Core 286: Ethics and the Good Life

Master Syllabus

 

 

Catalog Description:

 

This course is designed to give the student a nose for moral argumentation—the ability to distinguish good moral reasoning from bad and to sniff out mistakes in every day moral thought. It aims, through the close reading and discussion of ethical texts and cases, to foster in students a personal and reflectively stable moral sensibility, and to equip them to make fruitful contributions to moral and political discussion in the public arena.

Prerequisite: Core 280.

 

Specific Learning Objectives:

 

As a result of taking this course, students should be able to:

 

  1. Read and understand primary philosophical texts in ethics;

 

  1. Understand the major figures and central issues addressed in the field;

 

  1. Formulate, express, and defend their own views on the philosophical issues studied in the course;

 

  1. Write an essay on a course topic that meets the assessment standards for argumentative and/or critical essays students learned in Core 100 (Liberal Arts Seminar) and Core 110 (Effective Writing).

 

 

 

General Learning Goals:

 

As a result of taking this course, students should:

 

  1. come to appreciate the value of philosophical reflection in Western civilization and in the life of every liberally educated person;

 

  1. form the lifelong habit of philosophizing and leading an examined life;

 

  1. form the lifelong habit of reading and rereading classic and contemporary philosophical texts that they find interesting and relevant;

 

  1. begin to develop their own critically reflective philosophy of life;

 

  1. understand the practical value of philosophy in clarifying and contributing to current social and political debates.

 

 

Assessment Measures:

 

1. At least two tests to assess mastery of course content.

 

2. Periodic quizzes (at the instructor’s discretion) to encourage students to keep up with course readings and to measure their progress in the course;

 

3. Short writing assignments (at the instructor’s discretion) to assess critical reading/thinking skills and mastery of course content.

 

4. One major writing assignment—either a critical essay or an argumentative essay—to assess students’ ability to analyze and evaluate philosophical texts and to formulate and defend their own philosophical views.

 

5. Teaching and/or course evaluations administered at the conclusion of the course.

 

 

Required Text(s):

 

Each instructor may choose a text or texts best suited to his or her pedagogical goals and individual teaching style.