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MS&E 197: Ethics, Technology, and Public Policy

Ethical issues in science- and technology-related public policy conflicts. Focus is on complex, value-laden policy disputes. Topics: the nature of ethics and morality; rationales for liberty, justice, and human rights; and the use and abuse of these concepts in policy disputes. Case studies from biomedicine, environmental affairs, technical professions, communications, and international relations.
Terms: not given this year | Units: 5 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, GER:EC-EthicReas, WAY-ER | Grading: Letter (ABCD/NP)

OSPFLOR 85: Bioethics: the Biotechnological Revolution, Human Rights and Politics in the Global Era

Birth and development of the philosophical field of bioethics based on advances in several fundamental fields of science and technology, including molecular and cell biology, information technology, neurosciences and converging technologies. Challenges for society and ethical and political issues created by new advances and opportunities for individuals and populations. Philosophical approaches developed in the Italian as well as in the European debate; special attention to controversy about the freedom of scientific research, new conditions of procreation, birth, cures, and death. Complexity of the challenges posed by the `biotechnological revolution¿.
Terms: Spr | Units: 4 | UG Reqs: GER:EC-EthicReas, WAY-ER | Grading: Letter (ABCD/NP)

OSPPARIS 90: Computers, Ethics, and Public Policy

Ethical and social issues related to the development and use of computer technology. Ethical theory, and social, political, and legal considerations. Scenarios in problem areas: privacy, reliability and risks of complex systems, and responsibility of professionals for applications and consequences of their work. Prerequisite: 106A
Terms: Aut | Units: 4 | UG Reqs: GER:EC-EthicReas, WAY-ER | Grading: Letter or Credit/No Credit
Instructors: Cooper, S. (PI)

PHIL 2: Introduction to Moral Philosophy (ETHICSOC 20)

A survey of moral philosophy in the Western tradition. What makes right actions right and wrong actions wrong? What is it to have a virtuous rather than a vicious character? What is the basis of these distinctions? Why should we care about morality at all? Our aim is to understand how some of the most influential philosophers (including Aristotle, Kant, and Mill) have addressed these questions, and by so doing, to better formulate our own views. No prior familiarity with philosophy required.
Terms: Win | Units: 5 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, GER:EC-EthicReas, WAY-A-II, WAY-ER | Grading: Letter or Credit/No Credit

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 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 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)

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: Aut | Units: 4 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, GER:EC-EthicReas, WAY-A-II, WAY-ER | Grading: Letter (ABCD/NP)
Instructors: Duarte, S. (PI)
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