Friday, January 23, 2015

Bentham, Noddings

Today we'll talk about two more approaches to individual ethics and another moral puzzle--the Heinz Dilemma.

Next we'll be discussing two questions--
  1. When is it wrong to engage in offensive speech?
  2. When should a government prohibit offensive speech?
We'll focus on two cases of offensive speech--

Kim Jong Un Death Scene (The Interview... by disnmad


Do the readings for Monday! We will need to have our first quiz soon.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Aristotle, Aquinas, Kant

Today we talked about three approaches to individual ethics and how they apply in the case of the prolific inseminator and the minibar. 

Friday, January 16, 2015


This is the hub for Philosophy 1318, Contemporary Moral Problems (sec 5) taught at Southern Methodist University Spring 2015.

Things to do right away--

  • Find the course schedule at the tab above.  You'll need to check it before every class to find out what's assigned. Many of the readings will be found via links within the schedule.
  • Subscribe to this blog by putting your email address in the "follow by email" blank to the right.

Our first "contemporary moral problem" will be censorship
An important distinction
  1. Individual ethics--what should I do? (Was Seth Rogen wrong to create the death scene?)
  2. Social justice--what laws and institutions are just? (Should there be laws prohibiting Rogen from creating the death scene?)
Most of our 9 topics will have both facets -- see Schedule

We will periodically study some "theory" in the area of both individual ethics and social justice 

Next time: theory about individual ethics -- Is there a prime directive? What is it?
  1. Aristotle
  2. Aquinas
  3. Kant
  4. Bentham and Mill
  5. Noddings 
Useful example for illustrating what these theories say:  the prolific inseminator.  What's wrong with this guy's behavior, according to each ethical theory?