Spring 2019 Courses in Ethics or with Ethics-Related Content

Spring 2019 Courses

on Ethics or with Ethics-Related Content

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AAS/PHIL 117     Race, Racism, and Philosophy    4cr

    Prof. Chad Kautzer, Dept. of Philosophy
    MW 12:45-2
An introduction to the philosophy born of struggle against racism and white supremacy. We will read the work of philosophers, mostly European, who quietly made modern racism possible by inventing the category of race, but we will concentrate on the work of philosophers, mostly of African descent, who for 200 years have struggled to force a philosophical critique of the category of race and the practice of white supremacy.

AAS /ENG/WGGS 195    Let America Be America Again: Protest Literature from Past to Present      4cr

    Prof. Caitlin Edwards, Dept. of English
    TTh  9:20-10:35
In an America that seems increasingly divided, protest movements, practiced in conventional and nonconventional ways, have reemerged as potent and effective ways to create social change. Through studying protest literature, we will engage with historical representations and expressions of social protest in America, as well as examine the role of protest movements in our political present. Each unit in the course will ask students to think about cultural identities, such as class, race, gender and sexuality, in concert with what it means to fight for the rights of those identities. We’ll explore central questions (including, what does it mean to protest? what various forms can protest take? where can protest occur and who can participate? how do the stakes vary for those enacting activism?) using a variety of sources, including articles, novels, short stories, plays, poetry, short videos, and film. Often, we’ll pair historical texts, such as Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “Letter from a Birmingham Jail,” with current expressions of protest, such as the Black Lives Matter movement, to gain perspective on today’s turbulent times. Course texts will likely include Ta-Nehisi Coates' Between the World and Me, Ava DuVernay's documentary film, 13th, Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale, and Larry Kramer's The Normal Heart.

AAS 395    The Doing and Undoing of Racism    4cr

    Prof. Valerie Taylor, Dept. of Psychology
    MW 2:35-3:50
This course will provide students with a critical understanding of the historical, legal, and social psychological factors that lead to prejudice, discrimination, and racism within our society. It will survey the US constitution, policy, and social psychological theories that explain the causes and maintenance of prejudice, discrimination, and racism in their many forms. Students will learn how laws and various theoretical perspectives apply to people’s psychological functioning and group behavior, and examine theoretically derived interventions aimed at reducing prejudice, discrimination, and racism.

BIOE 226    Ethics in Bioengineering Practice    1cr

    Prof. Yevgeny Berdichevsky, Dept of Bioengineering
    F 8:10-9
Introduction to ethical principles and role of critical thinking in ethical decision-making. Analysis of contemporary issues in bioengineering practice. Topics include biomedical device risk and failure, ethics of clinical trials, animal research, human enhancement, and research conduct.

BIOS/HMS 097    Neurobiology, Social Identity and Health    3cr

    Prof. Ann Fink, Dept. of Biological Sciences
    MW 11:10-12:35
Interdisciplinary course exploring neurobiology of memory and emotion, social identity, and effects of traumatic stress on mental and physical health over the life course. Focus on interactions of social, biological and psychological factors in creating health disparities. Critical feminist analysis of the neurobiology underlying mental health and illness; exploration of how power, hierarchy, and intersectional identity impact the body. Skills gained include critical reading of scientific literature, placement of neurobiology in social and ethical context, and creation of written and illustrated materials to communicate course principles in educational, health-related and artistic settings. Students will employ comics and other arts-based modes of learning.

BIOS 297    Neuroethics: Critical Analysis of Brain Research    3cr

    Prof. Ann Fink, Dept of Biological Sciences
    MW 2:35-3:50
Writing-intensive course at the intersection of neuroscience and ethics. History of biomedical science and current topics in neuroethics explored through weekly case studies and relevant readings in neurobiology. Examples include: definitions of mental illness, definitions of consciousness and brain death, addiction neuroscience, brain-machine interfaces, wearable technology, social determinants of health, equity within science and medicine. Skills gained include close reading and critical analysis of scientific articles, integration of biological concepts with moral reasoning, effective written communication and participation in peer review, oral presentations and group discussions.

BUS 005    Values Based Decision Making for Business        1cr

    Various professors
    Various days/times
An introduction to the foundations of business integrity. The role of individual decisions and ethics in business is explored. Students evaluate cases and ethical issues they are likely to face in business. Covers fundamentals of corporate governance and cases in governance failures such as WorldCom and Enron. Social responsibility, ethical business leaders, and current topics in business ethics are addressed. Class dialog is emphasized along with reflective writing. Open only to CBE students.

COMM 001    Media and Society    4cr

    Prof. Jeremy Littau, Dept. of Journalism & Communication
    MW 12:45-2
This introduction to the roles of mass media in U.S. and global society explores a media-saturated society. Students learn how mass media operate in relationship to society, controversies surrounding their activities, social consequences of media behavior, and theories for examining mass media. Restricted to CAS students but other colleges and upperclassmen allowed by instructor’s permission.

COMM 385    Internet Culture    4 cr

    Prof. Jeremy Littau, Dept. of Journalism & Communication
    MW 11:10 – 12:35
The unique philosophy that drives internet discourse is built right into its architecture, a free-form philosophy that partially dictates the rules for engagement and also influences how we see one another. This course examines that philosophy through the lens of journalism, fiction and film as a basis for understanding how online culture is constructed and maintained. Topics include memes, online community, gender harassment, legal issues, cyberbullying, cybersecurity, and raising the next generation of digital natives.

CSE/STS 252    Computers, the Internet, and Society        3cr

    Prof. Eric Baumer, Dept of Computer Science and Engineering
    TTh 2:35 – 3:50
An interactive exploration of the current and future role of computers, the Internet, and related technologies in changing the standard of living, work environments, society and its ethical values. Privacy, security, depersonalization, responsibility, and professional ethics; the role of computer and Internet technologies in changing education, business modalities, collaboration mechanisms, and everyday life.

CSE 350    AI for Public Good          3cr

    Prof. Daniel Lopresti, Depart. Of Computer Science and Engineering
    WF 2:35- 3:50
         Contact department for course information.

PHIL/REL/HMS 117        Bioethics      4 cr

    Prof. Dena Davis, Dept of Religion Studies
    MW 2:35-3:50
Moral issues that arise in the context of health care and related biomedical fields in the United States today, examined in the light of the nature and foundation of moral rights and obligations. Topics include: confidentiality, informed consent, euthanasia, medical research and experimentation, genetics, and the distribution of health care.

HMS 170    Medical Humanities    4cr

    Prof. Lorenzo Servitje, Dept. of English
    TTh 9:20 – 10:35
The focus on individual voices and particular historical moments in the humanities disciplines has much to add to our understanding of health and illness. This course will take up ethical, historical, and literary approaches to health.

REL/HMS 226    From Black Death to AIDS: Plague, Pandemic, Ethics, and Religion     4cr

    Prof. Lloyd Steffen, Dept. of Religion Studies
    TTh 10:45 - 12
An investigation of the role of religion and ethical analysis in constructing meaning around the idea of plague and pandemic. The role of religion in the European bubonic plague epidemic, the influenza pandemic of 1918, and the AIDS crisis will be examined, with attention give to ethical analysis of the institutional response to pandemic disease as distortions have occurred for political, social, and religious reasons.

HMS/ES /JOUR/STS 323        Health and Environmental Controversies    4cr

    Prof. Sharon Friedman, Dept of Journalism and Communication
    TTh 1 – 2:25
Exploration of health and environmental controversies from the perspectives of scientific uncertainty and mass media coverage. Examines genetic engineering, biotechnology, environmental health risks, and nanotechnology. Includes discussion of ethical and social responsibilities and interactions with the public.

ISE 382    Leadership Development    3cr

    Prof. Emory Zimmers, Dept. of Industrial and Systems Engineering
    F 1-4
Exploration and critical analysis of theories, principles, and processes of effective leadership. Managing diverse teams, communication, and ethics associated with leadership. Application of knowledge to personal and professional life through projects and team assignments.

IR 330        Mass Murder        4 cr

    Prof. Arman Grigoryan, Dept. Of International Relations
    TTh 10:45 - 12
Is mass murder modern or ancient? Is such violence committed by states or societies? Why do some conflicts degenerate to mass murder and some do not? Are democracies immune to committing this kind of violence? These are just some of the questions that inform the critical examination of the literature on mass murder, which is the principal aim of this course. The prominent cases of mass murder in the 20th century form its main empirical content. Consent of department required.

JOUR 122     Media Ethics and Law       4cr

    Prof. Kathleen Olson, Department of Journalism and Communication
    MW 2:35-3:50
First Amendment theory and history; ethical and legal issues involving libel, privacy, obscenity, newsgathering, access, and fair trials; national and international concerns over censorship, prior restraint and manipulation and control of information.

PHIL 24    God, Good, and Evil        4 cr

    Prof. Ricki Bliss, Dept. of Philosophy
    TTh 10:45-12
How is God related to good and evil? If the world is not perfectly good or is even evil, how can it be that God is both all-good (omnibenevolent) and all-powerful (omnipotent)? We can solve the problem of God and evil by saying that God is not all good or not all powerful. But what if we don't want to relinquish God's goodness or power? We'll explore what great philosophers and religious thinkers have proposed. Course not open to seniors.

PHIL 172    Philosophy of Economics      4cr

    Prof. Chad Kautzer, Dept. of Philosophy
    MW 11-12:25
This course examines economic relations from a philosophical perspective. Topics include theories of property, labor, class, and markets in the history of philosophy as well as contemporary economic debates about distributive justice, commodification, gender, race, environmental sustainability, and the function of debt.

PHIL 235    Figures and Themes in Modern Philosophy: Kant’s Ethics     4cr

Prof. Robin S. Dillon, Dept. of Philosophy
    MW 12:45-2
The German philosopher Immanuel Kant (1724-1804) stands with Plato and Aristotle as the towering figures in Western philosophy. Kant’s moral theory, the preeminent exemplar of deontological ethics, remains an enormously powerful and important view of the moral life. Our ideas that “the ends don’t justify the means” and that all human beings have a fundamental dignity and certain basic human rights are key Kantian ideas. The course will be a close examination of Kant’s ethics as developed in three central ethical works.

POLS/PHIL 100    Introduction to Political Thought      4cr

    Prof. Richard Matthews, Dept of Political Science
    TTh 10:45-12
A critical examination of political ideologies: Liberalism, Marxism, Fascism, and Islamism.

POLS 240    Law and Order: The Politics of Crime and Punishment      4cr

    Prof. Wade Haubert, Dept. of Political Science
    MW 2:35-3:50
This course explores the legal and political consequences of various theories of crime, punishment and social control in the United States. Topics include policing, racial profiling, trial court proceedings and the administration of justice, growing incarceration rates and the prison industry, capital punishment, the jury system, and the nature of legal obligation.

POLS 376    American Political Thought        4cr

    Prof. Richard Matthews, Dept. of Political Science
    W 4-7
A critical examination of American political thought from the founding of the Republic to the present. Writings from Madison, Hamilton, and Jefferson to Emma Goldman, Mary Daly, Malcolm X, Henry Kariel, and others will be discussed.

PSYCH 350    The Psychology of Evil        4cr

    Prof. Michael Gill, Dept. of Psychology
    TTh 9:20-10:35
It has been said that no animal could ever be as cruel as a human being. Indeed, human beings have a notable propensity for inflicting harm on other human beings: Physical assault, homicide, torture, and even genocide. What is the psychology behind such actions? What are the root causes? In exploring these questions, we will consider the issue of what, if anything, can be done to reduce evil in the world.

REL 96    Engineering the Impossible      4 cr

    Prof. Christopher Driscoll, Dept. of Religion Studies
    MW 8:45-10
In modernity and postmodernity, our good intentions have not always led to good results, and even "good" results come with costs. Engineering the Impossible turns to religious studies to think through the most amazing technological successes and the social, ecological, and economic costs associated with scientifically and technologically engineering the impossible. Using a case study model covering topics including ecology, biomedical research, urban planning/policing, the technological singularity, internet privacy, contemporary eugenics, and cutting-edge military research and development, this course is for anyone who might ever have to ask the question: "Sure, we can make that happen, but should we?"

REL 125    Comparative Religious Ethics        4cr

    Prof. Khurram Hussain, Dept of Religion Studies
    MW 2:35-3:50
How have thinkers within the three major Abrahamic traditions handled ethical questions and dilemmas throughout history? This course will focus on many issues including but not limited to violence and pacifism, debates concerning revelation versus reason, the different accounts of justice and peace, the nature of scripture and the divine. We will look comparatively both within and across these traditions.

REL 335    Religion, Witchcraft, and Shamanism      4 cr

    Teaching Staff, Dept of Religion Studies
    MW 11-12:25
Addresses broad questions about supernatural beliefs as systems of meaning and as practical and moral guides, with a focus on theoretical explanations for supernatural beliefs and the function of religious specialists in the social organization of cultures.

STS 11        Technology and Human Values      4 cr

    Prof. William Best, STS Program
    TTh 9:20-10:35
Impact of technology on society in relation to ethical problems raised by the exploitation of technological innovations. Illustrations from history, social studies, philosophy, literature, and film.

SDEV 10    Challenges of Sustainable Development      4cr

    Prof. Donald Morris, Dept. of Earth and Environmental Sciences
    MW 12:45-2
History and principles of sustainable development, including their application to projects in both rich and poor countries. Survey of current environmental, social and economic challenges to sustainable development. Philosophy and ethics of external intervention for poverty alleviation and green development, especially in poor societies. Integrated approaches to sustainable development practice, including the inter-relationship of the health sciences, natural sciences, social sciences and management.