Required Reading: N/A
Reading: Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Entry on Ethics, Section 2
Reading: Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Entry on Fallacies
Note: Most relevant to the class are Sections 1 & 2, but sections 3 & 4 are very interesting.
Text Supplement: Useful List of Fallacies
2. The Mind’s I
Required Reading: Plato, The Republic, Book II
Note: Read from 357a to 367e.
Video: The School of Life, POLITICAL THEORY: Thomas Hobbes
Reading: Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Entry on Egoism, Sections 1 & 2
Reading: Thomas Hobbes, On the Social Contract
Reading: Plato, The Republic, Book IX
Book: James Coleman, Foundations of Social Theory
Note: This is a more modern treatment of what is now dubbed “rational choice theory.”
Required Reading: Steven Cahn, God and Morality
Video: CrashCourse, Divine Command Theory
Reading: Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Entry on Ockham
Note: Read Sections 1, 2, and 6
For historical context on William of Ockham, the interested student can also read Gordon Leff’s, The Fourteenth Century and the Decline of Scholasticism
Reading: Michael Austin, IEP Entry for Divine Command Theory
Reading: Plato, Euthyphro
Video: Transliminal, Interview of Ara Norenzayan
Book: Ara Norenzayan, Big Gods
Required Reading: Julia Annas, Virtue Ethics
Note: Read at least pages 1-14.
Video: The School of Life, Aristotle
Reading: Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics
Reading: Aristotle, Virtues and Vices
Reading: Virginia Held, The Ethics of Care
Required Reading: Gilbert Harman, Moral Relativism Explained
Reading: James Rachels, The Challenge of Cultural Relativism
Reading: Theodore Gracyk, Relativism Overview
Note: A common analogy used by relativists is the language analogy: Moral systems vary as widely as language systems. This video introduces the viewer to some core concepts in linguistics.
Related Video: The School of Life, Michel Foucault
Reading: Kenneth Taylor, How to be a Relativist
Note: This is a novel, psycho-functional approach to relativism. It is also a very challenging read.
Video: Common Sense Society, Roger Scruton on Moral Relativism
Required Reading: Onora O’Neill, A Simplified Account of Kant’s Ethics
Video: Crash Course, Kant & Categorical Imperatives
Reading: Christine Korsgaard, Kant's Formula of Universal Law
Reading: Tim Jankowiak, IEP Entry to Immanuel Kant, Section on Moral Theory
7. Common Sense
Required Reading: Barbara Herman, Integrity and Impartiality
Video: Marianne Talbot, Deontology: Kant, duty and the moral law
Video: The School of Life, Immanuel Kant
Reading: Robert Johnson and Adam Cureton, Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy Entry on Kant’s Moral Philosophy, Section 10
Note: This section stresses Kant’s argument that freedom must be a necessary idea of reason. This notion is the strongest link to Kant’s first major work of his critical philosophy, Critique of Pure Reason.
Reading: Kant, Groundwork for the Metaphysic of Morals
8. The Trolley
Required Reading: John Stuart Mill, Utilitarianism
(Note: Read chapters I & II.)
Video: Julia Markovits, Ethics: Utilitarianism, Part 2
Video: Crash Course, Utilitarianism
Reading: IEP, Entry on Utilitarianism, Section 3
Required Reading: N/A
Video: Crash Course, Determinism vs Free Will
Video: Think 101, Know Thyself?
The full episode of Think 101 can be found here.
Video: Big Think, Michio Kaku: Why Physics Ends the Free Will Debate
Reading: Susan Wolf, Asymmetrical Freedom
Reading: Michael Norwitz, Free Will and Determinism
Reading: Mark Balaguer, A Coherent, Naturalistic, and Plausible Formulation of Libertarian Free Will
Video: Closer to Truth, Do Humans Have Free Will?
Video: Scene from Waking Life
Reading: Shaun Nichols, The Rise of Compatibilism
Book: Mark Balaguer, Free Will as an Open Scientific Problem
Book: Mark Balaguer, Free Will
Required Reading: James Rachels, Active and Passive Euthanasia
Reading: Peter Singer, Taking Life: Humans
Reading: Franklin G. Miller and Howard Brody, Professional Integrity and Physician-Assisted Death
Reading: John Safranek, Autonomy and
Douglas Husak, Four points about drug decriminalization
George Sher, On the decriminalization of drugs
Reading: B. A. Manninen, Medicating the Mind: A Kantian Analysis of Overprescribing Psychoactive Drugs
Reading: Rob Lovering, On Moral Arguments Against Recreational Drug Use
Video: Democracy Now, Interview with Johann Hari
Audio: NPR's Fresh Air, Interview with Michelle Alexander
Related Video: Dateline NBC, Implicit Association Test
Related Reading: German Lopez, For years, this popular test measured anyone’s racial bias. But it might not work after all.
Related Reading: Alia Wong, History Class and the Fictions About Race in America
Reading: Nick Bostrom & Anders Sandberg, Cognitive Enhancement: Methods, Ethics, Regulatory Challenges
Movie Trailer: Kill the Messenger (2014)
Here’s a link to the book.
3. The Game
Required Reading: Julian Savulescu, Bennett Foddy, and Megan Clayton, Why we should allow performance enhancing drugs in sport
Reading: Robert Simon, Good Competition and Drug-Enhanced Performance
Reading: Warren P. Fraleigh, Performance-Enhancing Drugs in Sport: The Ethical Issue
Reading: Harrison G. Pope, Jr. Ruth I. Wood, Alan Rogol, Fred Nyberg, Larry Bowers, and Shalender Bhasin, Adverse Health Consequences of Performance Enhancing Drugs: An Endocrine Society Scientific Statement
Video: Frank Frisch at TEDxChapmanU, Just Say Yes to Steroids
Note: Frank Frisch is Professor of Biological Sciences and Scientific Director of the STAR (Science Teaching and Research) Institute at Chapman University.
Reading: Phillip Zema, Should Student Athletes Be Paid?
4. The Jungle
Required Reading: Tom Regan, The Case for Animal Rights
Video: CrashCourse, Personhood
Video: Great Ideas of Science and Philosophy, Interview with Peter Singer
Video: Practical Ethics Channel, Peter Singer tackles the best objections to vegetarianism
Reading: Jan Narveson, The Case Against Animal Rights
Video: Big Think, How Healthy Is Vegetarianism...Really?
Reading: Marion Hourdequin, Climate, Collective Action and Individual Ethical Obligations
Material on Animal Treatment
Nita Rao, In the Belly of the Beast
Material on Animal Agriculture and Climate Change
Maurice E. Pitesky, Kimberly R. Stackhouse, and Frank M. Mitloehner, Clearing the Air: Livestock’s Contribution to Climate Change
Material on the Dietary Impact of Climate Change
Reading: Damian Carrington, Eat insects and fake meat to cut impact of livestock on the planet – study
Material on the Exploitation of Agriculture Workers
Reading: Oxfam Report on denial of bathroom breaks in poultry industry
Reading: Thomas Dietz and Amy J. Fitzgerald, Slaughterhouses and Increased Crime Rates
Related Reading: Georgeanne M. Artz, Peter F. Orazem, and Daniel M. Otto, Measuring the Impact of Meat Packing and Processing Facilities in the Nonmetropolitan Midwest: A Difference-in-Differences Approach
Note: This is a response to Dietz and Fitzgerald.
Reading: Marc Linder, The Pillars of an Inexhaustible Supply of Cheap Labor
5. The Gift
Required Reading: Alan Soble, Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy Entry on Philosophy of Sexuality, Introduction and Sections 1, 2, & 3
Video: CrashCourse, Natural Law Theory
Video: The School of Life, Thomas Aquinas
Reading: Debra Satz, Markets in Women’s Sexual Labor
Audio: Freakonomics, The Fracking Boom, a Baby Boom, and the Retreat From Marriage
Related Reading: Childhood Stress is Associated with Reduction of Hippocampus
Reading: John Celock, Donald Pridemore, Wisconsin Legislator, Says Single Parenting Leads To Abuse
Video: Father Albert, Interview with Anne Coulter
Required Reading: Reading: Michael Huemer, Is There a Right to Immigrate?
Reading: Robert D. Putnam, E Pluribus Unum: Diversity and Community in the Twenty-first Century (The 2006 Johan Skytte Prize Lecture)
Reading: Garrett Hardin, Living on a Lifeboat
Video: Talks at Google, Peter Singer on Famine, Affluence, and Morality
Video: Crash Course, Poverty & Our Response to It
Podcast: Letters and Politics, Interview with John Carlos Frey
Note: This is an interview of John Carlos Frey, the author of the book discussed in class: Sand and Blood: America’s Stealth War on the Mexico Border.
Podcast: Radiolab Presents: Border Trilogy
Required Reading: Lionel K. McPherson, Is Terrorism Distinctively Wrong?
Reading: Michael Walzer, Terrorism and Just War
Reading: Isabelle Duyvesteyn, How New Is the New Terrorism?
Reading: C. A. J. Coady, The Morality of Terrorism
Reading: Leonard Weinberg , Ami Pedahzur & Sivan Hirsch-Hoefler, The Challenges of Conceptualizing Terrorism
Video: Democracy Now, Noam Chomsky on ISIS
Note: Chomsky is himself an anarchist, although a non-violent anarchist. This is a video of Chomsky discussing his political positions.
8. Give Me Liberty Or…
Required Reading: Hugh Lafollette, Licensing Parents
Reading: Noa Yachot, History Shows Activists Should Fear the Surveillance State
Reading: David DeGrazia, Handguns, Moral Rights, and Physical Security
Required Reading: N/A
Reading: Steven Kuhn, Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy Entry on Prisoner’s Dilemma
Video: Scientific American, What Is the Prisoner's Dilemma?
Podcast: Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History, Destroyer of Worlds
1. The Mind Spreads Itself
John Mackie, The Subjectivity of Values
Reading: Richard Joyce, Moral Anti-realism vs. Realism: Explanatory Power
Reading: Richard Joyce, Moral Objectivity and Moral Relativism
Reading: Sharon Street, Reply to Copp: Naturalism, Normativity, and the Varieties of Realism Worth Worrying About
Related Reading: Tomas Bogardus, Only All Naturalists Should Worry About Only One Evolutionary Debunking Argument
Reading: Tom Regan, Some Ways to Not Answer Moral Questions
Video: Crash Course, Metaethics
2. Thucydides’ Trap
Required Reading: Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Entry on Just War Theory
Audio: The Lawfare Podcast, Interview with Graham Allison, author of Destined for War: Can America and China Escape Thucydides's Trap?
Note: There is no transcript for this audio file.
3. The Root of All Evil
4. The Space Explorer
Required Readings: Judith Jarvis Thomson, A Defense of Abortion
Don Marquis, Why Abortion is Immoral
Mary Anne Warren, On the Moral and Legal Status of Abortion
Reading: Richard Rokyta, Fetal Pain
Podcast: Freakonomics, America’s Hidden Duopoly (Ep. 356)
Related Reading: Katherine Gehl & Michael Porter, Why Competition in the Politics Industry is Failing America
Related Podcast: Freakonomics, Notes From an Imperfect Paradise
Note: In this interview-laden episode, LA Mayor Eric Garcetti bluntly states that political parties should be abolished, as was suggested during lecture.
Related book: Lilliana Mason, Uncivil Agreement
5. Seeing Justice Done
Reading: John Stuart Mill, Use of the Death Penalty
Audio: NPR, All Things Considered, Botched Lethal Injection Executions Reignite Death Penalty Debate
Short Story: Franz Kafka, In the Penal Colony
Podcast: Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History, Painfotainment
6. The Fall of the Prince
Required Reading: Batson et al., Is Empathic Emotion a Source of Altruistic Motivation?
Video: Steven Pinker, A History of Violence
Reading: Peter Turching, Chapter 3 of Historical Dynamics
Reading: C. Daniel Batson and Adam Powell, Altruism and Prosocial Behavior
Video: C. Daniel Batson, Empathy Induced Altruism
Note: In this video, C. Daniel Batson, professor emeritus at the University of Kansas, presents on Empathy-Induced Altruism.
Reading: Uwe Peters, Human thinking, shared intentionality, and egocentric biases
Note: Peters gives a thorough summary of the view of Michael Tomasello (covered in class) and critiques of one of his conclusions: that human recursive thinking evolved to enable cooperation. Instead, Peters suggests something closer to what Machiavelli suggested in The Prince.
7. The Enigma of Reason
Reading: Jessica Wolfendale, Training Torturers: A Critique of the "Ticking Bomb" Argument
Reading: Alex Bellamy, No pain, no gain? Torture and ethics in the war on terror
Video: Philip Zimbardo, The Power of the Situation
Note: Zimbardo is most known for the Stanford Prison Experiment; he is also the author of The Lucifer Effect.
Video: NJTV, Interview with John Schiemann
Note: In a recent book, Schiemann uses game theory to argue against the effectiveness of torture.
8. The Trolley (Part II)
Video: Talks at Google, Joshua Greene
Related Video: Here's an interview with Stanford scholar, Robert Sapolsky, on evolutionary misfirings when making moral judgments.
9. The Circular Ruins
Required Reading: Jorge Luis Borges, The Circular Ruins
Reading: Harvey Whitehouse et al., Complex societies precede moralizing gods throughout world history
Link: The Moral Machine
Note: This is a website that presents the user with different scenarios so as to gather the human perspective of moral decisions made by a machine intelligence.
Reading: Christopher Martin, Should Students Have to Borrow? Autonomy, Wellbeing and Student Debt
Reading: J. Angelo Corlett, Reparations to Native Americans?