability:
May not be repeated for credit.
Primary Instructor:

Description

This course introduces students to principles of moral philosophy, and provides them with an opportunity to apply what they learn to the ethical questions we face in life. The overarching goal is to give students the conceptual resources they need to think about difficult and controversial ethical issues in a systematic and critical way. The lecture portion of the course will provide a systematic introduction to moral theory, aimed at equipping students with the concepts and tools needed to analyze moral problems and develop their own moral positions. The primary focus will be normative ethics, that is, philosophical theories about the nature and principles of moral rightness and wrongness. The dominant active traditions in normative ethics — natural rights theory, social contract theory, and consequentialism — will be given extensive treatment, though we will also discuss egoism, divine command theories, virtue theories, and moral particularism. Some topics from meta-ethics will also be discussed, in particular relativism, subjectivism vs. objectivism, non-cognitivism vs. realism, and the relation of morality to rationality. Throughout an effort will be made to tie questions in ethics to empirical issues in psychology, social and political theory, and anthropology, as well as questions in decision theory and game theory. Each discussion section will focus on a distinct area of applied ethics of contemporary concern. Discussion section leaders will seek both to ensure that students understand and can apply the contents of the lectures, and to introduce them to additional material — empirical, normative, and conceptual — that pertains to the section’s special topic.

Sections 002 & 004:
We can get a powerful understanding of contemporary issues of social justice by looking at them through the lens of moral theory. From an understanding of these issues informed by moral theory, we can hope to come up with viable policy recommendations. In this course, we’ll be employing normative and meta-ethical tools in the study of pressing contemporary social justice issues.
First we’ll lay the groundwork for the study of social justice issues:

  • What is justice?
  • How do states—and other institutions—influence and determine the distribution of social goods?
  • How should certain social goods be distributed?
  • Why is racial or gender equality important and/or desirable?
Then we’ll be looking at the following topics:
  • What are persisting gender inequalities?
  • What is the effect of racially disproportionate incarceration?
  • What are arguments for and against affirmative action?

Sections 003 & 005: Global and Environmental Issues
These discussion sections will apply the normative theory presented in lecture in order to explore a collection of global and environmental ethical issues. Possible topics include:

  • Global poverty
  • Climate change
  • Treatment of non-human animals
  • Sweat-shops
  • Immigration policy
  • Just war theory
Applications will be varied in order to illustrate lessons from lecture. Rigorous argumentation and critical thinking will be emphasized.

Course Requirements:

2 quizzes, 2 tests, 2 papers, midterm & final. To ensure learning through discussion, attendance will be required.

Intended Audience:

Freshmen and Sophomores from all academic areas.

Class Format:

2 hours/week lecture format; 2 hours/week discussions led by GSIs.

Schedule

PHIL 160 - Moral Principles and Problems
Schedule Listing
001 (LEC)
 In Person
23203
Open
1
 
-
MW 3:00PM - 4:00PM
002 (DIS)
 In Person
23214
Open
1
 
-
MW 4:00PM - 5:00PM
003 (DIS)
 In Person
23204
Closed
0
 
-
TuTh 9:00AM - 10:00AM
004 (DIS)
 In Person
23801
Closed
0
 
-
TuTh 2:00PM - 3:00PM
005 (DIS)
 In Person
23802
Closed
0
 
-
TuTh 3:00PM - 4:00PM
010 (LEC)
 In Person
33440
Open
10
 
-
MW 1:00PM - 2:00PM
011 (DIS)
 In Person
33441
Closed
0
 
-
MW 10:00AM - 11:00AM
012 (DIS)
 In Person
33442
Open
2
 
-
MW 12:00PM - 1:00PM
013 (DIS)
 In Person
33443
Closed
0
 
-
TuTh 12:00PM - 1:00PM
014 (DIS)
 In Person
33444
Open
2
 
-
TuTh 1:00PM - 2:00PM
015 (DIS)
 In Person
33445
Open
4
 
-
TuTh 2:00PM - 3:00PM
016 (DIS)
 In Person
33446
Closed
0
 
-
TuTh 3:00PM - 4:00PM

Textbooks/Other Materials

The partner U-M / Barnes & Noble Education textbook website is the official way for U-M students to view their upcoming textbook or course material needs, whether they choose to buy from Barnes & Noble Education or not. Students also can view a customized list of their specific textbook needs by clicking a "View/Buy Textbooks" link in their course schedule in Wolverine Access.

Click the button below to view and buy textbooks for PHIL 160.001

View/Buy Textbooks

Syllabi

Syllabi are available to current LSA students. IMPORTANT: These syllabi are provided to give students a general idea about the courses, as offered by LSA departments and programs in prior academic terms. The syllabi do not necessarily reflect the assignments, sequence of course materials, and/or course expectations that the faculty and departments/programs have for these same courses in the current and/or future terms.

Click the button below to view historical syllabi for PHIL 160 (UM login required)

View Historical Syllabi

CourseProfile (Atlas)

The Atlas system, developed by the Center for Academic Innovation, provides additional information about: course enrollments; academic terms and instructors; student academic profiles (school/college, majors), and previous, concurrent, and subsequent course enrollments.

CourseProfile (Atlas)