CRW in Ethics (Fall 2016)

 

 

 

Critical Reading and Writings in Ethics

**please note 11/6 revisions to syllabus below**

Dr. Peter Gratton, Dept. of Philosophy

T/Th: 9:00-10:15, A-3020

Winter 2016

Office Hours: T/Th, 10:15-11:00 and by appointment, AA3102

Course web site: grattoncourses.wordpress.com

Syllabus

(The most up-to-date schedule of readings will always be online below. Check back often to make sure you are keeping up with the relevant assignments.)

Required Texts:

  • Aristotle. Nicomachean Ethics, Terence Irwin (Indianapolis / Cambridge: Hackett Publishing Company, 1999).
  • Nietzsche, Genealogy of Morals, ISBN: 0679724621 (Vintage)
  • Kant, Grounding for the Metaphysics of Morals, ISBN: 087220166X (Indianapolis, IN: Hackett Publishing
  • Mill, John Stuart, Utilitarianism (Indianapolis / Cambridge: Hackett Publishing Company, 1995).
  • Foucault, Michel, Discipline and Punish (New York: Vintage, 1979), ISBN: 0679752552.
  • Strunk, William, and E.B. White, The Elements of Style (New York: Longman, 2000).
  • Additional materials provided below via internet link to downloadable audi

Schedule of Readings:

Thursday, Sept. 8 1.     Introduction to Ethics.

2.     Overview of normative versus ontological claims.

Tuesday,

Sept. 13

1.     Read: Arendt’s “What is Authority” (available at course website), pp. 91-120.

Assignment: What is a Thesis Statement? Read Harvard University’s Writings Center’s Guide to Developing a Thesis Statement.

Thursday, Sept. 15 1.    Read: Arendt’s “What is Authority?” (available at course website), pp. 120-end.

Assignment: Write 0ut what you believe is Arendt’s thesis in “What is Authority”? Use two sentences at most. Bring with you to class.

Tuesday, Sept. 20 1.     Read: Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics, Book I

2.     Begin informal fallacies (subchapter for all discussions of fallacies here from Patrick Hurley’s A Concise Introduction to Logic, 11th edition)

Assignment: 3.2, Fallacies of Relevance, pp. 122-133. Do questions for part I, # 1-15. Hand in answers at the beginning of class.


Resources for Aristotle:

1. BBC In Our Time: Virtue (podcast)

2. Nigel Warburton, Philosophy Classics, Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics (podcast) 

3. Table of Virtues (MS Word File)

4. Aristotle Prof’s opening lecture and overview.

Thursday, Sept. 22 1.     Read: Aristotle, Ethics, Book II.

2.    Continue informal fallacies (subchapter for all discussions of fallacies here from Patrick Hurley’s A Concise Introduction to Logic, 11th edition)

Assignment: 3.3, Fallacies of Weak Induction, pp. 138-149. Do questions for part I, # 1-15. Hand in answers at the beginning of class.

Tues

Sept 27

Now Tues Oct. 4

1.     Read: Aristotle, Ethics, Book III

2.    Continue informal fallacies (subchapter for all discussions of fallacies here from Patrick Hurley’s A Concise Introduction to Logic, 11th edition)

Assignment: 3.4, Fallacies of Presumption, etc., pp. 156-170. Do questions for part I, # 1-20. Hand in answers at the beginning of class.

Now 

Thurs.

October 6

1.     Reading: Aristotle, Ethics, Book VI, chapters I-X

First Writing Assignment Due (3 pages, double-spaced, Times New Roman font): This paper will allow you to identify your own background assumptions about morality. In this paper you will explain three virtues that we have in our own society that would be different from Aristotle’s list. Why are they important in our society? Do you agree that these are important virtues? You should have a clear thesis as your first sentence stating what you think ties together our own notions of virtue. (10 pts.)

Now Thursday

October 13

1.     Read: Kant, Grounding for the Metaphysics of Morals, pp. 7-15.

2. Continue informal fallacies (subchapter for all discussions of fallacies here from Patrick Hurley’s A Concise Introduction to Logic, 11th edition)

Assignment: 3.5, Fallacies in Ordinary Language, pp. 178-185. Do question for part II, p. 195. Hand in answer at the beginning of class.

Now
Tuesday

Oct. 18
1.     Read: Kant, Grounding for the Metaphysics of Morals, pp. 16-30.


Resources for Kant:

  1. Paul Guyer, “Kant’s Ethics” (.pdf)
  2. Nigel Warburton, “Kant’s Groundwork for the Metaphysics of Morals (podcast)
  3. . L. Alexander and M. Moore, “Deontological Ethics” (Stanford Encyclopedia of Phil.)
Thursday,
Oct. 20
1. Read: Kant, Grounding for the Metaphysics of Morals, pp. 31-49.

Hand in Quiz on Informal fallacies

2. Discussion of plagiarism. Read MUN University Calendar Sections 5.11.5.2 and 5.11.5.4. and the MUN Writing Center’s Guide to Avoiding Plagiarism.

Tuesday,
Oct. 25
1.  Read: Mill, Utilitarianism (sections 1-2)

2. Read: Harvard’s Brief Guide to Writing a Philosophy Paper


Resources for John Stuart Mill:

  1. Professor’s Mill Handout (MS Word)
  2. P. Pettit, “Consequentialism” (.pdf, a little dark in spots)
  3. Nigel Warburton, “Mill’s ‘Utilitarianism’” (podcast)
Thursday, Oct. 27 1.     Read Mill, Utilitarianism (sections 3-5)
Tuesday,
Nov. 1
1.     Read: Michel Foucault, Discipline and Punish, pp. 3-32


Resources for Foucault:

  1. BBC’s Thinking Aloud with Stephen Shapiro.
  2. The Partially Examined Life podcast on Foucault and Punishment, with specific discussion of the chapters of DP.
  3. Gary Gutting, “Michel Foucault,” Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

Second Writing Assignment Due (3 pages, double-spaced, Times New Roman font): In this exegetical paper, you will provide an overview of Kant’s deontological approach, specifically the basis for the categorical imperative as well as how one applies it. We will discuss in class how to organize this paper. (10 pts.)

Thursday, Nov. 3 class canceled

 

Tuesday, Nov. 8 1.     Read Foucault, Discipline, pp. 32-72.

 

Thursday, Nov. 10 1.     Foucault, Discipline, pp. 73-103.

Third Writing Assignment (4 pages): In this paper, you will show how Mill would have critiqued Aristotle had he made more than a passing mention of him in Utilitarianism. What would his critique be? Why do you think this? Make sure to provide textual evidence for your claims, both from Aristotle and from Mill. (15pts.)

 

Tuesday, Nov. 15

1.     Foucault, Discipline, pp. 195-230.
Thursday, Nov. 17 1.     Foucault, Discipline, pp. 293-end.

Quiz, multiple choice and short answer on Foucault’s Discipline and Punish. (5 pts.)

Tuesday, Nov. 22 1.   Arendt, “Personal Responsibility under Dictatorship”

2. Arendt, Eichmann in Jerusalem, “The Accused

Resources on Arendt’s Eichmann in Jerusalem

  1. The Guardian’s Big Ideas podcast on “The Banality of Evil”
  2. Corey Robin, “The Trials of Hannah Arendt,” The Nation magazine (May 12, 2015). (A fair review of the controversies surrounding this polemical book.)

 


Quiz, multiple choice and short answer on Arendt (5 pts.)

Thursday, Nov. 24

1.    Arendt, Eichmann in Jerusalem, ‘Duties of a Law Abiding Citizen

Final Examination Essay Question handed out to class. The essay will require at least eight-ten double-spaced pages to answer. Students can and should meet with me to discuss which topic fits best given their preparation in the class as well as prepare an outline for the paper itself. (35 pts.)

Tuesday, Nov. 29 1.  Arendt, Eichmann in Jerusalem, ‘Epilogue
Thursday, Dec. 1 Final Class.
T/B/A

Take home written essay examination due, AA 3069, the mailbox of Dr. Peter Gratton

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