PHI 220 Syllabus


Division:  Arts and Sciences                                                                                                         Date:  February 2014


Curricula in Which Course is Taught:  Liberal Arts, Science, and Business Administration transfer programs


Course Number & Title:  PHI 220, Ethics


Credit Hours:  3       Hours/Wk Lecture:  3      Hours/Wk Lab:  N/A  Lec/Lab Comb:



I.              Catalog Description:  Provides a systematic study of representative ethical systems.  The focus of this course is on non-religious ethical systems in the western philosophical tradition.


II.            Relationship of the course to curricula objectives in which it is taught:  This is a transfer level course.


III.           Required background:  ENG 111 strongly recommended. Co-registration at least in ENG 111 required.


IV.          Course Content:


A.   Eudaemonism and virtue ethics: Representative Theorists will include individuals such as:

1.    Socrates, Plato, Aristotle

2.    Butler

3.    MacIntyre

B.   Utilitarianism

1.    Act, Rule and Contemporary Utilitarianism

2.    Representative Theorists will include Bentham, Mill, and Smart

C.   Deontological Theories: Representative Theorists will include individuals such as:

1.    Kant

2.    W. D. Ross

D.   Relativism

1.    Protagoras

2.    Mackie

E.   Key Moral Concepts to be addressed will include:

1.    Virtue/Vice

2.    Happiness and character

3.    Moral Responsibility

4.    Moral Rights and Duty

5.    Dignity

6.    Universalizeability

7.    Moral Choice and Decision

8.    Moral Reasoning and Argument

9.    Moral Rules, Their Nature and Justification

10. Foundation issues in Moral Theory

11. Goodness in action, motive, and character

F.        Contemporary Trends in Ethical Theory and Social Justice Theories, including natural rights and Contractorian Theories.


V.           Learner Outcomes

VI.          Evaluation


The student will:


A.   Be able to identify key theorists in western philosophical ethics.

B.   Be able to articulate key concepts and principles of major theories

C.   Be able to reason using moral principles

D.   Develop an ethical perspective based on the development of moral concepts

E.   Understand conflicts between moral theories

F.    Develop an appreciation of the complexity and difficulties of moral reasoning.

Students will be evaluated on the basis of some combination of quizzes, tests, and sustained writing assignments. 


All students must complete at least one sustained major paper on a topic in ethical theory.


All written assignments will be assessed for spelling, punctuation, grammar, and consistency according to the conventions of standard English.



VII.    This course supports the following objectives:

DCC Educational Objectives:

Critical Thinking

Cultural and Social Understanding

Scientific Reasoning