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PHIL 5N: The Art of Living

Whether we realize it or not, all of us are forced to make a fundamental choice: by deciding what is most valuable to us, we decide how we are going to live our life. We may opt for a life of reason and knowledge; one of faith and discipline; one of nature and freedom; one of community and altruism; or one of originality and style.We may even choose to live our lives as though they were works of art. In every case, hard work is required: our lives are not just given to us, but need to be made. To live well is, in fact, to practice an art of living. Where, however, do such ideals come from? How do we adopt and defend them? What is required to put them into practice? What do we do when they come into conflict with one another? And what role do great works of art play in all this? "The Art of Living" will explore the various ways in which it is possible to live well and beautifully, what it takes to implement them, and what happens when they come under pressure from inside and out.
Terms: not given this year | Units: 4 | UG Reqs: WAY-A-II, WAY-ER | Grading: Letter or Credit/No Credit

PHIL 8N: Free Will and Responsibility

In what sense are we, or might we be free agents? Is our freedom compatible with our being fully a part of the same natural, causal order that includes other physical and biological systems? What assumptions about freedom do we make when we hold people accountable morally and/or legally? When we hold people accountable, and so responsible, can we also see them as part of the natural, causal order? Or is there a deep incompatibility between these two ways of understanding ourselves? What assumptions about our freedom do we make when we deliberate about what to do? Are these assumptions in conflict with seeing ourselves as part of the natural, causal order?nWe will explore these and related questions primarily by way of careful study of recent and contemporary philosophical research on these matters.
Terms: Spr | Units: 4 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, WAY-A-II, WAY-ER | Grading: Letter (ABCD/NP)
Instructors: Bratman, M. (PI)

PHIL 14N: Belief and the Will

Preference to freshmen. Is there anything wrong with believing something without evidence? Is it possible? The nature and ethics of belief, and belief's relation to evidence and truth. How much control do believers have over their belief?
Terms: not given this year | Units: 3 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, WAY-ER | Grading: Letter (ABCD/NP)

PHIL 15N: Freedom, Community, and Morality

Preference to freshmen. Does the freedom of the individual conflict with the demands of human community and morality? Or, as some philosophers have maintained, does the freedom of the individual find its highest expression in a moral community of other human beings? Readings include Camus, Mill, Rousseau, and Kant.
Terms: not given this year | Units: 3 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, GER:EC-EthicReas, WAY-A-II, WAY-ER | Grading: Letter (ABCD/NP)

PHIL 71Q: Emerging Issues in Neuroethics

What is the mind? Today, most philosophers and neuroscientists believe it is, in one way or another, just the brain. Brain research is progressing at a staggering pace. Neuroimaging technology seems to be closing in on `thought identification¿, i.e. determining an individual¿s thought content merely by scanning the brain. Do we have a right to keep our thoughts private or is it permissible to use imaging technologies, perhaps in judicial settings, to identify someone¿s thoughts? What happens to our concepts of moral responsibility when a brain scan reveals abnormalities in the brain? Do these findings have bearing on our understanding of free will? Commonplace drugs can prevent the forming of memories of painful events. Should we take these drugs to shield ourselves from traumatic memories or is it good for us to remember unpleasant events in order to learn and grow from them? Neurotechnology and pharmacology that enhances cognition is advancing rapidly. Is manipulating our brains into smarter, more efficient ones ethical? These are some of the questions we will consider in this course on the ethics of neuroscience that will allow you to critically assess complicated, cutting edge issues.
Terms: Spr | Units: 3 | UG Reqs: WAY-ER | Grading: Letter (ABCD/NP)

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

This course addresses moral issues that play a major role in contemporary public discourse. The course aims to encourage students to consider moral problems in a reflective, systematic manner, and to equip students with skills that will enable them to do so. Questions to be addressed include: Do rich countries have an obligation to accept refugees from other parts of the world? Do such obligations conflict with the right of individuals to protect their culture? Is there anything principally wrong in the use of drones for purposes of warfare? Do we have obligations to the environment, and if so why? What is racism and what makes it wrong? And what are feminist ideals?
Terms: Win | Units: 4-5 | UG Reqs: GER:EC-EthicReas, WAY-ER | Grading: Letter (ABCD/NP)

PHIL 73: The Ethics and Politics of Collective Action (ETHICSOC 180M, POLISCI 131A, 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: Spr | Units: 3-4 | UG Reqs: GER:EC-EthicReas, WAY-ER | Grading: Letter or Credit/No Credit
Instructors: Zacka, B. (PI)

PHIL 74: Business Ethics (ETHICSOC 182M)

What do people mean when they say, "it's just business"? Do they mean that there are no moral norms in business or do they mean that there are special moral norms in business that differ from those of personal relationships and other spheres of social activity? In this class we will examine ethical questions that arise in the domain of business. We will ask, for example: What does the market reward and what should it reward? What are the moral responsibilities of a business owner in a competitive environment? Is it acceptable to employ "sweatshop labor"? How do the moral responsibilities of a business owner differ from that of a policy maker? What information does a seller (or buyer) have a moral duty to disclose? In real estate, is a strategic default morally wrong? How much government regulation of Wall Street is morally justified? We will use the writings of Plato, Aristotle, Cicero, J. S. Mill, Marx, Jevons and Menger, Hayek, Walzer, and Sandel, among others, to help us answer these questions. We will see, for example, what Aristotle thought about day trading.
Terms: not given this year | Units: 4 | UG Reqs: GER:EC-EthicReas, WAY-ER | Grading: Letter or Credit/No Credit

PHIL 74A: Ethics in a Human Life (HUMBIO 74)

Ethical questions pervade a human life from before a person is conceived until after she dies, and at every point in between. This course raises a series of ethical questions, following along the path of a person's life - questions that arise before, during, and after she lives it. We will explore distinctive questions that a life presents at each of several familiar stages: prior to birth, childhood, adulthood, death, and even beyond. We will consider how some philosophers have tried to answer these questions, and we will think about how answering them might help us form a better understanding of the ethical shape of a human life as a whole.
Terms: Aut | Units: 4 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, WAY-ER | Grading: Letter or Credit/No Credit

PHIL 76: Introduction to Global Justice (ETHICSOC 136R, INTNLREL 136R, POLISCI 136R, POLISCI 336)

This course provides an overview of core ethical problems in international politics, with special emphasis on the question of what demands justice imposes on institutions and agents acting in a global context. The course is divided into three sections. The first investigates the content of global justice, and comprises of readings from contemporary political theorists and philosophers who write within the liberal contractualist, utilitarian, cosmopolitan, and nationalist traditions. The second part of the course looks at the obligations which global justice generates in relation to five issues of international concern ¿ global poverty, climate change, immigration, warfare, and well-being of women. The final section of the course asks whether a democratic international order is necessary for global justice to be realized.
Terms: Spr | Units: 4 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, GER:EC-EthicReas, WAY-ER | Grading: Letter or Credit/No Credit
Instructors: Datta, P. (PI)
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