"Morality is simply the attitude we adopt towards people whom we personally dislike."
Introduction to Ethics
Course Schedule & Supplements
For homework assignments, click here.
UNIT I: ETHICAL THEORY
What is Ethics?
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
Reading: Theodore Gracyk, Relativism Overview
Supplementary Reading: Gilbert Harman, Moral Relativism Explained
Video: CrashCourse, Divine Command Theory
Video: Carneades.org, What is Egoism?
Supplemental Reading: Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Entry on Egoism, Sections 1 & 2
Video: The School of Life, POLITICAL THEORY: Thomas Hobbes
Reading: Christine Korsgaard, Kant's Formula of Universal Law
Video: Crash Course, Kant & Categorical Imperatives
John Stuart Mill, Utilitarianism
Note: Read chapters I & II
Video: Julia Markovits, Ethics: Utilitarianism, Part 2
UNIT II: APPLIED ETHICS
Video: CrashCourse, Personhood
Reading: James Rachels, Active and Passive Euthanasia
Supplemental Video: The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell, Brittany Maynard's death with dignity
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.
Reading: John Celock, Donald Pridemore, Wisconsin Legislator, Says Single Parenting Leads To Abuse
Related Video: Father Albert, Interview with Anne Coulter
Related Audio: Freakonomics, The Fracking Boom, a Baby Boom, and the Retreat From Marriage
Related Study: Childhood Stress is Associated with Reduction of Hippocampus
Reading: Alia Wong, History Class and the Fictions About Race in America
Audio: NPR's Fresh Air, Interview with Michelle Alexander
Recreational Drug Use and Affirmative Action
Reading: Rob Lovering, On Moral Arguments Against Recreational Drug Use
Video: Democracy Now, Interview with Johann Hari
Reading: Stephen Coate and Glenn C. Loury, Will Affirmative-Action Policies Eliminate Negative Stereotypes?
Supplemental Video: CrashCourse, Affirmative Action
Reading: Tom Regan, The Case for Animal Rights
Video: Great Ideas of Science and Philosophy, Interview with Peter Singer
Related Video: Practical Ethics Channel, Peter Singer tackles the best objections to vegetarianism
Related Video: Big Think, How Healthy Is Vegetarianism...Really?
Reading: Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Entry on Philosophy of Sexuality, Introduction and Sections 1, 2, & 3
Video: CrashCourse, Natural Law Theory
Supplemental Video: The School of Life, Thomas Aquinas
Ticking Time Bombs and Torture
Video: Big Think, Daniel Dennett: Memes 101
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.
Reading: Daniel Hill, Ticking Bombs, Torture, and the Analogy with Self-Defense
Below is related material from class
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 Animal Agriculture Workers
Oxfam Report on denial of bathroom breaks in poultry industry
Thomas Dietz and Amy J. Fitzgerald, Slaughterhouses and Increased Crime Rates
Response: 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
Material on the Dietary Impact of Climate Change
Damian Carrington, Eat insects and fake meat to cut impact of livestock on the planet – study
Reading: Michael Walzer, Terrorism and Just War
Reading: Lionel K. McPherson, Is Terrorism Distinctively Wrong?
UNIT III: THE THREAT OF MORAL SKEPTICISM
Reading: Richard Joyce, Projectivism and Quasi-Realism
Reading: Tom Regan, Some Ways to Not Answer Moral Questions
Just War Theory
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.
Reading: Don Marquis, Why Abortion is Immoral
Reading: Mary Anne Warren, On the Moral and Legal Status of Abortion
Related Reading: Richard Rokyta, Fetal Pain
Reading: Judith Jarvis Thomson, A Defense of Abortion
Reading: John Stuart Mill, Use of the Death Penalty
Audio: NPR, All Things Considered, Botched Lethal Injection Executions Reignite Death Penalty Debate
Video: Talks at Google, Joshua Greene
Related Video: Here's an interview with Stanford scholar, Robert Sapolsky, on evolutionary misfirings when making moral judgments.
Reading: Richard Joyce, Is Moral Projectivism Empirically Tractable?
Supplementary Video: Crash Course, Metaethics