PHL 201 - Ethics
Ethics is the study of morality, including an analysis of the concepts of good and evil, right and wrong, justice, responsibility, duty, character and successful living. Topics include whether morality is relative to culture or to the individual, moral skepticism, the relationship between morality and religion, theories about what makes particular actions right or wrong, the source of moral knowledge and how morality affects the way we approach controversial social issues.
Upon successful completion of this course, the student should be able to:
1. Apply analytical skills to social phenomena in order to understand human behavior. Analyze concepts of good and evil, right and wrong, justice and injustice, duty, responsibility, character, and successful living.
2. Apply knowledge and experience to foster personal growth and better appreciate the diverse social world in which we live. Bring their conclusions about ethics to bear on their present values, goals and way of life. Learn about multiple ethical perspectives but come to their own conclusions about moral questions.
3. Understand the role of individuals and institutions within the context of society. Students grapple with whether morality is relative to culture or to the individual and contrasting views on the importance of the individual vs. society, such as egoism, deontology and utilitarianism.
4. Assess different theories and concepts, and understand the distinctions between empirical and other methods of inquiry. Students study theories about what makes particular actions right or wrong, moral skepticism, the relationship between morality and religion and eastern perspectives on right action.
5. Utilize appropriate information literacy skills in written and oral communication. Students write forum posts and critical papers analyzing primary source materials and/or advancing an ethical thesis. Students participate in rigorous guided class discussions about ethics.
6. Understand the diversity of human experience and thought, individually and collectively. Students survey a wide array of ethical theories.
7. Apply knowledge and skills to contemporary problems and issues. Students apply abstract ethical principles to social and political issues and moral dilemmas encountered in daily life.
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