PHI 3601 Ethics  Fall 2013  Course Website

Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays 1:00-1:50 in PC 214

     Copyright 2013 Bruce W. Hauptli  

     Hauptli's Web Page

      Hauptli's E-Mail

I plan on retiring at the end of the Spring 2015 semester, and this is the last time I will be offering this course.  Other instructors teach it as well, but their syllabi are different. 

This web-site has a copy of the syllabus, extensive lecture supplements for each of the readings and lectures, and other information relevant to the course.  It will be updated throughout the semester.  Students are encouraged to provide me with suggestions and comments about the content, links and sources they have found helpful which I can post for other students, and I am grateful for help in correcting the inevitable typos and grammatical errors! 

PHI 3601 Syllabus   Lecture Supplements  Paper Topics and Sample Exam Questions  Hauptli's Guide to Writing Philosophy Papers Hauptli's Guide to Writing Essay Exams

The course description and goals are to be found (along with texts, readings, and other important information) are included in the course syllabus. 

My Expectations for Students:

I expect that students will carefully and critically read and master the assigned material—it will usually take more than a single reading to master the material, and I strongly recommend that students endeavor to complete a single reading prior to the lecture on the reading assignment.  Subsequent to the lecture(s) on the material, it is usually advisable for students to re-read the material.  Reading, especially in philosophy, should be an active and interactive endeavor.  Students should not simply race through the material, they should endeavor to critically understand and interact with it. 

I also expect (and require) that students attend the lectures (see syllabus).  The purpose of the lectures is two-fold: to facilitate the students' mastery of the material, and to facilitate their critical skills.  Just as reading is an active and interactive endeavor in philosophy, so listening should be.  The lectures are meant to be an interactive experience, and students are strongly encouraged to raise questions, offer criticisms, and challenge the interpretations being offered. 

In this course students are required to write two critical, analytical philosophy papers.  A supplement entitled “Writing Philosophy Papers” is available on this web-site—it describes in detail what my expectations are as well as clarifying what critical, analytical or expository philosophy papers are like.  In order to facilitate my goals (see below) of enhancing each student's ability to provide balanced exposition and examination of philosophical problems, positions, and methodologies, I provide detailed comments regarding the compositional, expository, and the critical elements of students' papers.  I review the comments from earlier papers prior to reading later ones so that I can assess continuing progress and problems.  Where students take multiple courses from me, I review my comments on papers from prior semesters prior to reading the first paper for additional courses so that I can more carefully assess their continuing progress and identify any continuing problems. 

As students write their papers (and, of course, while they are reading and thinking about the current readings, lectures, and discussions), I encourage them to endeavor to integrate the knowledge they have acquired in their other philosophy courses (both those taken with me, and those taken with my colleagues), and from the other courses they have taken with the material they are currently studying in my courses.  Part of what is involved in developing a critical perspective is the ability to integrate and inter-relate materials from a variety of sources, disciplines, and areas.  In class (and outside of class) I am happy to attempt to answer questions which are related to such integrative attempts, and I am generally willing to seriously consider paper proposals which attempt this activity in lieu of one of the assigned topics in my courses. 

In addition to writing the papers, students are required to take two in-class objective essay exams.  They are designed to assess the students’ understanding of the philosophical theories, positions, topics, and methodologies studied.  Sample study questions are distributed in advance of the exams so that students have an opportunity to organize their thoughts and integrate the readings and lectures around sample questions designed to indicate what they are expected to have mastered.  A supplement entitled “Writing Essay Exams for Professor Hauptli” is available on the course web-site. 

Lecture Supplements:

    Click on these links for the indicated lecture supplement:

  What Is Philosophy?  Introduction to Ethics Introduction to Ethical Egoism Feinberg's "Psychological Egoism" Selections from Hobbes' Leviathan
Selected Criticisms of Hobbes ad Ethical Egoism Introduction to Mill's Moral Philosophy Mill's Utilitarianism Williams' "Against Utilitarianism" Nozick's  "The Experience Machine"
Selected Criticisms of Mill, Hedonism, and Utilitarianism Introduction to Kant's Moral Philosophy Kant's Foundations for the Metaphysic for Morals Taylor's Value and the Origin of Right and Wrong Foot's "Morality As A System of Hypothetical Imperatives"
Ross' What Makes Right Acts Right? Introduction to Virtue Ethics Introduction to Aristotle Selections from Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics (read Books I, II, and III Chapters 1-9)  Book X of Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics (read Chapters 6, 7, 8, and 9)
Mayo's Virtue and the Moral Life Frankena's "A Critique of Virtue-Based Ethics" Schaller’s “Are Virtues No More Than Dispositions To Obey Moral Rules?”   Selected Criticisms of Aristotle's Ethical Theory  

Paper Topics and Sample Exam Questions:

Sample Midterm Questions

First Paper Topics

Second Paper Topics

Sample Final Exam Questions


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