Fall 2021 - PHIL 120W E200
Moral and Legal Problems (3)
Class Number: 7653
Delivery Method: Remote
A critical examination of a range of moral and legal issues we confront in our dealings with the state and our fellow human beings, such as: Is it wrong to break the law? Should pornography and recreational drugs be illegal? Do animals have rights? Is there a duty to admit immigrants? Are there duties to the world's poor? Are indigenous peoples owed reparations? Students with credit for PHIL 120 may not take this course for further credit. Writing/Breadth-Humanities.
This course is intended to introduce students to contemporary moral problems. No prior experience in philosophy is necessary, only a desire to discuss and to think about the following issues:
- Is it wrong to eat animals?
- Is pornography harmful to women? To men? To both? Or is pornography harmless?
- Is abortion morally permissible?
- Should the state regulate hate speech?
These issues are difficult and complex, but our primary aim in this class is to reflect upon and approach them with intellectual honesty, rather than come to a consensus about how to solve them. To help us with this aim, we will learn about key ethical theories and concepts and understand how to pick out a good argument from a bad one. Lastly, we will focus upon developing and improving the skills necessary for success in university and beyond, namely the ability to think critically, to read with a careful eye, to listen to others, and to write clearly.
COURSE-LEVEL EDUCATIONAL GOALS:
PHIL 120W may be applied towards the Writing Requirement, and the Breadth-Humanities Requirement. The course is strongly recommended for students intending to pursue a Philosophy Major or Minor (especially with the Law and Philosophy concentration), or the Certificate in Ethics.
Video: Why Study Philosophy?
- First paper, with revisions 20%
- Second paper 30%
- Short writing assignments 20%
- Take-home final exam 30%
Course delivery: remote, asynchronous (recorded content). Lectures will be posted on Canvas each Monday. Students are encouraged to attend a drop-in session each Thursday at 5:30pm to ask questions about course content.
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 + SUPPLIES:
Students are required to have a computer or a tablet with a camera and a microphone, and reliable internet access in order to attend class. If students do not have reliable access, they should inform their instructor and contact the IT desk to see if a loaner computer can be arranged. It is recommended that students use broadband wired or wireless (3G or 4G/LTE) internet connection, with bandwidth of at least 1.5Mbps (upload and download).
Online platform: We will use Zoom.
No required textbook. All readings will be posted on Canvas.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org More details on our website: SFU Philosophy
New elective grade policy : P/CR/NC, pilot project for Spring/Summer/Fall 2021. 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.
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 FALL 2021
Teaching at SFU in fall 2021 will involve primarily in-person instruction, with approximately 70 to 80 per cent of classes in person/on campus, with safety plans in place. Whether your course will be in-person or through remote methods 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 (email@example.com or 778-782-3112) as early as possible in order to prepare for the fall 2021 term.