The following list represents detailed course descriptions of our current offerings; for the full range of graduate courses offered in MA in Practical Philosophy & Applied Ethics, as well as the Graduate Certificate in Applied Ethics, please consult the Graduate Course Descriptions in the UNF catalog.
Instructor: A. Creller
Instructor: A. Buchwalter
This course examines the important intellectual developments that follow the French Revolution (1789) and the work of Immanuel Kant, leading through the writings of Friedrich Nietzsche (d. 1900). The period from Kant through Nietzsche, sometimes called 19th century or “late modern” philosophy, represents a referendum on the values and assumptions not only of Enlightenment rationality but modernity itself. Focusing on the writings of Schiller, Hegel, Schopenhauer, Marx, Kierkegaard, and Nietzsche, we will explore how nineteenth century theorists sought to deal with the seeming paradox that modern reason, in its heroic effort to subject the natural and human worlds to rational control, could be a source as much of domination as liberation. In examining the theories of these writers we will seek as well to determine how their reflections can be of value as we come to grips with the tensions of our own age. The period of post-Kantian European thought also represents a challenge to the philosophical tradition itself. Schiller refashions Kant’s philosophical system into an account of aesthetic pedagogy; Hegel incorporates into the structure of philosophy itself the social, cultural, and historical considerations traditionally deemed foreign to it; Marx supplants philosophy with social theory; Schopenhauer fashions a philosophy based on instinct recognition and ascetic self-denial; Kierkegaard jettisons philosophical theory for a religiously conceived existential psychology; and Nietzsche affirms a notion of cultural criticism antagonistic to Western rationality itself. A further aim of this course is to explore and assess these various “overcomings” of philosophy, determining what is viable in the post‑Kantian transformation and what may have been lost in this critique of the philosophical tradition. Throughout the semester there will be occasional sessions only for graduate students devoted to considering certain theoretical attempts—e.g., Löwith, Habermas, Pippin--to thematize the very project of 19th century thought.
Instructor: S. Mattice
This course is an introduction to comparative philosophy with a focus on ethical theory and practice. We will explore Western and Asian approaches to ethics, and how differing ontological commitments alter not only answers to questions of what the good life is, how we should live, and what sorts of obligations we may have, but also how these differences alter conceptions of ethics itself and what it might mean to have or construct an ethical theory. We will discuss elements from Buddhist and Confucian traditions, as well as contemporary debates about the nature of ethics. There are no prerequisites, although students are encouraged to have some background in classical western ethical theory.
Instructor: M. Haney
This course is an in-depth investigation into the phenomenon that philosophers call “Moral Luck.” This phenomenon is ubiquitous. We praise or blame people for behavior or events even though they may not have been in complete control of their act or their circumstances. In this course we will read and discuss accounts of the nature of moral luck, e.g. kinds of moral luck. We will also explore the arguments for and against conserving our ordinary practices of praise and blame.
Instructor: J. Matheson
Instructor: H. H. Koegler
Instructor: A. Buchwalter
This course deploys the tools of moral theory and value theory generally to examine ethical questions raised by the phenomenon of globalization. Questions include: What are universal human rights, why are they needed, and how (if at all) are they compatible with the diversity of cultural and religious traditions worldwide? What is economic globalization, what are its benefits, and how should global free trade be squared with global fair trade? How are we to deal with the forms of social and cultural disruption that often accompany economic globalization? What obligations, if any, do members of affluent countries have to address world-wide hunger and poverty? What duties do we have to the global environment? How should we address global climate change? What are the forms of governance appropriate to a globalized world? Is humanitarian military intervention in the internal affairs of another country justifiable? How open should the borders of nations be to immigration and the increasing flow of individuals caused by famine and persecution? Should we understand ourselves first and foremost as citizens of the world or as members of bounded communities? In addressing these questions, we examine assumptions we hold individually and as members both of particular societies and the global community. The course is conceived equally for students.
Instructor: E. Gilson
In this course we explore the broad range of topics related to food and agriculture that are the subject of burgeoning food movements: Is it better to eat local and for what or whom? the environment? farmers? animals? eaters? What is the value of organic food and agricultural methods? Is it ethical to include meat and other animal products in our diets? Why are so many farmworkers immigrants and have their working conditions improved since Edward R. Murrow’s 1960 documentary Harvest of Shame revealed slavery-like conditions in the fields? Why is the proportion of people around the world who are starving nearly equaled by the proportion who are overweight? What do we really mean when we call some foods “good” and other foods “bad”? We will link personal concerns about what we choose to eat with broader social justice concerns. To do so, the course considers both the changes that have taken place in agriculture and food production over the past fifty or so years, the sources of injustice in the global food system, and possibilities for more just and sustainable food systems. In particular, we will explore the environmental effects of agriculture and food production, the treatment of animals in food production, how workers and farmers fare in a globalizing agricultural landscape, food accessibility and insecurity (including hunger and malnutrition, both locally and globally), social and cultural norms surrounding food (including those related to health and body size and shape), and how treating food as a commodity and agriculture as a business impacts what and how people around the world eat, work, and live.
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