Schedule of Assignments, Philosophy 101, Fall 2009


1.          Aug 25: Introduction

The Nature of Morality

2.           Aug 27: CH 1, What is Morality? James Rachels, The Elements of Moral Philosophy 6th edition), (hereafter, EMP), pp. 1-13

Objectivity, Subjectivity, and Relativism in Ethics and Aesthetics

3.          Sept 1: CH 2, Cultural Relativism, EMP 14-31

             a.          Course web page: “Battle Over Patriotism Curriculum,” “Men stoned to death for adultery” “The Ritual: Disfiguring, Hurtful, Wildly Festive,” and “Village by Village, Circumcising a Ritual”

4.          Sept 3: Course web page: Holmes Rolston, “Does the Aesthetic Appreciation of Landscapes Need to be Science-Based?”

5.          Sept 8: CH 3, Subjectivism, EMP 32-47                          

Philosophy of Religion

6.          Sept 10: Ereserves: Richard Taylor "God,"

7.          Sept 15: Ereserves: Bertrand Russell "Why I Am Not A Christian"

             a.           Class webpage: “Can Nonbelievers Be Saved?”

             b.           Class webpage: “More Atheists Shout from the Rooftops”

8.          Sept 17: Class Web Page: William James, “The Will to Believe,” 370-379

             a.           Class Web Page, Louis Pojman, “Faith, Hope, and Doubt” 412-422

9.          Sept 22: Ereserves: Fyodor Dostoevsky, "The Sufferings of Little Children"

             a.          Ereserves: John Hick,"The Problem of Evil"

             b.          Ereserves: John Hick, "Evil and the Infinite Future Good"

10.        Sept 24: CH 4, Does Morality Depend on Religion? EMP 48-61


11.         Sept 29: CH 5, Psychological and Ethical Egoism, EMP 62-79

Social and Political Philosophy

12.        Oct 1: CH 6, The Idea of a Social Contract, EMP 80-96

13.        Oct 6: Ereserves: Joel Feinberg, “Hard Cases for the Harm Principle”

14.        Oct 8: Catchup day


15.         Oct 15: MIDTERM EXAM

Utilitarianism, Animals, and Environmental Ethics

16.        Oct 20: CH 7, The Utilitarian Approach, EMP 97-108

17.        Oct 22: Class web page: Mark Sagoff, “Animal Liberation and Environmental Ethics: Bad Marriage, Quick Divorce

18.        Oct 27: CH 8, Debate over Utilitarianism, EMP 109-123

Punishment and the Ethics of Respect

19.        Oct 29: CH 9, Are There Absolute Moral Rules, EMP 124-135

PAPER PROPOSAL DUE (Friday, Oct 30, 14 Glebe mailbox)

20.        Nov 3: CH 10, Kant and Respect for Persons, EMP 136-145

Metaphysics: Mind and Body, Personal Identity, and Free Will

21.        Nov 5: Class web page: Thomas Nagel, “The Mind-Body Problem”

22.        Nov 10: Class web page: Daniel Dennett, “Where Am I?”

23.        Nov 12: Class web page: Thomas Nagel, “Free Will”

Feminism and Feminist Ethics

24.        Nov 17: CH 11, Feminism and the Ethics of Care EMP 146-157

25.        Nov 19: Class web page: John Stuart Mill, “The Subjection of Women”

PAPER DUE (Friday, Nov 20, 1pm, 14 Glebe mailbox)

Conclusions about Moral Theory 

26.        Nov 24: CH 13, The Ethics of Virtue, EMP 158-172


27.        Dec 1: Class web page: Philip Cafaro, “Gluttony, Arrogance, Greed and Apathy: An Exploration of Environmental Vice

28.        Dec 3: CH 14, What Would a Satisfactory Moral Theory Be Like? EMP 173-183

FINAL EXAM (For date, see syllabus)