Fall 2002

Marist College

Dr. Greg Moses

Course Description: In this course we will explore three influential theories of ethics, as represented in each case by a classical source and a contemporary application.

Course Outcomes: As a result of these studies, students should be able to construct a scholarly appreciation of each classical source, critically explore the relationship between the classical source and the contemporary treatment, and critically explore the relevance of the material for interesting ethical challenges today.

Assessment: Frequent writing assignments will facilitate assessment of student progress.

Praxis/Public Citizenship: This course includes a requirement of 12 hours of community service (2 hours per week for 6 weeks) as part of the course material to be covered.

Required Texts (in order of use):

  • Tom Morris. If Aristotle Ran General Motors. Owl Books, 1997.
  • Aristotle. The Nichomachean Ethics. Oxford World Classics, 1998.
  • Kant. Critique of Practical Reason. Prometheus, 1996.
  • Christine M. Korsgaard. Creating the Kingdom of Ends. Cambridge UP, 1996.
  • Peter Singer. Animal Liberation.
  • Mill & Bentham. Utilitarianism & Other Essays. Penguin, 1987.

Course Requirements: The final grade will be based upon the following,

  • 20 % Participation & portfolio of preparations
  • 20% Paper on Morris, Aristotle, & Today (6 pages)
  • 20% Paper on Kant, Korsgaard, & Today (6 pages)
  • 40% Final Paper on Singer, Utilitarianism, & Public Citizenship Today (8 pages)
  • Note: Half of the final paper is dedicated to the Praxis experience

Attendance Policy: Documentation will be accepted within two weeks of an excused absence. More than two undocumented absences will result in deduction of a letter grade from the final average. More than three undocumented absences, two letter grades. More than four undocumented absences, and the instructor reserves the right to issue a failing grade.

Late Grades: Preparations and assignments should arrive in class with the student. Any preparations or assignments not accompanied by students to class will be marked "late" or "absent" with a grade penalty.

Weather: If the College announces official closing for weather, we will cancel class accordingly. Otherwise, class will be held. Please check the College Weather Line x5500.

Schedule of inquiry:

Sept. 3—Introduction & Selection of video for Morris & Aristotle

Sept. 5—Morris on Happiness & Truth (ix-47)
Prepare: Two paragraphs (a) summarizing what you take to be the essential lessons of
the readings on happiness & truth, and (b) evaluating some part of the lesson. Please be
sure to include quotes & parenthetical references to page numbers.
Organize Workshops

Sept. 10—Morris on Excellence, Beauty & Creativity (48-111)
Prepare: Two paragraphs (a) summarizing what you take to be the essential lessons of
the readings on excellence, beauty, & creativity, and (b) evaluating some part of the

Sept. 12—Morris on Goodness (115-169)
Prepare: Two paragraphs (a) summarizing what you take to be the essential lessons of
the readings on goodness, and (b) evaluating some part of the lesson.

Sept. 17—Morris on Unity (173-216)
Prepare: Two paragraphs (a) summarizing what you take to be the essential lessons of
the readings on unity, and (b) evaluating some part of the lesson.

Sept. 19—Back to the Source: Nichomachean Ethics (Books I-III)
Prepare: Two paragraphs (a) summarizing essential lessons, and (b) evaluating some
part of the lesson.
Praxis check

Sept. 24--Nichomachean Ethics (Books IV & V)
Usual Preparation

Sept. 26—Nichomachean Ethics (Books VI & VII)
Usual Preparation

Oct. 1—Nichomachean Ethics (Book VIII-X)
Usual Preparation

Oct. 3—Brainstorming the Paper
Prepare: Five quotations from Morris, five from Aristotle, and five sentences of your
own. How will you render a representation of Morris & Aristotle that helps you address
an ethical issue today?

Oct. 8—Paper Due on Morris, Aristotle, & Today
About two pages for each section. Paper due at beginning of class. Absence will result
in deduction of a letter grade.
Here is a guide to grading criteria: F=failure to meet expectations of the assignment;
D=a few expectations are realized; C=each of the three sections is adequately
represented with a coherent, scholarly development; B=not only are each of the sections
well developed, but there are substantial connections between the sections that contribute
to an overall development; A=the paper transcends the assignment, because all the
requirements are in place, but the writer has done a good job of making a fine essay that
flows from beginning to end.

Oct. 10—Introducing Kant (13-27)
Usual Preparation
New groups
Select video
How about Praxis?

Oct. 15—Kant's Definitions (31-58)
Usual Preparation
Praxis Check

Oct. 17—Kant's Pure Reasons (59-75)
Usual Preparation

Oct. 22—Objects & Motives of Pure Practical Reason (76-110)
Usual Preparation

Oct. 24—Analytic of PPR (111-130)
Usual Preparation

Oct. 29—Dialectic of PPR with Soul and God (131-158)
Usual Preparation.

Oct. 31—Finishing Kant (159-193)
Usual Preparation

Nov. 5—Korsgaard and the Kingdom of Ends (Ch. 7)
Usual Preparation

Nov. 7—Korsgaard on Aristotle & Kant (Ch. 8)
Usual Preparation

Nov. 12—Exploring Korsgaard (your choice)

Nov. 14— Brainstorming the Paper
Preparation: Five quotes from Kant, five from Korsgaard, and five sentences of your

Nov. 19—Paper Due on Kant, Korsgaard, & Today
Please review cautions & criteria for paper one above.

Nov. 21—Singer's Equality (Ch. 1)
Usual Preparation
Praxis Check

Nov. 26—Before the Feast (Ch. 3)
Usual Preparation

Dec. 3—Speciesism (Ch. 5 or 6)
Usual Preparation

Dec. 5—Animal Research & Vegetarianism (Ch. 2 or 4)
Usual Preparation

Dec. 10—Bentham (65-111)
Usual Preparation

Dec. 12—Mill (272-338)
Usual Preparation

Final—Singer, Utilitarianism & Public Citizenship Today
Eight pages (2 on Singer, 2 on Mill, 4 on the public citizenship and your Praxis
experience with one good scholarly source on the public issue selected)
Portfolios Due of All Class Work

Contact Information

Fontaine 322
Home: 473-4737

Ofc. Hrs.: MTWR 1-3