PHIL 440A:  READING ASSIGNMENTS

 

                Reading assignments are from Louis P. Pojman, Ethical Theory (ET), 6th Edition, from a course reader (READER), and on electronic reserve (E-RESERVE).  The text and course reader are available for purchase at the University Book Store. Please do reading assignments before class on the day they are due.

 

Week #1 (Sept. 25-27):  Introduction and the Beginning of Meta-Ethics

No Readings for Wednesday.

Friday Readings: 

(1) G.E. Moore, "Non-Naturalism and the Indefinability of the Good", ET, paragraphs 5-11 and 13 [you may skip paragraph 12], pp. 507-512.

(2) J.L. Mackie, "The Subjectivity of Values", ET, pp. 548-558.

 

Week #2 (Oct. 2-4):  Humean Skepticism

Wednesday Readings:

(1) David Hume, "On Reason and the Emotions: The Fact/Value Distinction", ET, pp. 500-506.

(2) Elijah Millgram, "Was Hume a Humean?", READER pp. 64-73.

Friday Readings:

Read the first half of the Korsgaard essay, then read the Williams essay:

(1) Christine Korsgaard, "Skepticism About Practical Reason", Sections I-V, READER pp. 81-87.

(2) Bernard Williams, "Internal and External Reasons", READER pp. 74-80.

 

Week #3 (Oct. 9-11):  Responses to Humean Skepticism

Wednesday Readings: 

Read the second half of this essay.

(1) Christine Korsgaard, "Skepticism About Practical Reason", Sections VI-VIII, READER pp. 87-91.

Friday Readings:

(1) Thomas Nagel, “The View from Nowhere”, ET, pp. 134-143.

(2) Jean Hampton, "Rethinking Reason", READER pp. 3-20.

 

Week #4 (Oct. 16-18):  Evolution and Ethics

Wednesday Readings: 

(1) Michael Ruse, "Evolution and Ethics:  The Sociobiological Approach", ET, pp. 640-656.

(2) Elliott Sober, "Prospects for an Evolutionary Ethics", ET, pp. 656-667.

Friday Readings: 

(1) Gilbert Harman, "Moral Nihilism", ET, pp. 568-577.

(2) Sharon Street, “A Darwinian Dilemma for Realist Theories of Value”, E-RESERVE.  For this week, you are only required to read the first half of the article through p. 135.

 

Week #5 (Oct. 23-25):  Midterm Week

SUBMIT PAPER #1 INTRODUCTION TO PHIL 440 CANVAS SITE BY MIDNIGHT ON MON. OCT. 20.

VOTE BY EMAIL FOR THE BEST PAPER #1 INTRODUCTION BY MIDNIGHT ON TUESDAY OCT. 22.

Wednesday:  Midterm Review in class.

Friday:  Midterm Exam in Class. 

 

Week #6 (Oct. 30 – Nov. 1):  Begin Normative Ethics: Utilitarianism

SUBMIT PAPER #1 TO CANVAS SITE BY MIDNIGHT ON MONDAY OCT. 28.

Wednesday Readings: 

(1) Mill, "Utilitarianism", ET: Chap. II, pp. 199-210 and Chap. V, pp. 217-230.

NOTE:  THIS IS A PARTIAL SELECTION FROM THE MILL READING.

(2) Bernard Williams, "Against Utilitarianism", ET, pp. 245-254.

Friday Reading: 

(1) John Hospers, “Rule-Utilitarianism”, ET, pp. 255-264.

 

 

 

 

Week #7 (Nov. 6-8):  Kantian Moral Theory

Wednesday Readings: 

(1) Immanuel Kant, "The Foundations of the Metaphysic of Morals", ET, Chap. 2, pp. 289­- 309.   NOTE:  THIS IS A PARTIAL SELECTION FROM THE KANT READING.

(2) Robert Nozick, “Side Constraints”, ET, Section 2-3, pp. 265-268.  BEGIN WITH SECTION 2; YOU MAY IGNORE SECTION 1.

(2) Jonathan Bennett, "The Conscience of Huckleberry Finn", EXCERPTS, READER pp. 21- 25 and pp. 31-32.

Friday Readings:  Contractualism 

(1) David Gauthier, "Morality and Advantage", ET, pp. 98-106.

(2) T.M. Scanlon, "Contractualism and Utilitarianism", READER, pp. 119-132.

 

Week #8 (Nov.13-15): The Ethics of Care

Wednesday Readings:  (1) Carol Gilligan, "Moral Orientation and Moral Development", READER pp. 33-40.

(2) Annette C. Baier, "Hume, the Women's Moral Theorist?", READER pp. 41-50.

RECOMMENDED, NOT REQUIRED:  Susan Glaspell, “A Jury of Her Peers”, available on the Web at:

http://www.learner.org/interactives/literature/story/fulltext.html

Friday Reading:

(1) Marilyn Friedman, "Beyond Caring", READER pp. 51-63.

 

Week #9 (Nov. 20-22):  Virtue Ethics

SUBMIT PAPER #2 INTRODUCTION TO CANVAS SITE BY MIDNIGHT ON MONDAY NOV. 18.

VOTE BY EMAIL FOR BEST PAPER #2 INTRODUCTION BY MIDNIGHT ON TUESDAY NOV. 19.

Wednesday Readings: 

(1) Aristotle, "The Ethics of Virtue", EXCERPTS, ET, Book I, Sections 7-8 ONLY, pp. 406-409 and Book II, pp. 413-419 [OMIT BOOKS III AND IV].  

(2) Alasdair MacIntyre, "The Nature of the Virtues", ET, pp. 457-471.

Friday Readings: 

(1) Walter Schaller, “Are Virtues No More Than Dispositions to Obey Moral Rules?”, ET, pp. 450-457.

 

Week #10 (Nov. 27):  Meta-Ethics Again:  Objectivity in Ethics (NO CLASS ON FRIDAY—THANKSGIVING HOLIDAY)

SUBMIT PAPER #2 TO CANVAS SITE BY MIDNIGHT ON MONDAY NOV. 25.

(1) Bernard Williams, “Knowledge, Science, Convergence,” READER, pp. 133-144.

(2) Sharon Street, “A Darwinian Dilemma for Realist Theories of Value”, E-RESERVE.  This is the second half of the Street article.  You read the first half of it in week #4.  Refresh your memory of the first half of the article and read the second half of the article, from p. 135 to the end.

 

Week #11 (Dec. 4-6):  Objectivity (Continued)

Wednesday Readings: 

(1) Ronald Dworkin, "Objectivity and Truth: You'd Better Believe It".  READER pp. 92-113 ONLY.  You are not required to read the section beginning with "Internal Skepticism". 

(2) William J. Talbott, “How Could A “Blind” Evolutionary Process Have Made Our Moral Beliefs Sensitive to Objective Moral Truths?”  E-RESERVES.

Friday:  Final Exam Review and Course Evaluation in class. 

 

Final Exam at 2:30 on Monday, Dec. 9 in SAV 132.