NVCC COLLEGE-WIDE COURSE CONTENT SUMMARY
PHI 226 - SOCIAL ETHICS (3 CR.)

COURSE DESCRIPTION

Provides a critical examination of moral problems and studies the application of ethical concepts and principles to decision making. Topics may include abortion, capital punishment, euthanasia, man and the state, sexuality, war and peace, and selected issues of personal concern. Lecture 3 hours per week.

GENERAL COURSE PURPOSE

To introduce the student to important controversies in the area of social ethics. To examine these issues in the context of ethical theory. To show the importance of critical analysis and ethical theory for the understanding and resolution of these dilemmas.

ENTRY LEVEL REQUIREMENTS

None

COURSE OBJECTIVES

At the completion of this course, the student will be able to evaluate important controversies in social ethics in terms of major ethical theories. Specifically, the student will be able to:

A. Discuss and define relevant concepts, such as "rights", "duties", "obligation", "good", "fairness", "justice", "equality", "liberty", etc.

B. Identify and evaluate the principal ethical theories, including Classical, Natural law, Kantian, Utilitarian, and social contract theories.

C. Be able to use these theories in the analysis of social problems and matters of public policy.

D. Understand the role of reason and argument in ethical decision making.

MAJOR ELEMENTS OF CONTENT

Examination of major arguments and positions on many of the following topics:

A. Abortion

B. Capital Punishment

C. Euthanasia

D. Man and the State

E. Sexuality

F. War and peace

G. Discrimination and reverse discrimination

H. Pornography and censorship

I. Mental illness and individual liberty

J. Economic justice and welfare

K. World hunger

L. Animals and the environment

Revised 10/95

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