Schedule of Assignments, Philosophy 101, Fall 2012


1.      Aug 21: Introduction

The Nature of Morality

2.      Aug 23: CH 1, What is Morality? James Rachels, The Elements of Moral Philosophy, 7th edition, (hereafter, EMP), pp. 1-13

Objectivity, Subjectivity, and Relativism in Ethics and Aesthetics

3.      Aug 28: CH 2, The Challenge of Cultural Relativism, EMP 14-31

         a.      Optional readings on class webpage: “Battle Over Patriotism Curriculum”; “Men Stoned to Death for Adultery”; “The Ritual: Disfiguring, Hurtful, Wildly Festive” and “Village by Village, Circumcising a Ritual”; “Do Korean Men Still Beat Their Wives? Definitely”

4.      Aug 30: Holmes Rolston, “Does the Aesthetic Appreciation of Landscapes Need to be Science-Based?” on class webpage

5.      Sept 4: CH 3, Subjectivism in Ethics, EMP 32-48

         a.      Optional readings about sexuality on class webpage: Sheila Lintott and Sherri Irvin and, “Sex Objects and Sexy Subjects: A Feminist Reclamation of Sexiness”; Talia Mae Bettcher, “Without a Net, Starting Points for Trans Stories”; Simon Blackburn on Truth and Lust (video)

Philosophy of Religion

6.      Sept 6: Richard Taylor "God," on class webpage

7.      Sept 11: Bertrand Russell "Why I Am Not A Christian," on class webpage

         a.       Optional readings on class webpage: “Can Nonbelievers Be Saved?”; “More Atheists Shout from the Rooftops”

8.      Sept 13: William James, “The Will to Believe,” on class webpage

9.      Sept 18: Louis Pojman, “Faith, Hope, and Doubt,” on class webpage

10.    Sept 20: Fyodor Dostoevsky, "The Sufferings of Little Children," on class webpage

11.    Sept 25: Two readings: John Hick,"The Problem of Evil" and John Hick, "Evil and the Infinite Future Good" both on class webpage

12.    Sept 27: CH 4, Does Morality Depend on Religion? EMP 49-63


13.    Oct 2: CH 5, Ethical Egoism, EMP 64-81

14.    Oct 4: MIDTERM EXAM

Social and Political Philosophy

15.    Oct 9: CH 6, The Social Contract Theory, EMP 82-97

16.    Oct 11: Joel Feinberg, “Hard Cases for the Harm Principle” and “A Ride on the Bus,” both on class webpage


17.    Oct 16: CH 7, The Utilitarian Approach, EMP 98-109

18.    Oct 18: CH 8, Debate over Utilitarianism, EMP 110-124

PAPER PROPOSAL DUE (Friday, Oct 19th, send by email to:

19.    Oct 23: Jonathan Foer, from Eating Animals (“The Life and Death of a Bird,” pp. 129-137 and “I am the Last Poultry Farmer,” pp. 110-115) on class webpage

Oct 23: Campus visit and talk by author Jonathan Foer on Eating Animals

Kantian Moral Theory         

20.    Oct 25: CH 9, Are There Absolute Moral Rules? EMP 125-135

21.    Oct 30: CH 10, Kant and Respect for Persons, EMP 136-145

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

22.    Nov 1: Thomas Nagel, “The Mind-Body Problem,” on class webpage

Tuesday Nov 6th, Election day, no class

23.    Nov 8: Daniel Dennett, “Where Am I?” on class webpage

PAPER DUE (Friday, Nov 9th, hard copy--not email)

24.    Nov 13: Thomas Nagel, “Free Will”” on class webpage

Feminism and Feminist Ethics

25.    Nov 15: CH 11, Feminism and the Ethics of Care EMP 146-156

         a.      Optional readings on class webpage: Susan Kwilecki and Loretta Wilson, “Feminist Follies: Facing Facts at Fifty”; David Benatar, “The Second Sexism: Discrimination Against Men and Boys”; and “Miss Representation” (video)

26.    Nov 20: John Stuart Mill, “The Subjection of Women,” on class web page

Virtue Ethics

27.    Nov 27: CH 12, Virtue Ethics, EMP 157-172

Conclusions about Moral Theory                                                          

28.    Nov 29: CH 13, What Would a Satisfactory Moral Theory Be Like? EMP 173-183

FINAL EXAM (For date, see syllabus)