PHIL 355 - Contemporary Moral Problems
Winter 2016, 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

The global world has too many moral problems, not too few. The second half of the twentieth century articulated the great and noble game of humanitarianism, a system based in commitment to universal conceptions of human rights inherited from the Enlightenment. This system of Charters and Covenants signed by the members of the United Nations, non-­-governmental agencies, aid workers, governmental interventions and peace-­- keeping forces, along with significant philanthropic commitment from the Gates Foundation etc. has become all too dysfunctional, its universalist commitment to human rights challenged by all manner of nation states and cultural practices in the name of diversity, religion, identity and sovereignty. Globalization is now understood as a driver not merely of opportunity but of new forms of inequality, turning certain regions of the world into low wage production sites for the centers of concentrated capital in Europe, America and parts of Asia, abandoning longstanding markets for new and cheaper ones, producing global insecurity and joblessness. The arts and humanities are increasingly celebrity and market driven, scripted by branding, which is also true of politics. The genuineness of moral culture, its capacity for honesty, is under threat. On the other hand the world has never had a deeper experience of cosmopolitanism, the sharing of cultural and moral values, the fusion of diverse forms into new art and literature, the vast expansion of information and partnerships across distances thanks to new technologies.

These social issues cannot be solved by philosophy (or any other academic or public discipline), but philosophy can play a significant role in their straight and honest articulation, and in drawing on its significant moral legacies in seeking ways to make the problems more tractable. This course will focus on human rights, contemporary art and political culture in an age of globalization, and on the politics of terror. And we will discuss the cosmopolitan stance. We will read a wide body of moral writing, politics, writing on globalization and on terror, and we will also rely extensively in class on the use of media (film, news clips, You Tube, documentaries).

Course Requirements:

The assignments will consist of a three-­-page paper on an assigned topic due at the midterm and a final research or “critical/argumentative” paper of ten pages or more. There will be no exams.

Intended Audience:

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Class Format:

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Schedule

PHIL 355 - Contemporary Moral Problems
Schedule Listing
001 (LEC)
 In Person
21128
Open
3
 
-
F 11:00AM - 1:00PM
002 (DIS)
 In Person
21129
Closed
0
 
-
MW 11:00AM - 12:00PM
003 (DIS)
 In Person
21130
Closed
0
 
-
MW 12:00PM - 1:00PM
004 (DIS)
 In Person
21131
Open
2
 
-
MW 1:00PM - 2:00PM
005 (DIS)
 In Person
21224
Open
1
 
-
MW 3:00PM - 4:00PM

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Syllabi

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