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PHIL108_1C _Syll2c_SP_2019

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University of Massachusetts Boston                                                   SPRING Term 2019PHIL 108-1C Moral and Social Problems
T,Th 3-6 PM                         Office: Wheatley 5-048Instructor: Jack Bayne email: jack.bayne@umb.edu                                Office hours: Fr 2-3 PMCourse Description:The course will analyze and discuss a number of moral problems which are quite controversial in contemporary American society, including environmental ethics and animal rights, sexual morality, pornography and censorship, hate speech, abortion, euthanasia, capital punishment, war and torture terrorism, global redistribution of wealth and welfare, racial and sexual equality and affirmative action,. The emphasis will be on weighing the arguments pro and con, and deciding which side has the best supporting grounds for its point of view. It is hoped that a more balanced and objective evaluation of the arguments on these moral issues will result from standing back and gaining some critical distance upon things upon which we might already have formed fixed positions and about which we might have strong feelings. The objective of the course will be to come to a deeper and broader understanding of these moral problems and to engage in critical reflection upon them through reading pertinent articles and through open discussion. In addition, the themes of diversity and inclusiveness will be critically and discussed with the aim of broadening the student’s horizon and encouraging respect for diverse points of view and backgrounds. The student will be expected to think for her/himself, developing her/his own position, and formulating arguments to support it on the basis of the ongoing debate. There will be three 6-7 page term papers upon any of the moral issues discussed in class. These paper assignments will be designed to teach the student how to write an argumentative type paper in keeping with the course designation as a core course. Each paper will count for 30% of the final grade and the final 10% will be awarded for attendance and class participation. Attendance will be taken by means of an iPad App in each class meetingRequired text:Doing Ethics, 2nd Edition Ed. Lewis Vaughn, (Norton and Co., Inc., 2010).Course Schedule:Meeting
        Reading    Topic1pp. 1-64       Introduction to Ethics, Relativism and Moral Arguments2pp. 65-160   Moral Theories, Utilitarianism, Kantian Deontology, Virtue  3            pp, 161-227             Abortion4pp. 228-290 Euthanasia, Doctor-assisted Suicide, Hospice5pp. 291-347 Capital Punishment6pp. 348-404 Pornography and Censorship7pp. 405-450        Sexuality, Marriage, Gay Rights8pp.  451-497Equality and Affirmative Action 9       pp. 498-554 Environmental Ethics10
       pp. 555-607 Animal Rights11
       pp. 608-756 Warfare, Terrorism, Torture12
       pp. 757-820 Global Economic Justice