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51 - 60 of 203 results for: all courses

ESF 12A: Education as Self-Fashioning: The Greeks on Suffering, Beauty, and Wisdom

In Greek tragedies, a horrific catastrophe falls upon a person and brings on extreme suffering. For the Greeks, tragic plays offered the truth about life's calamities and horrors. The Greeks enjoyed these plays because the dramatic artistry made beauty out of horror and suffering. The Greeks did not believe that they controlled their fates. The Greeks had a "tragic wisdom" that enabled them to confront the hardships of life and the inevitability of death. This helped them to develop courage and resilience. Plato attacked this view and introduced a new kind of hero, the philosopher Socrates. As Plato claimed, we can control our fates by practicing philosophy: this enables us to become wise and ethically good. The philosopher strives for this goodness, which is beautiful in the highest possible way--it is our soul's true desire. Our inner goodness is under our control, so the good and wise person will stay happy even when calamities strike. Plato's optimistic philosophy flew in the face of Greek tragic wisdom. Plato offered a new way of living, one based on higher education, the development of knowledge, and the pursuit of true beauty and goodness. Do we believe that liberal education improves us ethically? Do we feel optimistic or pessimistic about life? To what extent can we control our lives and fates? How do tragic plays, movies, or TV shows represent the horrors that happen in the real world? Does the art that makes them beautiful and pleasurable help us to confront these horrors? Who are our heroes? What actions or qualities make them heroic? We read six tragedies by Sophocles and Euripides, and three Platonic dialogues (Apology, Symposium, Republic). We also read Nietzsche's Birth of Tragedy, which sets forth the opposition between Greek "tragic wisdom" and Plato's "philosophic knowledge."
Terms: Aut | Units: 7 | UG Reqs: THINK, WAY-ER, Writing 1

ESS 107: Control of Nature (EARTHSYS 107)

Think controlling the earth's climate is science fiction? It is when you watch Snowpiercer or Dune, but scientists are already devising geoengineering schemes to slow climate change. Will we ever resurrect the woolly mammoth or even a T. Rex (think Jurassic Park)? Based on current research, that day will come in your lifetime. Who gets to decide what species to save? And more generally, what scientific and ethical principles should guide our decisions to control nature? In this course, we will examine the science behind ways that people alter and engineer the earth, critically examining the positive and negative consequences. We'll explore these issues first through popular movies and books and then, more substantively, in scientific research.
Terms: Spr | Units: 3 | UG Reqs: GER:EC-EthicReas, WAY-ER

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

ETHICSOC 21N: Ethics of Sports (PHIL 21N)

This seminar will be focused on the ethical challenges that are encountered in sport. We will focus on the moral and political issues that affect the world of sport and which athletes, coaches, sports commentators and fans are faced with. For instance, we will ask questions such as: what is a fair game (the ethics of effort, merit, success)? Is it ethical to train people to use violence (the ethics of martial arts)? Are divisions by gender categories justified and what should we think of gender testing? Is the use of animals in sport ever justified? Which forms of performance enhancements are acceptable in sport (the ethics of drug use and enhancements through technologies)? Should we ban sports that damage the players¿ health? Does society owe social support to people who hurt themselves while practicing extreme sports? nnThe class will be structured around small group discussions and exercises as well as brief lectures to introduce key moral and political concepts (such as fairness, equality, freedom, justice, exploitation, etc.). I will also bring guests speakers who are involved in a sport activity at Stanford or who have worked on sports as part of their academic careers. By the end of the seminar, students will have a good understanding of the various ethical challenges that surround the world of sport. They will be able to critically discuss sport activities, norms, modes of assessments and policies (on campus and beyond). They will also be prepared to apply the critical ethical thinking that they will have deployed onto other topics than sports. They will have been introduced to the normative approach to social issues, which consists in asking how things should be rather than describing how things are. They will be prepared to take more advanced classes in ethics, political theory, as well as moral and political philosophy.
Last offered: Spring 2017 | UG Reqs: WAY-ER

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.
| UG Reqs: WAY-ER

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: Win | Units: 4 | UG Reqs: WAY-ER

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

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.
Last offered: Spring 2017 | UG Reqs: GER:EC-EthicReas, WAY-A-II, WAY-ER

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

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

ETHICSOC 134R: The Ethics of Elections (POLISCI 132A)

Do you have a duty to vote? How should you choose whom to vote for? Should immigrants be allowed to vote? Should we make voting mandatory? How (if at all) should we regulate campaign finance? Should we even have elections at all? In this course, we will explore these and other ethical questions related to electoral participation and the design of electoral institutions. We will evaluate arguments from political philosophers, political scientists, and politicians to better understand how electoral systems promote important democratic values and how this affects citizens' and political leaders' ethical obligations. We will focus, in particular, on questions that are particularly relevant to the 2016 U.S. presidential election, though many of the ethical issues we will discuss in this course will be relevant in any electoral democracy.
Last offered: Autumn 2016 | UG Reqs: WAY-ER
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