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ETHICSOC 20: Introduction to Moral Philosophy (PHIL 2)

What should I do with my life? What kind of person should I be? How should we treat others? What makes actions right or wrong? What is good and what is bad? What should we value? How should we organize society? Is there any reason to be moral? Is morality relative or subjective? How, if at all, can such questions be answered? Intensive introduction to theories and techniques in contemporary moral philosophy.
Terms: Spr | Units: 5 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, GER:EC-EthicReas, WAY-A-II, WAY-ER | Grading: Letter or Credit/No Credit
Instructors: ; Hussain, N. (PI)

ETHICSOC 70X: Egalitarianism: A course on the history and theory of egalitarianism and anti-egalitarianism (PHIL 174E, PHIL 274E, POLISCI 138E)

Egalitarianism is a conception of justice that takes the value of equality to be of primary political and moral importance. There are many different ways to be an egalitarian - it all depends on what we take to be the `currency¿ of egalitarian justice. Are we simply trying to equalize basic rights and liberties, or also resources, opportunities, positions, status, respect, welfare, or capabilities? Is equality really what we should try to achieve in a just society? An alternative would be to make sure everyone has enough or to promote individual freedom instead of equality. Why do egalitarians think that such society would still be unjust? How do they proceed to argue for equality?nnThis class will introduce students to egalitarian and anti-egalitarian thought by looking both at the history of egalitarian thinking and at contemporary accounts in defense of equality. It will provide an in depth introduction to the concepts that are used when inequalities are discussed by philosophers, economists, scientists and politicians. The class will attest of the varieties of approaches and perspectives to equality. For instance, we will learn from the 19th century debate on racial inequalities to understand how anti-egalitarian discourses are constructed; we will look into Rousseau¿s conception of social equality in the Second Discourse and the Social Contract; and we will engage with contemporary egalitarian theories by studying Rawlsian and post-Rawlsian forms of egalitarianism.nnThere are no prerequisites for this course. The class will enable you to develop your own interests and expertise as you work towards understanding egalitarian thinking. If you have prior experience in ethics, political philosophy or political theory, it will allow you to deepen your knowledge and to learn new theories of justice. If you do not have any such knowledge, this class will introduce you to the normative approach to politics (that is the approach that consists in asking what a just society requires) and will help you develop some understanding of how one proceeds when arguing for justice.nnA substantial part of the 3 hours we have each week will be devoted to discussions and presentations, since this is the best way to `practice normative thinking¿. The class will also include mini-lectures lead by the primary instructor.
Terms: Spr | Units: 4 | UG Reqs: WAY-ER | Grading: Letter (ABCD/NP)
Instructors: ; Bidadanure, J. (PI)

ETHICSOC 75X: Philosophy of Public Policy (PHIL 175B, PHIL 275B)

From healthcare to parliamentary reforms to educational policies, social and public policies are underpinned by normative justifications - that is by different conceptions of what is right, wrong or required by justice. By analyzing these assumptions and justifications, we can in turn challenge the policies in question - asking: Is workfare ever justified? What is wrong with racial profiling? When (if ever) is compulsory voting justified? Should children have the right to vote? Does affirmative action promote equality? Should freedom of expression ever be restricted? What are the duties of citizens of affluent countries toward asylum seekers and economic migrants? Do we have a right to privacy?nnThe course aims to train students in the normative analysis of public policies. At the end of this class, students should be able to critically examine diverse policy proposals from the perspective of ethics, moral and political philosophy. Students will be introduced to a broad range of normative approaches to politics, and the seminars will be organized around debates and small-group exercises to train students in the concrete ways in which one argues normatively. Through concrete and important policy examples each week, students will be introduced to the main debates in moral and political theory.nnThere are no prerequisites. Undergraduates and graduates from all departments are welcome to attend. After taking this class, students will be prepared to take more advanced classes in ethics, political theory, as well as moral and political philosophy. They will have developed competences in the normative analysis of public policy and they will be able to deploy those competences in other ethics classes.
Terms: Spr | Units: 4 | UG Reqs: WAY-ER | Grading: Letter or Credit/No Credit
Instructors: ; Bidadanure, J. (PI)

ETHICSOC 111: Leadership Challenges (PUBLPOL 111)

This course will examine the responsibilities and challenges for those who occupy leadership roles in professional, business, non-profit, and academic settings. Topics will include characteristics and styles of leadership, organizational dynamics, forms of influence, decision making, diversity, social change, and ethical responsibilities. Class sessions will include visitors who have occupied prominent leadership roles. Readings will include excerpts of relevant research, problems, exercises, and case studies. Requirements will include class participation and short written weekly reflection papers (2 to 3 pages) on the assigned readings. The class will be capped at 50 students.
Terms: Spr | Units: 4-5 | Grading: Letter or Credit/No Credit

ETHICSOC 131X: Ethics in Bioengineering (BIOE 131)

Bioengineering focuses on the development and application of new technologies in the biology and medicine. These technologies often have powerful effects on living systems at the microscopic and macroscopic level. They can provide great benefit to society, but they also can be used in dangerous or damaging ways. These effects may be positive or negative, and so it is critical that bioengineers understand the basic principles of ethics when thinking about how the technologies they develop can and should be applied. On a personal level, every bioengineer should understand the basic principles of ethical behavior in the professional setting. This course will involve substantial writing, and will use case-study methodology to introduce both societal and personal ethical principles, with a focus on practical applications.
Terms: Spr | Units: 3 | UG Reqs: GER:EC-EthicReas, WAY-ER | Grading: Letter (ABCD/NP)

ETHICSOC 133: Ethics and Politics of Public Service (CSRE 178, HUMBIO 178, PHIL 175A, PHIL 275A, POLISCI 133, PUBLPOL 103D, URBANST 122)

Ethical and political questions in public service work, including volunteering, service learning, humanitarian assistance, and public service professions such as medicine and teaching. Motives and outcomes in service work. Connections between service work and justice. Is mandatory service an oxymoron? History of public service in the U.S. Issues in crosscultural service work. Integration with the Haas Center for Public Service to connect service activities and public service aspirations with academic experiences at Stanford.
Terms: Spr | Units: 3-5 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-SocSci, WAY-ED, WAY-ER | Grading: Letter or Credit/No Credit
Instructors: ; Coyne, B. (PI)

ETHICSOC 155: The Ethics And Politics of Effective Altruism

What should I do? How should I live? These are the central questions that practical ethics seeks to answer. "Effective altruism" (EA), a growing school of thought and popular social movement, offers a clear and attractive response. It holds that we should try to do the best that we can for the world, and that we should do so on the basis of careful reasoning and reliable evidence. In a short amount of time, effective altruism has become a popular theoretical framework for thinking about our duties to others, and for navigating difficult practical questions. How much do I owe to others? To whom do I have obligations? How should I choose amongst different strategies for discharging these obligations? The course examines the theoretical assumptions behind effective altruism, its internal debates, external criticisms, and rival alternatives. We explore these questions in part by focusing on certain case studies that highlight different elements of the EA approach: organ donation, career choice, animal treatment, and global poverty. Guest lecturers, representing prominent advocates and critics of effective altruism, may also be added to the schedule, pending availability.
Terms: Spr | Units: 4 | UG Reqs: WAY-ER | Grading: Letter or Credit/No Credit
Instructors: ; Lechterman, T. (PI)

ETHICSOC 170: Ethical Theory (PHIL 170, PHIL 270)

How should we live our lives? Should you love your neighbour as yourself? Should you be digging wells rather than taking philosophy classes? Is taxation just? What obligations do we have to the not-yet-born, and to the dead? And says who? Are there really any answers to these questions? If so, what explains why they are one way rather than another? The will of God? Perhaps we need rules to ensure mutual benefits. But then, can I break them if no-one will find out? Can it be appropriate to blame you for doing something that you thought was the right thing to do (perhaps rejecting a blood transfusion)? Or to praise you for doing something you thought was the wrong thing to do (like Huck Finn)? By the end of this semester, you will be developing answers to these questions and many more.nnA more challenging version of Phil 2 designed primarily for juniors and seniors (may also be appropriate for some freshmen and sophomores - contact professor). Fulfills the Ethical Reasoning requirement. Graduate section (270) will include supplemental readings and discussion, geared for graduate students new to moral philosophy, as well as those with some background who would like more.
Terms: Spr | Units: 4 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, GER:EC-EthicReas, WAY-A-II, WAY-ER | Grading: Letter or Credit/No Credit
Instructors: ; Maguire, B. (PI)

ETHICSOC 173: Introduction to Feminist Philosophy (PHIL 90R)

If feminism is a political practice aimed at ending the patriarchy, what is the point of feminist philosophy? This course provides an introduction to feminist philosophy by exploring how important theoretical questions around sex and gender bear on practical ethical and political debates. The first part of the course will examine some of the broader theoretical approaches in feminist philosophy, including: the metaphysics of gender, standpoint epistemology, and feminist critiques of liberal political philosophy. Questions will include: how should we understand the category `woman¿? How does gender intersect with other axes of oppression? Does experience of gendered oppression give one better knowledge of social reality? Are political liberalism and capitalism compatible with feminism? The second part of the course will address more specific ethical and political topics within feminist philosophy, such as: objectification, pornography, consent, markets in women¿s sexual and reproductive labor, and the institution of marriage.
Terms: Spr | Units: 4 | Grading: Letter or Credit/No Credit

ETHICSOC 185M: Contemporary Moral Problems (PHIL 72, POLISCI 134P)

This course considers some of the moral problems encountered on campus and elsewhere in our lives as citizens and individuals. We will begin with questions that pertain to our own classroom and gradually broaden our scope to include, eventually, questions about terrorism and torture. The primary aims of the course are to encourage students to recognize and address moral questions as they appear in the concrete messiness of life and to help students develop the skills necessary to do this. Questions to be considered include: What would make this a good class and is this very question a moral one? What is education and who is entitled to it? What is the value of equality on campus and beyond? What is institutional discrimination? Are Stanford athletes being exploited? What should count as sexual harassment and is it properly captured by Stanford sexual harassment policies? Should abortions be offered by the Stanford Division of Family Planning? Is it permissible to kill animals for the purpose of scientific experimentation? Should Stanford divest from coal companies? Ought the City of San Francisco allow the homeless to reside in its streets? Who has the standing to condemn acts of terror and how do such acts compare to torture?
Terms: Spr | Units: 4-5 | UG Reqs: GER:EC-EthicReas, WAY-ER | Grading: Letter (ABCD/NP)
Instructors: ; Naaman, O. (PI)

ETHICSOC 199: Independent Studies in Ethics in Society

May be repeated for credit.
Terms: Aut, Win, Spr, Sum | Units: 1-15 | Repeatable for credit | Grading: Letter or Credit/No Credit

ETHICSOC 200A: Ethics in Society Honors Thesis

Limited to Ethics in Society honors students, who must enroll once in 200A, once in 200B, and once in 200C in their senior year. Students enrolling in 200A for less than 3 units must get approval from the faculty director.
Terms: Aut, Win, Spr, Sum | Units: 1-5 | Grading: Letter (ABCD/NP)

ETHICSOC 200B: Ethics in Society Honors Thesis

Limited to Ethics in Society honors students, who must enroll once in 200A, once in 200B, and once in 200C in their senior year. Students enrolling in 200B for less than 3 units must get approval from the faculty director.
Terms: Aut, Win, Spr, Sum | Units: 1-5 | Grading: Letter (ABCD/NP)

ETHICSOC 200C: Ethics in Society Honors Thesis

Limited to Ethics in Society honors students, who must enroll once in 200A, once in 200B, and once in 200C in their senior year. Students enrolling in 200C for less than 3 units must get approval from the faculty director.
Terms: Aut, Win, Spr, Sum | Units: 1-5 | Grading: Letter or Credit/No Credit

ETHICSOC 232T: Theories and Practices of Civil Society, Philanthropy, and the Nonprofit Sector (POLISCI 236, POLISCI 236S)

What is the basis of private action for the public good? How are charitable dollars distributed and what role do nonprofit organizations and philanthropic dollars play in a modern democracy? In the ¿Philanthropy Lab¿ component of the course, students will award $100,000 in grants to local nonprofits. Students will explore how nonprofit organizations operate domestically and globally as well as the historical development and modern structure of civil society and philanthropy. Readings in political philosophy, history, political sociology, and public policy. WIM for PoliSci students who enroll in PoliSci 236S.
Terms: Spr | Units: 5 | Grading: Letter or Credit/No Credit
Instructors: ; Sievers, B. (PI)

ETHICSOC 234R: Ethics on the Edge: Business, Non-Profit Organizations, Government, and Individuals (PUBLPOL 134, PUBLPOL 234)

(Same as LAW 7020) The objective of the course is to explore the increasing ethical challenges in a world in which technology, global risks, and societal developments are accelerating faster than our understanding can keep pace. We will unravel the factors contributing to the seemingly pervasive failure of ethics today among organizations and leaders across all sectors: business, government and non-profit. A framework for ethical decision-making underpins the course. The relationship between ethics and culture, global risks (poverty, cyber-terrorism, climate change, etc.) leadership, law and policy will inform discussion. Prominent guest speakers will attend certain sessions interactively. A broad range of international case studies might include: Zika virus; civilian space travel (Elon Musk's Mars plans); Facebook's news algorithms; free speech on University campuses (and Gawker type cases); designer genetics; artificial intelligence; Brexit; ISIS' interaction with international NGOs; corporate and financial sector scandals (Epi pen pricing, Wells Fargo, Volkswagen emissions testing manipulation); and non-profit sector ethics challenges (e.g. should NGOs engage with ISIS). Final project in lieu of exam on a topic of student's choice. Attendance required. Class participation important (with multiple opportunities to earn participation credit beyond speaking in class). Strong emphasis on rigorous analysis, critical thinking and testing ideas in real-world contexts. There will be a limited numbers of openings above the set enrollment limit of 40 students. Students wishing to take the course who are unable to sign up within the enrollment limit should contact Dr. Susan Liautaud at susanl1@stanford.edu. The course offers credit toward Ethics in Society, Public Policy core requirements (if taken in combination with PUBLPOL 103E or PUBLPOL 103F), and Science, Technology and Society majors and satisfies the undergraduate Ways of Thinking requirement. The course is open to undergraduate and graduate students. Undergraduates will not be at a disadvantage. Everyone will be challenged. Distinguished Career Institute Fellows are welcome and should contact Dr. Susan Liautaud directly at susanl1@stanford.edu. *Public Policy majors taking the course to complete the core requirements must obtain a letter grade. Other students may take the course for a letter grade or C/NC.
Terms: Spr | Units: 3 | UG Reqs: WAY-ER | Grading: Letter or Credit/No Credit

ETHICSOC 280: Transitional Justice, Human Rights, and International Criminal Tribunals (HUMRTS 103, INTNLREL 180A, IPS 280)

Historical backdrop of the Nuremberg and Tokyo Tribunals. The creation and operation of the Yugoslav and Rwanda Tribunals (ICTY and ICTR). The development of hybrid tribunals in East Timor, Sierra Leone, and Cambodia, including evaluation of their success in addressing perceived shortcomings of the ICTY and ICTR. Examination of the role of the International Criminal Court and the extent to which it will succeed in supplanting all other ad hoc international justice mechanisms and fulfill its goals. Analysis focuses on the politics of creating such courts, their interaction with the states in which the conflicts took place, the process of establishing prosecutorial priorities, the body of law they have produced, and their effectiveness in addressing the needs of victims in post-conflict societies.
Terms: Spr | Units: 3-5 | Grading: Letter or Credit/No Credit
Instructors: ; Cohen, D. (PI)

ETHICSOC 374R: Science, Religion, and Democracy (PHIL 374F, RELIGST 374F)

How should conflicts between citizens with science-based and religion-based beliefs be handled in modern liberal democracies? Are religion-based beliefs as suitable for discussion within the public sphere as science-based beliefs? Are there still important conflicts between science and religion, e.g., Darwinian evolution versus creationism or intelligent design? How have philosophy and recent theology been engaged with such conflicts and how should it be engaged now? What are the political ramifications?
Terms: Spr | Units: 3-5 | Repeatable for credit | Grading: Letter or Credit/No Credit
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