Teaching

PHIL 204 Introduction to Professional Ethics

Professionals are often faced with unique moral dilemmas as a consequence of their special training, skills, and professional duties. In this course, we first examine traditional moral theories in order to consider their applicability to these unique moral dilemmas. In addition, we consider whether there are special ethical obligations created by professionalization in general, and examine several moral problems, such as privacy and confidentiality, in particular. Finally, we discuss whether professionals have moral obligations to the organization or to the individuals that they serve. We consider a variety of professions throughout the course, such as law, nursing, business, social science research, medical research, advertising, psychiatry, journalism, and the military.

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PHIL 353 Consequentialism

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Consequentialism is one of the main families of ethical frameworks in normative theory, and has a dominant role within economics and public policy. This class is divided into three sections: historical foundations, modern critiques and revisions, and recent new theoretical approaches. While many students are familiar with Mill, few have the opportunity to study in-depth the texts of Bentham, Mill, and Sidgwick. These three philosophers are the foundational theorists responsible for developing Classic utilitarian theory. Next, we turn to a variety of critiques that served to expose problems within the Classic accounts and spurred extensive explanation, revision, and development from the Classic theories into the robust versions that underpin much modern economic theory and public policy approaches. In the final section of the course, we read a recent text by a well-known theorist and examine how to apply normative theory to a real-world issue.