The course will employ a variety of instructional methods to accomplish its objectives, including some of the following:
A combination of lecture and discussion. Some class sessions may involve formal lecture for the entire time (allowing time for questions) in which case a later class session will be devoted to a discussion of the lecture and reading material. Other class sessions may involve a combination of informal lecture and structured discussion. Discussion of the issues will be encouraged throughout the course.
A. What is Political and Social Philosophy? What is Ethics?
B. Sample Problems:
- Foundation of Political Authority (e.g., natural law, social contract, utilitarian position, Marxist-Leninist view, anarchism).
- Limits of Political Authority (e.g., civil disobedience, loyalty, paternalism, freedom of the individual).
- Human Nature (e.g., the views of Plato, Aristotle, Hobbes, Rousseau, Hume, Mill, Marx and Nietzsche, as well as of contemporary thinkers).
- Personality and Society (e.g., the classical view, such as Plato; psychoanalysis and politics; sociological perspectives).
- Social Control (e.g., the views of Plato, Mill and Marcuse).
C. Sample Problems:
- What is the role of reason and emotion in developing a personal moral philosophy of life? (e.g. views of Plato, Hume, Kant, Nietzsche and Sartre).
- What are the kinds of moral theories and the basic issues which they disagree over? (Attitude theories, e.g., subjectivism, relativism, divine command theories; benefit theories, e.g., egoism, utilitarianism; deontological theories, e.g. Kantian Formalism).
- What is the relation between prudential reason and moral reason? (e.g., views of Plato, Hobbes, Hume, Marx, Baier, Singer).
- To what extent and in what way are moral self-realization and self-determination possible? (e.g., views of Plato, Kant, Nietzsche, Marx, Marcuse, Ogilvy).
- What is moral goodness? Is it reducible to other kinds of goods or is it a special sort of good? Also what is the relation between right action and good consequences? (e.g., views of Plato, Aristotle, Hume, Kant, Mill, Moore, Perry, Ross).
- What contribution does recent work in sociobiology (and more generally in moral psychology) make to our understanding of altruistic behaviour? (e.g., views of Wilson, Singer).
At the conclusion of the course the successful student will be able to:
- Identify and explain principal questions of political, social and moral philosophy that are covered in the course.
- Demonstrate an understanding of some of the major schools of thought that have arisen in attempt to answer the questions and issues covered in the course.
- Apply fundamental techniques of logical analyses and construction to topics covered in the course.
- Reason and reflect philosophically upon the types of traditional and contemporary philosophical viewpoints on topics covered in the course.
- Contrast and compare different philosophical perspectives (eg. contemporary and traditional, libertarian and socialist) on specific topics or issues covered in the course.
- Systematically formulate and present their own thinking on specific topics covered in the course.
Evaluation will be based on course objectives and will be carried out in accordance with Douglas College policy. The instructor will provide a written course outline with specific criteria during the first week of classes.
An example of a possible evaluation scheme would be:
Any combination of the following which equals 100%:
|Tests, Quizzes and Short Assignments||20% - 50%|
|Written Class Presentations, Essays, Essay Exams||20% - 60%|
|Instructor’s General Evaluation
(e.g., participation, attendance,
homework, improvement, extra-credit,group work)
|0% - 20%|
Texts will be updated periodically. Typical examples are:
- Morgan, Michael (Ed.). Classics of Moral and Political Theory. Indianpolis: Hackett Publishing, 2001.
- Porter, Jene (Ed.). Classics in Political Philosophy. NY: Prentice-Hall, 2000.
- Kant, Immanel. Grounding for the Metaphysics of Morals. Indianpolis: Hackett Publishing, 1993.
- Sterba, James (Ed.). Justice: Alternative Perspectives. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth, 1999.
- Solomon, Robert (Ed.). Morality and the Good Life. NY: McGraw-Hill, 1984.
(Recommended: PHIL 1101, 1102 or 1103)