Philosophy

Assignments

Active Participation

Students are expected to do the reading for the day before class and analyze it so we can discuss it and answer questions. Students are expected to attend class and participate in class discussion. To this end, students must email a summary of the reading before class except when position papers are due.

Identify the conclusion and explain how the author appeals to the consequences, respect, and/or character to make his or her argument.

Send it to email. The subject line of the email must read "Notecard" and nothing else.

Practical Decisions

The class will arrive at a collective decision about how to handle each issue. We will focus practically and use the class material to come up with an ethical, workable solution. At the start of the section the class will discuss the issue and make a decision about what to do. Afterwards, the class will discuss how their discussion went and what questions they have. Over the rest of the section, the class will then develop answers to those questions. Students may be required to bring a preliminary position to class for discussion, to research a simple question, to write about their values, or other similar short assignments. When the paper is due, students will participate in the class discussion designed to arrive at a collective solution to the problem.

Students will be graded on completing these assignments (including following the directions), making constructive comments in class, and using the class material (especially the ethical theories) to structure their responses. Students who do not attend class when the paper is due cannot turn in their paper and will receive a 0%.

For the second section, students must contribute $20 to the class. The money will be combined and the class will discuss how to best distribute it, including returning it to themselves. This is not optional. It's a required part of the class. I will provide the students with a receipt to show that this contribution is part of the required class material if necessary, e.g., if you have a scholarship that covers books. This takes the place of a book.

Position Papers

Students will write four position papers summarizing and evaluating the arguments in a given section. The grade will primarily depend on the strength of the argument offered. Write to convince me that your argument is the strongest one. Each paper must include a thesis, support the thesis, incorporate the readings, deal with a counter-argument, use moral concepts correctly and explicitly, and clearly present all of the ideas in the paper. Additional requirements for each paper will be specified prior to the assignment’s due date

The assignments will be worth:

  1. Active Participation: 5%
  2. Practical Decisions: 15%
  3. Position Papers: 80% (20% each)