Philosophy 212: Ethics

Spring Semester, 2012

Jacksonville University

Dr. Scott Kimbrough

Office: Council 121

Office hours: M/W 9:00-11:00 or by appointment

Office phone: 256-7118

e-mail address:

Last updated 4/13/12

Resources and Announcements

Course Description:

Ethics deals with questions of value. What is right and wrong? Are values objective or subjective? Drawing from major historical classics as well as contemporary work, this class will survey theoretical attempts to answer these questions, including utilitarianism, deontology, social contract theory, and virtue ethics. The relationship between ethics and science will also be considered.

Required Book:

Louis P. Pojman and James Fieser (eds.) Ethical Theory: Classical and Contemporary Readings, 6th edition. Wadsworth/Cengage Learning. 2011.

Course Requirements:

Participation and Attendance: Attendance and participation in discussions are expected.

Presentations (7.5% each = 15%): Each student will give two presentations and write a companion paper of 1-2 pages. The presentation/paper will formulate a specific objection to the course reading for the day, consider how the author would reply, and assess the effectiveness of the author’s likely reply.

Papers (15% each = 45%): Three 3-5 page papers will be assigned. These papers will adjudicate disagreements between authors of course readings. Emphasis will be placed on the use of textual evidence and the analysis of arguments.

Midterm Exam (20%): An exam will be given at the conclusion of the unit on contractualism. The exam will include a mixture of short answers and longer essays, with an emphasis on mastery of the major concepts and arguments for and against the ethical theories covered in class.

Final Exam (20%): The exam will be comprehensive, with a similar format to the midterm exam.

Plagiarism and Turn It In

Definition of plagiarism: Plagiarism consists in copying or closely paraphrasing the work of another, in whole or in part, without citing the source. Plagiarized papers will receive a zero. Furthermore, plagiarists will be reported to the Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs. Other forms of academic dishonesty will receive similar treatment.

All papers must be submitted electronically to

A hard copy of each paper must be submitted as well. The hard copy must have the turnitin reciept number for the paper written on the upper right corner of the first page.

To register for turnitin, click on New User on the upper right hand side of the screen and follow the instructions.

Papers that are not submitted to turnitin will receive an F.

Cell Phones

Use of cell phones for any reason, including texting, is prohibited during class.

Americans with Disabilities

Reasonable accommodations will be made upon request for students with documented disabilities.


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