Dowling College Fall 2002 CRN W 530-810 PM CRN 95591 RC
Dr Christian Perring
Work phone: (631) 244-3349
WR 400-530 PM
Analyzing Moral Issues (Second Edition), by Judith A. Boss. McGraw-Hill, 2001
This class has two main goals:
The form of the teaching will be a combination of lecture and discussion. You must come prepared to class, having read the assigned readings and attempted the assigned exercises. If you found the reading or exercises difficult to understand, you should be able to ask questions about specific passages in the text to help end your confusion. If you did understand the text, then you should be ready to explain it to others.
Work required: There will be three papers, 2 pages (10%), 3 pages (15%), and 4 pages (20%), and a presentation (10%). Attendance in class is worth 5% of your grade. If you attend all but one class, you get the full 5%, and for every class missed without legitimate excuse after that you lose 1%, and this can go into the negative. The midterm exam and the final exam are worth 15% each. The remaining 10% is assessed on your class preparation and contribution.
Presentations: Everyone must do a presentation. A presentation requires that you select one of the articles from the book listed on the syllabus, and spend 10-15 minutes setting out the argument of the article to the rest of the class. This requires identifying
· The main thesis of the article.
· The arguments for the thesis.
· The competing views the writer is arguing against.
· The arguments against those competing views.
You may also, if you want, explain what you think are the strengths and weaknesses of the article you are presenting on.
All writing assignments must be completed in order to pass the course. It is your responsibility to make sure you have your own copy of any draft or paper that you hand in, in case the copy you give me gets mislaid. Your written work should be in grammatical English, with correct spelling; persistent errors will reduce your grade. You are expected to read assignments before each class and be ready to discuss them. You may be called on in class to explain one of the readings. Out of class work should average about 6 hours per week.
All papers must be submitted electronically using http://turnitin.com. I will tell you the class ID and password in class.
Plagiarism and Cheating. All research for papers must be carefully documented and footnoted. Minor plagiarism will result in you receiving a zero grade for the work. Major plagiarism will mean you fail the class. All plagiarism will be documented and reported to the Dean of Students.
Schedule: (subject to change)
Sept 4. Introduction to course, and on how to read the work for the coming week.
11. Human Cloning.
Reading: Pages 151-164; John Robertson, “The Question of Human Cloning”; Leon Kass, “The Wisdom of Repugnance”; Case Studies 1 and 3.
18. Animal Rights. Chapter 12.
Reading: Pages 580-587; Tom Regan, “The Moral Basis of Vegetarianism”; Jan Narveson, “Animal Rights Revisited”; Carl Cohen, “Do Animals Have Rights?”; Case Studies 1, 2, 6.
Topics for first paper given out.
25. Gay Marriage. Chapter 8.
Reading: Pages 364-372; Michael Ruse, “Is Homosexuality Bad Homosexuality” (pp. 378-385) (P: Allison Marshall); M. Nava & R. Dawidoff, “The Case for Gay Marriage” (pp. 392-397) (P: Napoleon Iglesias); Margaret O’Brien Steinfels, “Marriage’s True Ends”; Case Studies 1, 2, and 3.
Oct 2. Moral Theory. Chapter 1.
Reading: Pages 1-20, Aristotle, Aquinas (pp. 46-49) (P: Carlos Figueras).
9. Reading: Pages 20-40, John Stuart Mill (P: Mindy Zuckerman), Immanuel Kant
16. Reading: Ayn Rand (pp. 63-66) (P: Keith Houck), Nel Noddings (pp 66-70) (P: Patricia Baijer), Confucius, P. Don Premasiri
First paper due
23. Topics for second paper given out.
Reading: Appendix I: Writing a Paper in Moral Philosophy
Midterm exam. (90 minutes)
30 Euthanasia. Chapter 5.
Reading: Pages 199-206; James Rachels, “Active and Passive Euthanasia” (pp. 212-217) (P: Denise Licari); Margaret Pabst Battin, “The Case for Euthanasia.” (pp. 217-226) (P: Stacey Melnick); John Hardwig, “Is There a Duty to Die?” (pp. 230-237) (P: Tara DeStefano)
Nov 6. Drug and Alcohol Use. Chapter 7.
Reading: Pages 314-326; Thomas Szasz, “The Ethics of Addiction” (pp. 327-325) (P: Deborah Pontino); Douglas Husak, “A Moral Right to Use Drugs” (pp. 343-351) (P: Adriane Casner); Thomas Murray, “Drugs, Sports, and Ethics” (pp. 351-357) (P: Nicole Coleman) Case Studies 1, 3 and 4.
Second paper due. Topics for third paper given out.
13. No class
20. Abortion. Chapter 3.
Reading: Pages 100-112; Mary Anne Warren, “The Moral Significance of Birth” (pp. 127-134) (P: Evan Kahn); John T. Noonan, “An Almost Absolute Value in History” (pp. 123-127) (P: Rachel Engley); Judith Boss, “Pro-Child/Pro-Choice” (pp. 139-144) (P: Torianne Corley); Case Studies 1, 3 and 5.
27. Moral Reasoning. Chapter 2.
Dec 4. The Death Penalty. Chapter 6.
Reading: Pages 253-266; Ernest Van Den Haag, “The Ultimate Punishment” (pp. 267-272) (P: Jason Vitelli); Christopher Morris, “Punishment and Loss of Moral Standing” (pp. 272-279) [See the presentation notes.] (P: Jennifer Collins); Helen Prejean, “Dead Man Walking” (pp. 298-307) (P: Kristin Sisler); Jeffrey Reiman, “Why the Death Penalty Should be Abolished,” (pp 291-298); (P: Tom DeJosia) Case Studies 1, 3 and 4.
Third paper due.
Dec 11 (?) Final Exam Preparation