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PHIL 101: Introduction to Medieval Philosophy (PHIL 201)

This course is an introduction to medieval moral philosophy, broadly construed. In addition to doctrines that we would nowadays readily think of as falling within the domain of ethics, we will be looking at closely related topics that might today be thought to belong more properly to metaphysics, the philosophy of religion, or the philosophy of human nature.
Terms: not given this year, last offered Autumn 2015 | Units: 4 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, GER:EC-EthicReas, WAY-A-II, WAY-ER | Grading: Letter (ABCD/NP)

PHIL 170: Ethical Theory (ETHICSOC 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: Win | Units: 4 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, GER:EC-EthicReas, WAY-A-II, WAY-ER | Grading: Letter or Credit/No Credit

PHIL 171: Justice (ETHICSOC 171, POLISCI 103, POLISCI 336S, PUBLPOL 103C, PUBLPOL 307)

Focus is on the ideal of a just society, and the place of liberty and equality in it, in light of contemporary theories of justice and political controversies. Topics include financing schools and elections, regulating markets, discriminating against people with disabilities, and enforcing sexual morality. Counts as Writing in the Major for PoliSci majors.
Terms: Aut | Units: 4-5 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, GER:EC-EthicReas, WAY-ER | Grading: Letter or Credit/No Credit
Instructors: Coyne, B. (PI)

PHIL 174A: Moral Limits of the Market (ETHICSOC 174A, PHIL 274A, POLISCI 135P)

Morally controversial uses of markets and market reasoning in areas such as organ sales, procreation, education, and child labor. Would a market for organ donation make saving lives more efficient; if it did, would it thereby be justified? Should a nation be permitted to buy the right to pollute? Readings include Walzer, Arrow, Rawls, Sen, Frey, Titmuss, and empirical cases.
Terms: not given this year, last offered Winter 2013 | Units: 4 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, GER:EC-EthicReas, WAY-A-II, WAY-ER | Grading: Letter or Credit/No Credit

PHIL 174D: Moral Luck (PHIL 274D)

We draw a fundamental distinction between what a person voluntarily does, and what is beyond her control. Such a distinction seems central to how we think about what it is to justify our actions (whether to ourselves or to one another), as well as to our practice of holding one another morally responsible for what we do. Yet under pressure, this distinction can appear to collapse ¿ we find that we cannot successfully disentangle what a person controls from what she does not when she acts. This course examines this problem in depth, and considers how we might respond in the face of it: Is it really a problem? If so, does it threaten our moral practices? How should it influence the way in which we make choices, or the way we understand those choices once we¿ve made them?
Terms: not given this year, last offered Spring 2014 | Units: 4 | UG Reqs: GER:EC-EthicReas | Grading: Letter or Credit/No Credit

PHIL 178M: Introduction to Environmental Ethics (ETHICSOC 178M, ETHICSOC 278M, PHIL 278M, POLISCI 134L)

How should human beings relate to the natural world? Do we have moral obligations toward non-human animals and other parts of nature? And what do we owe to other human beings, including future generations, with respect to the environment? The first part of this course will examine such questions in light of some of our current ethical theories: considering what those theories suggest regarding the extent and nature of our environmental obligations; and also whether reflection on such obligations can prove informative about the adequacy of our ethical theories. In the second part of the course, we will use the tools that we have acquired to tackle various ethical questions that confront us in our dealings with the natural world, looking at subjects such as: animal rights; conservation; economic approaches to the environment; access to and control over natural resources; environmental justice and pollution; climate change; technology and the environment; and environmental activism.
Terms: Spr | Units: 4-5 | UG Reqs: GER:EC-EthicReas, WAY-ER | Grading: Letter (ABCD/NP)

PHIL 193D: Dante and Aristotle

Students will read all of Dante¿s Commedia alongside works by Aristotle and various ancient and medieval philosophers. Our aim will be to understand the way an Aristotelian worldview informs the Commedia. For instance, what is the role of pleasure in the ethical life? What is the highest good of the human being? All readings will be in translation.
Terms: not given this year, last offered Autumn 2015 | Units: 5 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, GER:EC-EthicReas, WAY-A-II, WAY-ER | Grading: Letter (ABCD/NP)

POLISCI 103: Justice (ETHICSOC 171, PHIL 171, POLISCI 336S, PUBLPOL 103C, PUBLPOL 307)

Focus is on the ideal of a just society, and the place of liberty and equality in it, in light of contemporary theories of justice and political controversies. Topics include financing schools and elections, regulating markets, discriminating against people with disabilities, and enforcing sexual morality. Counts as Writing in the Major for PoliSci majors.
Terms: Aut | Units: 4-5 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, GER:EC-EthicReas, WAY-ER | Grading: Letter or Credit/No Credit
Instructors: Coyne, B. (PI)

POLISCI 131A: The Ethics and Politics of Collective Action (ETHICSOC 180M, PHIL 73, PUBLPOL 304A)

Collective action problems arise when actions that are individually rational give rise to results that are collectively irrational. Scholars have used such a framework to shed light on various political phenomena such as revolutions, civil disobedience, voting, climate change, and the funding of social services. We examine their findings and probe the theoretical foundations of their approach. What does this way of thinking about politics bring into focus, and what does it leave out? What role do institutions play in resolving collective action problems? And what if the required institutions are absent? Can we, as individuals, be required to cooperate even if we expect that others may not play their part? Readings drawn from philosophy, political science, economics, and sociology.
Terms: not given this year, last offered Spring 2016 | Units: 3-4 | UG Reqs: GER:EC-EthicReas, WAY-ER | Grading: Letter or Credit/No Credit

POLISCI 131L: Modern Political Thought: Machiavelli to Marx and Mill (ETHICSOC 131S)

This course offers an introduction to the history of Western political thought from the late fifteenth through the nineteenth centuries. We will consider the development of ideas like individual rights, government by consent, and the protection of private property. We will also explore the ways in which these ideas continue to animate contemporary political debates. Thinkers covered will include: Niccolò Machiavelli, Thomas Hobbes, John Locke, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Edmund Burke, John Stuart Mill, and Karl Marx.
Terms: Spr | Units: 5 | UG Reqs: GER:EC-EthicReas, WAY-A-II, WAY-ER | Grading: Letter or Credit/No Credit
Instructors: McQueen, A. (PI)
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