Practical Ethics (PHIL 163.001)

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Instructor: Jim Sias. This course meets on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 12:00 – 12:50 p.m. in Peabody 216.

Can it ever be morally acceptable to kill another human being? If no, why not? And if yes, what’s the difference between acceptable and unacceptable killings? What makes human life so valuable anyway? And are the lives of non-human animals not similarly valuable? Are the rich obliged to help the poor? Is war ever justified? What about torture? Or capital punishment? These are the sorts of questions we’ll be exploring in this class, with the aid of both classic and contemporary philosophical texts. Class meetings will be largely discussion-based, so students should come prepared to participate.

Jim Sias’s webpage