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ETHICSOC 233R: The Ethics of Religious Politics

Is it possible for a deeply committed religious person to be a good citizen in a liberal, pluralistic democracy? Is it morally inappropriate for religious citizens to appeal to the teachings of their tradition when they support and vote for laws that coerce fellow citizens? Must the religiously committed be prepared to defend their arguments by appealing to 'secular reasons' ostensibly accessible to all 'reasonable' citizens? What is so special about religious claims of conscience and expression that they warrant special protection in the constitution of most liberal democracies? Is freedom of religion an illusion when it is left to ostensibly secular courts to decide what counts as religion? Exploration of the debates surrounding the public role of religion in a religiously pluralistic American democracy through the writings of scholars on all sides of the issue from the fields of law, political science, philosophy, and religious studies.
Last offered: Winter 2015 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, GER:EC-EthicReas, WAY-A-II, WAY-ER

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

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

ETHICSOC 237: Civil Society and Democracy in Comparative Perspective (POLISCI 237S)

A cross-national approach to the study of civil societies and their role in democracy. The concept of civil society--historical, normative, and empirical. Is civil society a universal or culturally relative concept? Does civil society provide a supportive platform for democracy or defend a protected realm of private action against the state? How are the norms of individual rights, the common good, and tolerance balanced in diverse civil societies? Results of theoretical exploration applied to student-conducted empirical research projects on civil societies in eight countries. Summary comparative discussions. Prerequisite: a course on civil society or political theory. Students will conduct original research in teams of two on the selected nations. Enrollment limited to 18. Enrollment preference given to students who have taken PoliSci 236S/ EthicSoc 232T.
Last offered: Spring 2015 | UG Reqs: WAY-ER

ETHICSOC 237M: Politics and Evil (POLISCI 237M)

In the aftermath of the Second World War, the political theorist Hannah Arendt wrote that ¿the problem of evil will be the fundamental question of postwar intellectual life in Europe.¿ This question remains fundamental today. The acts to which the word ¿evil¿ might apply¿genocide, terrorism, torture, human trafficking, etc.¿persist. The rhetoric of evil also remains central to American political discourse, both as a means of condemning such acts and of justifying preventive and punitive measures intended to combat them. In this advanced undergraduate seminar, we will examine the intersection of politics and evil by considering works by philosophers and political theorists, with occasional forays into film and media. The thinkers covered will include: Hannah Arendt, Immanuel Kant, Niccolò Machiavelli, Friedrich Nietzche, and Michael Walzer.
Last offered: Spring 2013 | UG Reqs: WAY-A-II, WAY-ER

FRENCH 13: Humanities Core: Great Books, Big Ideas -- Europe, Modern (DLCL 13, PHIL 13)

This three-quarter sequence asks big questions of major texts in the European and American tradition. What is a good life? How should society be organized? Who belongs? How should honor, love, sin, and similar abstractions govern our actions? What duty do we owe to the past and future? This third and final quarter focuses on the modern period, from the rise of revolutionary ideas to the experiences of totalitarianism and decolonization in the twentieth century. Authors include Locke, Mary Shelley, Marx, Nietzsche, Freud, Weber, Primo Levi, and Frantz Fanon.
Terms: Spr | Units: 3-4 | UG Reqs: WAY-A-II, WAY-ER

FRENCH 147: Revolutions from Ancient Greece to the Arab Spring (DLCL 127, HISTORY 214G)

This course looks at theories of revolution and political or social change from ancient Greece to the Arab Spring. The course will provide a close reading of a selection of texts from ancient Greek political writing (Plato, Aristotle), medieval and early modern political advice literature (Marsilius of Padua, Machiavelli), and modern political thought (Tocqueville). Later sections of the course look at how the insights derived from the history of political thought can help generate a new framework for the study of modern revolutions, such as the Iranian Revolution and the Arab Spring. INSTRUCTOR: Vasileios Syros Note: Instructor has submitted WTWD for Social Inquiry (SI) and Ethical Reasoning (ER).
Terms: Aut | Units: 3-5 | UG Reqs: WAY-ER

FRENCH 228: Science, technology and society and the humanities in the face of the looming disaster (ITALIAN 228, POLISCI 233F)

How STS and the Humanities can together help think out the looming catastrophes that put the future of humankind in jeopardy.
Terms: Win | Units: 3-5 | UG Reqs: WAY-ER
Instructors: Dupuy, J. (PI)

FRENCH 229: Literature and Global Health (AFRICAAM 229, AFRICAST 229, COMPLIT 229, CSRE 129B, HUMBIO 175L, MED 234)

This course examines the ways writers in literature and medicine have used the narrative form to explore the ethics of care in what has been called the developing world. We will begin with a call made by the editor-in-chief of The Lancet for a literature of global health, namely fiction modeled on the social reform novels of the nineteenth century, understood to have helped readers develop a conscience for public health as the field emerged as a modern medical specialty. We will then spend the quarter understanding how colonial, postcolonial, and world literatures have answered and complicated this call. Readings will include prose fiction by Albert Camus, Joseph Conrad, Tsitsi Dangaremgba, Amitav Ghosh, Susan Sontag as well as physician memoirs featuring Frantz Fanon, Albert Schweitzer, Abraham Verghese, Paul Farmer. And each literary reading will be paired with medical, philosophical, and policy writings that deeply inform the field of global health.
Terms: Win | Units: 3-5 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, GER:EC-GlobalCom, WAY-A-II, WAY-ER

FRENCH 245: French Political Thought From Rousseau to the Present (POLISCI 336C)

An overview of the current awakening of French political thought as it is grounded in a new reading of the great classics of French social thought, from Rousseau to Tocqueville and Benjamin Constant. Readings of Lefort, Castoriadis, Louis Dumont, Ricoeur, Furet, Manent, Ferry, Renaut, Gauchet, Raynaud, etc. Readings in French. (Translations in English will be made available whenever possible.) Discussions in French and in English.
Last offered: Winter 2015 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, GER:EC-EthicReas, WAY-ER

GENE 104Q: Law and the Biosciences

Preference to sophomores. Focus is on human genetics; also assisted reproduction and neuroscience. Topics include forensic use of DNA, genetic testing, genetic discrimination, eugenics, cloning, pre-implantation genetic diagnosis, neuroscientific methods of lie detection, and genetic or neuroscience enhancement. Student presentations on research paper conclusions.
Terms: Aut | Units: 3 | UG Reqs: WAY-ER, Writing 2
Instructors: Greely, H. (PI)
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