191: Introduction to Ethics
two: 10-11:50 TuTh UH240
three: 12-1:50 TuTh UH240
Hours: TuTh 2-3:50 or by appointment
queen, my lord, is dead.
should have died hereafter;
would have been a time for such a word.
and to-morrow, and to-morrow,
in this petty pace from day to day
last syllable of recorded time,
our yesterdays have lighted fools
to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!
but a walking shadow, a poor player
struts and frets his hour upon the stage
then is heard no more: it is a tale
an idiot, full of sound and fury,
the final grade is based on a total of 100 pts.
essays@10 pts.= 70 pts
7 individual essays @ 10
7 group essays @ 10 pts.
Group essays are
collective versions of individual essays: Your score will be the
higher of your individual essay or the group essay that addresses
the same question.
If you fail to turn in an
individual essay or participate in the group essay on a particular
question, you will receive 50% of the score for the essay you did
Your score will be the
higher of the individual essay and the group essay you write on
each assigned question.
You will in fact write and
do group work on 8 questions. The lowest of these scores will be
dropped. So 7 essays will count toward your final score.
exam: 30 pts. maximum
See this link for a fuller
check your grades online regularly to make sure they are accurate.
a.m. Section grades
noon section grades
on the appropriate link to see your grades. They will be listed by
the last 4 digits of your student i.d. number.
to do Well in Philosophy
Class attendance and
participation: I do not grade on attendance, but missing class
will hurt your grade because we will do a lot of in-class writing
for credit. If you are not in class on a day when we do such work
you will not get credit for it and it cannot be made up. You
should plan to be in class every day. If for some reason you do
not think you can do this, then you should think seriously about
dropping this class. Group work requires your participation and
students who fail to participate will lose points from their
If you are in need of an
accommodation for a disability in order to participate fully in
this class, please let me know immediately and if you have not
done so, contact Services to Students with Disabilities at UH-183,
For University policies on
course withdrawal, cheating and plagiarism, please see "General
Regulations and Procedures" in the CSUSB Bulletin of Courses.
Plagiarism occurs when you turn in work that is not your own but
has been written by someone else: the author of a book or a
website or Wikipedia or another student, husband, wife,
girlfriend, friend. . . You written work must be written by you
and you alone. Plagiarized essays will not receive credit. In
serious cases students may be dismissed from the University.
The Philosophy Department
Logic Lab is located in the basement of University Hall, UH 052
(x72667). This lab has computers with access to the Web. The
official purpose of the logic lab is to provide students in logic,
critical thinking and philosophy courses with computer assisted
instruction in logic and critical thinking. In addition to
providing students with instruction in logic and critical
thinking, the Logic Lab is a place for students and faculty to
meet and discuss philosophical issues. Faculty, majors and
interested students can find informal discussions taking place
there about everything from abstract objects and formal logic to
the existence of God and animal rights. Come by and see us
sometime. Student Assistants are on duty Monday through Friday. A
schedule is available from the Dept. Office (x75869) or at the
Logic Lab. There is free tutoring for some classes available in
the Learning Center (UH 351) as well.
expect that you will turn assignments in on time, on the days
listed below in the reading schedule, during class time. If for
some very good reason, you cannot make it to class, you will be
allowed to turn in one assignment for full credit no more than one
class day late. Any work not turned in during class time on the
assigned day will be considered late: this
includes work turned in later that same day.
Subsequent late work, if
any, will have 3 points (out of a possible 10) deducted from its
score if turned in one class day late and 1 additional point
deducted for each subsequent day late. Assignments
turned in after the assignment has been discussed and its answer
posted will not be accepted for any reason whatsoever.
(If you have an illness
or other event serious enough to keep you out for more than one
class day, please bring a note from your doctor or other
responsible person when you return to class. It is your
responsibility to see to it that printers are functioning and the
like, so it is unwise to wait until the last minute to write or
print assignments. We
will be doing in-class essay writing. Due to the nature of these
assignments, there can be no makeup work on these essays.
ancient Greek philosophers thought of ethics as about how best to
live one's life, rather than about specific moral problems such as
abortion or sexual activity. Ethics was the study of how to live a
good life. I follow in this tradition. Specifically this course
will ask how the fact that we are mortal creatures with a limited
life span affects the question of how we should live during that
limited span. We shall look at ideas about the nature of death,
the possibility of an afterlife, the possible meanings of life and
death, and how these ideas have consequences for how we should
live while we are alive. There is one text supplemented with
primary sources on links in the Reading and Assignments Schedule
Christopher Belshaw, Ten Good Questions about Life and Death.
and Assignments Schedule
and assignments are due on the day on which they are listed below.
For example, when you come into class on Thursday April 5 you should
have already read the link “The Death of Socrates” and when you
arrive in class on Tuesday April 10 you should have the written
answer to Question One with you. Assignments
are tentative because I reserve the right to change things as we go.
more concerned with your character than your reputation, because your
character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely
what others think you are.”– John
Aubade - Philip Larkin
Death of Socrates
of Socrates continued
essay 1 due
class group work, essay #1
discussion of Death of Socrates
Essay 2 due
Group Work Essay 2
to question 2
Epicurus, “Letter to Menoeceus”
Essay 3 due
Group Work Essay 3
to question 3
Essay 4 due
In-class Group Work
to question 4
Essay 5 due
In-class Group Work
to essay 5
Death Bad for You?”
Belshaw, ch. 3 & 4: “Is It Bad to Die?”
Essay 6 due
In-class Group Work
to essay 6
Belshaw, ch. 2 “Is Life
Group Work Essay 7
to essay 7
Belshaw ch. 8
Group Work Essay 8
June 7 LAST DAY OF CLASS
Essay 8 due
Belshaw ch. 8
Two (10 a.m. TTh): Thursday June 14th
at 10 a.m in UH240
Three, (12 noon, TTh): Tuesday June 12th
at 12 noon in UH240
bring a blue book and pens (not pencils)
exam will consist of questions that you have already answered as
either individual or group work. To study please read carefully
the answers to these questions (questions 1-8) that I have posted
above. Be sure you understand the answers and can reproduce them
in your own words.