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PHIL 2030

This is an archive of the Common Course Outlines prior to fall 2011. The current Common Course Outlines can be found at   
Credit Hours   3   
Course Title   Introduction To Ethics   
Prerequisite(s)   Exit or exemption from Learning Support English and reading or all ESL requirements   
Corequisite(s)   None Specified   
Catalog Description   
Students examine philosophical thought in the area of ethics.  The course provides a survey of major theories of ethics, from early Greek to contemporary.  The course also addresses the application of ethical theory to contemporary social issues.
Expected Educational Results   
As a result of completing this course, students will have:

a)  An understanding of the meaningfulness, relevance, and limitations of ethical discourse.

b)  An understanding of several normative ethical theories.

c)  A new insight into several practical, contemporary ethical issues.

d)  An understanding of philosophy as an inquiry that is relevant to students' lives because it speaks directly to the world in which they live.

General Education Outcomes   
a)  Students develop listening skills through lectures, class discussion, and peer group activities.

b)  Students develop speaking skills through class discussions and peer group activities.

c)  Students develop reading skills through the comprehension of the form and content of textbook material and professional essays.

d)  Students develop writing skills through the composition of expository and argumentative essays.

e)  Students develop critical thinking skills through the analysis and evaluation of philosophical arguments.

Course Content   
a)  Challenges to the value and meaningfulness of ethical theory (such as cultural relativism, subjectivism, psychological egoism, ethical egoism, etc.).  It is recommended that these topics come at or near the beginning of the course.

b)  The relevance (or lack of relevance) of religion to ethics.  It is recommended that this topic also come at or near the beginning of the course.

c)  At least two normative ethical theories.  These will include consequentialism and at least one theory inconsistent with consequentialism (such as Kantian ethics, rights theory, contract theory, virtue theory, etc.).  

d)  The application of normative ethical theories to at least three contemporary social issues.  This coverage will not constitute more than one third of the course.

e)  Instructors will emphasize the historical and cultural contexts in which the major philosophers wrote; including, for example, the role of gender in the western philosophical tradition, and the relation of western philosophy to non-western traditions.

f)  If they prefer, instructors may organize the course (except for d), above), into a "history of ethics" approach to that course material.

Assessment of Outcome Objectives   
I) Assessment of student work in individual courses may include, but is not limited to:

a)  Class participation.  (0-25 % of final grade)

b)  At least two in-class exams.  The exam questions should require students to write essays.  (25-40 % of final grade)

c)  At least three out-of-class writing assignments, for a total of  about 3,000 words (10-12 pages).  (25-40 % of final grade)

d)  Comprehensive final exam.  (10-25 % of final grade)
The individual instructor will determine the number and nature of writing assignments that students must complete; tests are given at the indvidual instructor's discretion, and the final exam will be an activity of appropriate significance to the course.
II)  Departmental assessment of the course.  

An evaluation will be administered to all sections of Phil 2030 by faculty teaching those sections.  Students will fill out a questionnaire directly related to the objectives of the course.  They will also write on one philosophical topic that they choose from a list of topics that reflect those course objectives.  After students have completed the evaluation, instructors teaching the course will meet to review the questionnaire responses and essays, and to consider their implication for syllabus revision.

These evaluations will be given every three years during Fall semester, either during the last or second to last week of that semester, or alternately as part of the final exam.    


The philosophy faculty and other interested parties will use the information gathered from the departmental assessment to revise the Common Course Outline if such revision is deemed beneficial.

January 2007

Last Revised: Jul. 29, 2011
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