Phl 205 contemporary moral issues
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PHL 205 Contemporary Moral Issues. Course topics ripped from today’s headlines! Applied Ethics, Social & Political Philosophy, Public Policy Personal, social, political. Classroom Mechanics. TV cameras – get over yourself!

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PHL 205 Contemporary Moral Issues

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Phl 205 contemporary moral issues

PHL 205Contemporary Moral Issues

  • Course topics ripped from today’s headlines!

  • Applied Ethics, Social & Political Philosophy, Public Policy

  • Personal, social, political


Classroom mechanics

Classroom Mechanics

  • TV cameras – get over yourself!

  • YouTube video available in the evening or the morning following each class

  • Speak up!

  • Don’t filibuster

  • Be civil

  • 10 minute break after about 50 minutes


Four sections

Four Sections

  • Studio Classroom

  • Honors

  • Cottage Grove

  • Cable Television/Online Video


Class requirements

Class Requirements

  • 4 exams, each worth 20% (multiple choice, T/F, taken in Testing Lab in CEN456) = 80%

  • Studio Classroom: 20% participation

  • Cottage Grove: 20% participation

  • Honors: 15% paper/presentation, 5% class summaries = 20%

  • Cable Television/Online Video: 20% online forum posts, 2 per week


First week tasks

First Week Tasks

  • Login to Moodle by Thursday night or you may be dropped Friday!

  • Syllabus in Moodle – read it!

  • Honors student: Post class summaries Wed & Fri

  • Online Students: 2 Posts due by Sunday night

  • Check Moodle Wednesday for Blog link


Making moral arguments

Making Moral Arguments

  • Three types of premises

    • Fundamental moral principles

    • Empirical principles

    • Legal principles


Moral relativism

Moral Relativism

  • For the purposes of the class, we are assuming moral absolutism or universalism

  • If you’re interested in metaethics, take PHL 201 Ethics

  • No previous knowledge of ethics required


Moral relativism1

Moral Relativism

  • Violates general principle that truth is that which corresponds with reality

  • No one consistently believes or follows it

  • Obvious immoral individuals/corrupt customs or cultures


Moral relativism2

Moral Relativism

  • Majority/status quo always right

  • Absurd morality of polls

  • Social protest by the minority always wrong

  • Moral progress is impossible

  • No non-arbitrary way to draw cultural lines


Making moral arguments1

Making Moral Arguments

  • Avoid logical fallacies

    • Ad hominem

    • Tu quoque

    • Ad populum

    • Straw man

    • Red herring

    • Lack of proportion


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