Winter 1996


INSTRUCTOR: Larry Hauser



Office: SAC 350 Phone: 7028

Hours: TuTh 4:00-5:00


REQUIRED: Singer, Practical Ethics; Rachels, The Elements of Moral Philosophy.

RECOMMENDED: Essays presenting views contrary to Singer on various issues (on reserve at the library).

COURSE DESCRIPTION: This course is centrally concerned with moral values and valuation. Our topic is ethics -- "how we ought to live" and why -- and our focus (after a brief but intensive survey of ethical theory(s) and issues relating thereto) will be practical. The question of how, in general, one ought to live, will be approached via consideration of what in particular we ought to do with regard to the specific matters mentioned below (in the course outline).

GRADES, ETC: After some initial lecture and discussion (weeks 1-4) the class will be run as a seminar. At each class session one or more student papers will be presented by their authors, with other students offering prepared commentaries on the principal work(s) presented, followed by class discussion. Grades will be based on these papers, commentaries, and presentations; on other short written assignments (abstracts, synopses and in-class essays); on contribution to class discussion; and on (your choice of) either a final exam or a term paper dealing with ethical theory (i.e., with issues, ideas, and general approaches surveyed in the first four weeks).


week 1 (1/8-1/12): Rachels: Chapt. 1-4 (pp. 1-61)

week 2 (1/15-1/19): Rachels: Chapt. 5-9 (pp. 62-126)

week 3 (1/22-1-26): Rachels: Chapt. 10-13 (pp. 127-193)

week 4: (129-2/2): Review, Organization, Test Test

week 5 (2/5-2/9): Singer: Chapt. 1 (pp. 1-15); Chapt. 11-12 (pp. 314-336)

week 6 (2/12-2/16): Singer: Chapt. 2 (pp. 16-54): Equality and its Implications

week 7 (2/19-2/23): Singer: Chapt. 3 (pp. 55-82): Equality for Animals?

SPRING BREAK (2/24-3/3)

week 8 (3/4-3/8): Singer: Chapt. 4 (pp. 83-109): What's Wrong with Killing?

week 9 (3/11-3/15): Singer: Chapt. 5 (pp. 110-134): Taking Life: Animals

week 10 (3/18-3/22): Singer: Chapt. 6 (pp. 135-174): Taking Life: The Embryo and the Fetus

week 11 (3/25-3/29): Singer: Chapt. 7 (pp. 175-217): Taking Life: Humans

week 12 (4/1-4/5): Singer: Chapt. 8-9 (pp. 218-263): Rich and Poor; Insiders and Outsiders

week 13 (4/8-4/12): Singer: Chapt. 10 (pp. 264-288): The Environment

week 14 (4/15-4/19): Final Examination (Tu 7:00-9:00 PM)