An introduction to moral philosophy through the study of contemporary moral problems. Students will apply moral theories to various problems such as those posed by poverty and wealth, sexual equality, affirmative action and hate speech, and abortion and animal rights. Students will learn to identify kinds of moral reasons in scholarly, legal and popular arguments, to compare and evaluate moral arguments, and to build consensus on moral issues. Every Fall.


Students will learn to articulate a clear position and to offer valid or cogent criticisms of philosophical arguments. This course will expand our circle by having students consider people with different values, sex and gender diversity, different mental capacities, the value of racial diversity in education, and the moral value of species membership. Students will study (purportedly) coherent patterns of morals and values. They will also acquire knowledge of how to classify ethical arguments.

Submitting Papers

Send me your paper as a PDF. Attach the paper to an e-mail (do not send as the body of an e-mail) and send it to chaketti@gmail.com. On the desktop, name it with your userid and the number of the assignment. So, for example, the document on the desktop for my fist paper would be called “cciocchetti1.pdf.” You, of course, have a different userid. I will send your paper back to your centenary email address. Papers that are not named correctly will be penalized up to 10%.

MLA Format

All assignments should conform to MLA format (a more useful site). Failure to cite properly can lead to an Honor Code violation even if unintentional. Less seriously, failure to conform to MLA format could have serious consequences for your grade on that assignment, e.g., a deduction of 10%, 20% or even 50%. If you have questions, ask.

Grading Scale

Your grade will be calculated according to the follow grading scale:
A 100-90%
B 89-80%
C 79-70%
D 69-60%
F 0-59%

Late Assignments

Late assignments will not be graded and will receive a 0% unless excused by me prior to the deadline. The only exceptions will be for emergencies that could not have been dealt with prior to the missed assignment. Quite simply, it is unfair to the class to give you extra time on an assignment without good reason.

Honor Code

All work in this class will be bound by the Honor Code. It is cheating to make use of other’s ideas without acknowledging their contribution. Copying someone else's notecard is cheating. Both parties are guilty. Don't share your notecards. Each assignment may have further specifications. I am trusting that the work you hand in is your own. Violations of that trust will be dealt with severely. If you are unsure whether an activity constitutes cheating, ask.

Disability Services

It is the policy of Centenary College to accommodate students with disabilities, pursuant to federal law, state law, and the College's commitment to equal educational opportunities. Any student with a disability who needs accommodations, for example in seating placement or in arrangements for examinations, should inform the instructor at the beginning of the course. Students with disabilities need to contact Disability Services (a division of Counseling Services), which is located in the ground floor of Rotary Hall to obtain services. Telephone 318-869-5466 x5424.

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