· The readings and assignments for a date should be completed by that date.
· The book you’ll need is Today’s Moral Issues, 7th ed., (TMI), edited by Daniel Bonevac, available at the SMU bookstore.
· Additional readings are online; to access them, follow the links in the schedule below.
· This schedule may be altered over the course of the semester.
F Jan 16 Individual morality, social justice
M Jan 19 MLK Day (no classes)
I. What should I do? What should laws allow me to do?
A. Moral theories
W Jan 21 Moral theories Read: TMI 19-21, 23-26, 37-38 (start at “The Categorical Imperative” and stop before “Rational Nature”). We will discuss the prolific inseminator and possibly also the minibar puzzle.
F Jan 23 More moral theories Read: TMI 43-45 (stop after #14 on 45), 55-58.
A. Offensive Speech and Censorship
M Jan 26 Is it wrong to cause offense? Read: Brooks, “I am not Charlie Hebdo”; Donohue, “Muslims are right to be angry”; Saletan, “Hate speech hypocrites”; and TMI 223-225.
W Jan 28 Aristotle and Mill on limiting free speech Read: TMI 165-166, 168-176.
F Jan 30 Do teenagers have a right to free speech? Read: TMI 248-257.
B. Sexual ethics
M Feb 2 Is monogamy morally required? Read: TMI 61-65, 73-76
W Feb 4 What counts as sexual harassment? Read: TMI 66-72
F Feb 6 Is there anything wrong with being gay? Read: Finnis, “Law, Morality, and Sexual Orientation”
M Feb 9 Judging and legislating gay behavior Read: Corvino “Born this way?”; and TMI 79-86
C. Assisted Suicide
W Feb 11 Is it wrong to choose death? Read: Egan, “Terminally ill woman…”; Hecht, “To live is an act of courage”
F Feb 13 Should assisted suicide be legal? (yes) Read: TMI 460-365
M Feb 16 Should assisted suicide be legal? (no) TMI 366-371
W Feb 18 EXAM I
II. When is inequality unjust? What should be done about it?
A. Economic inequality
F Feb 20 Inequality in America Read: TMI 540-553; Kristof, “When whites just don’t get it”
M Feb 23 The social contract account of justice Read: TMI 492-496
W Feb 25 Libertarian justice Read: TMI 497-504
F Mar 27 What needs to be equal? Read: TMI 516-519
M Mar 2 What should be for sale? Sandel, “What isn’t for sale?”
B. Racial inequality
W Mar 4 Fixing racial inequality with affirmative action (for) Read: TMI 573-578
F Mar 6 Fixing racial inequality with affirmative action (against) Read: TMI 579-594
Mar 9, 11, 13 Spring Break
C. Marriage inequality
M Mar 16 In favor of gay marriage Read: TMI 106-111
W Mar 18 Against gay marriage Read: TMI 112-118
F Mar 20 Should plural marriage be legal? Read: NYT Debate
D. Beyond our borders
M Mar 23 Against immigration and aid Read: TMI 616-620
W Mar 25 The benefits of immigration Read: TMI 621-630
F Mar 27 Immigrants’ rights Read: TMI 631-640
M Mar 30 Using the bodies of distant people Carney, “Inside India’s rent-a-womb business”; Deghan, “Kidneys for sale”.
W Apr 1 Should kidneys be for sale? Read: NYT Debate
F Apr 3 Holiday
M Apr 6 EXAM II
III. Extending rights to the fetus and to animals
W Apr 8 Abortion facts and laws Read: TMI 292-296
F Apr 10 An argument for choice Read: TMI 297-306
M Apr 13 Thomson, continued
W Apr 15 An argument against abortion Read: TMI 318-325
F Apr 17 Was I once a fetus? Read: TMI 342-349
M Apr 20 Abortion and the virtues Read: 327-332; we will discuss the movies Juno and Obvious Child.
B. Animals And Vegetarianism
W Apr 22 Animals in western thought Read: just the Aristotle and Kant passages here.
F Apr 24 Equality for animals? Read: TMI 123-129
M Apr 27 Rights for animals? Read: TMI 130-133
W Apr 29 No equality or rights for animals Read: TMI 134-142
F May 1 Is it wrong to eat meat? Read: Norcross, “Puppies, pigs, and people”
M May 4 PAPER DUE
M May 11 EXAM III 8:00