Spring 2022 - PHIL 421W B100

Advanced Topics in Ethical Theory (4)

Moral Realism

Class Number: 7353

Delivery Method: In Person

Overview

  • Course Times + Location:

    Mo 4:30 PM – 7:20 PM
    WMC 2503, Burnaby

  • Prerequisites:

    two 300 level PHIL courses; it is strongly recommended that students have taken some prior course in moral theory.

Description

CALENDAR DESCRIPTION:

A highly focused, advanced examination of a selection of topics in normative or meta-ethics. May be repeated for credit. Writing.

COURSE DETAILS:

Selected Topics: Moral realism

[Note: this course is to be taught concurrently with PHIL 823.]  

This course explores arguments in favour and against moral realism—the view that there is a mind-independent moral reality. We will start by briefly looking at naturalistic versions of the view and the problems that it faces. Most of the course, however, will focus on nonnaturalistic versions of moral realism and its challenges, with particular focus on challenges that arise from the argument from queerness, evolutionary debunking arguments, and the argument from cosmic coincidence.

COURSE-LEVEL EDUCATIONAL GOALS:

PHIL 421W may be applied towards the Writing Requirement (and the upper division Writing Requirement for Philosophy Majors). This course may be repeated for credit if the topic is different.

The course is excellent preparation for: graduate school in philosophy, public policy degrees, law school, business school.

By the end of the course, students should be able to:

· Identify and reconstruct philosophical arguments

· Write advanced-level philosophy papers

· Conduct independent research

· Engage with fundamental central issues in metaethics

Grading

  • Weekly discussion questions (submitted prior to class) and in-class participation 20%
  • Paper proposal and bibliography 5%
  • Paper draft and peer review 5%
  • Final paper 70%

NOTES:

Course delivery: in person, blended – additional weekly hour to be made up by watching videos and posting comments on the discussion forum.

REQUIREMENTS:


Written work for this course will be submitted via Turnitin, a third party service licensed for use by SFU. Turnitin is used for originality checking to help detect plagiarism. Students will be required to create an account with Turnitin, and to submit their work via that account, on the terms stipulated in the agreement between the student and Turnitin. This agreement includes the retention of your submitted work as part of the Turnitin database. Any student with a concern about using the Turnitin service may opt to use an anonymous identity in their interactions with Turnitin. Students who do not intend to use Turnitin in the standard manner must notify the instructor at least two weeks in advance of any submission deadline. In particular, it is the responsibility of any student using the anonymous option (i.e. false name and temporary e-mail address created for the purpose) to inform the instructor such that the instructor can match up the anonymous identity with the student.

Materials

REQUIRED READING:

 All readings will be made freely available online.

Department Undergraduate Notes:

Thinking of a Philosophy Major or Minor? The Concentration in Law and Philosophy? The Certificate in Ethics? The Philosophy and Methodology of Science Certificate?
Contact the PHIL Advisor at philmgr@sfu.ca   More details on our website: SFU Philosophy

New elective grade policy : P/CR/NC, pilot project for 2021 and Spring 2022. List of exclusions for the new policy. Specifically for Philosophy: 

  • Students can use a P or CR to satisfy any requirement for a major, joint major, honours, or minor in Philosophy (with the exception of Honours tutorials).
  • Students can use a P or CR to satisfy any prerequisite requirement for any PHIL course.
  • Students can use a P (but not a CR) to satisfy any requirement for the Ethics Certificate, or the Philosophy and Methodology of Science Certificate.
  • Philosophy Majors and Honours students can use a P (but not a CR) to satisfy any WQB requirement.

Registrar Notes:

ACADEMIC INTEGRITY: YOUR WORK, YOUR SUCCESS

SFU’s Academic Integrity web site http://www.sfu.ca/students/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating.  Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the University community.  Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the University. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the University. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html

TEACHING AT SFU IN SPRING 2022

Teaching at SFU in spring 2022 will involve primarily in-person instruction, with safety plans in place.  Some courses will still be offered through remote methods, and if so, this will be clearly identified in the schedule of classes.  You will also know at enrollment whether remote course components will be “live” (synchronous) or at your own pace (asynchronous).

Enrolling in a course acknowledges that you are able to attend in whatever format is required.  You should not enroll in a course that is in-person if you are not able to return to campus, and should be aware that remote study may entail different modes of learning, interaction with your instructor, and ways of getting feedback on your work than may be the case for in-person classes.

Students with hidden or visible disabilities who may need class or exam accommodations, including in the context of remote learning, are advised to register with the SFU Centre for Accessible Learning (caladmin@sfu.ca or 778-782-3112) as early as possible in order to prepare for the spring 2022 term.