Philosophy 332: Ethics Applied to the Professions

This course applies the ethical theories studied in Philosophy 331 (or in the first half of Philosophy 330) to several contemporary moral questions, where the questions chosen are of particular interest to the medical, business, legal, and other professions. These questions include the rights and responsibilities of professionals, patients, and consumers; euthanasia and abortion; sexual harassment and affirmative action; the social and financial responsibilities of corporations; human sexuality, pornography, and the family; the role of the law in legislating and enforcing morality. Three credits.

Prerequisite: Philosophy 331 (or the first half of Philosophy 330)

Course Outline:

  1. Ethics in Law and in Journalism: Freedom of speech, censorship and the law #
  2. Ethics in Law: Punishment and capital punishment*
  3. Social and Personal Ethics /Responsibilities of Patients and Health Care Professionals: Euthanasia #
  4. Social and Personal Ethics /Responsibilities of Patients and Health Care Professionals: Abortion #
  5. Ethics in the Workplace: Equality and affirmative action*
  6. Famine relief and the duty to alleviate suffering #
  7. Ethics and the Environment #
  8. Ethics in Business: Globalization and morality*
In the last week, we shall discuss which, if any, of the ethical theories discussed in the Philosophy 331 best suits the conclusions arrived at in this semester.

Essays / Group Presentations:
Essays and group presentations will be selected from among the following topics

Texts / Readings:

* = articles from philosophy journals and books (to be distributed in class)
# = Ethical Issues, ed. Eldon Soifer, 2nd ed., Broadview Press
Method of Evaluation:
Group presentations - 20%
Written assignment [research essay or 'in class' essay] (March 14 / Feb. 19) - 30 %
Final examination (Sat. April 19th, 9 am) - 50 %