Judgment about the progress of your work is based
on the quality and depth of critical and constructive thinking exhibited
in quizzes, homework, tests, discussion list, and papers.
Your course grade is determined by averaging the points you achieve
from the following scores:
Test 1: The Problems of Ethics and The Good (20%)
Test 2: Egoistic Theories (20%)
Test 3: Utilitarianism and Kantian Ethics (20%)
Test 4: Comprehensive Final (variable 0-60%)
Quizzes and Homework: best 10 of 13 grades (20%) with participation
in the ethicshelp Majordomo Discussion List
(10% of each Quiz and Homework grade)
Book Review (5%)
On-Line Paper (10%) and On-Line Reviews of Papers (5%
Your final course grade is
assigned according to your final average.
You can access your grades at any time on the philosophy server at http://philosophy.lander.edu/ethics/
click on “Ethics Grades” and enter the username and password you were
given in class. Grades are
usually posted before papers are returned in class.
If you lose your password, for security reasons, please inform your
instructor immediately. You
will be given a new password in class.
For security reasons, no password can be issued via e-mail or
Tests in this course are usually a combination of
objective, short answer, and essay questions. They are based on questions emphasized in class and are
usually a combination of the use of key concepts and methods. They are
based on questions from the reading assignments, but unlike the quizzes,
the tests are neither based on memorized facts nor based on objective
information derived from memorized arguments. Instead, the emphasis given
in tests is on the operation and active transformation or manipulation of
the concepts learned. Some
particularly difficult questions are often included for optional extra
Quizzes and Homework
In-class quizzes and homework
cover short topics requiring conceptual understanding. Some quizzes are announced in advance, and some quizzes are not
announced in advance. The quizzes are designed to last no more than ten
minutes each. The specific
topic of the quiz is thoroughly discussed in class in advance of the quiz
or is given as a homework assignment.
In general, you are not
notified in advance which homework assignments are handed in; hence, you
should attempt all assignments. Late homework assignments are not accepted
since solutions are discussed in class. At least three of these grades are
dropped before averaging in order to allow for normal required student
absences and avoid the problems of scheduling make-up quizzes. For
this reason, there are no make-ups (including taking quizzes early) for missed
quizzes or missed homework. The rationale for this policy is
explained in the Ethics FAQ.
The book review consists of your considered answers to the questions
found in the “Book Review Data Format” section of this syllabus.
The book you choose to review should reflect an area of interest to
you and should be practical and non-academic in nature.
One main reason for choosing a popular book is to
demonstrate that the philosophical concepts of this course are influential
in popular works in psychology, sociology, political science, and
religion. The most important
parts of the review are your list of the significant ideas you draw from
the book and the passage you choose as an insight into the author’s
thoughts. Your writing should be a helpful, concrete, specific, and
practical description of the contents of the book rather than an abstract
summary statement of general import.
Examples of reviews will be discussed in class.
Online Paper and Online
Reviews of Papers
From the topics listed in the
“Ethics Paper Topics” section of this syllabus, accessible from the
Ethics Homepage, choose a subject that interests you.
Your paper should reflect reasons for your considered position on
the topic and can consist of one argument or several arguments for your
point of view. There are no
length requirements—the length of the paper is dependent upon the
subject chosen. I recommend
you seek ideas or suggestions for your papers or comments by posting to
the ethicshelp discussion list.
Your reviews of other ethics
papers on-line are to be your thoughtful responses to the topic being
argued. The review can be any
length and should present your reasoned agreement or disagreement with the
Your paper and reviews will be
published on the Internet by means of the following steps.
your paper at home, in the Lander Computer Lab, or in the Logic Lab and
copy it on a virus-free floppy 1.44 MB disk.
(As you feel more confident in this process, you might choose to
type your paper or comments directly on the form.)
and Paste the paper into the form at http://philosophy.lander.edu/papers/index.html
and click the submit button.
Although Web publishing might
seem daunting at first, I will be glad to explain the procedure with you
individually in the Logic lab and will be at your side as you become
familiar with the process. Please
do not hesitate to ask for help. Step-by-step
instructions are given later in this syllabus.
The philosophy mailing list ethicshelp is an important part of our
ethics course. ethicshelp
is a forum where you can discuss, argue, and debate any issue relating to
a philosophical topic. Your
ideas are automatically sent via e-mail to other members of the
list. You are encouraged to
post questions, problems, or answers on any topic relating to philosophy,
and you are especially encouraged to try out your philosophical ideas and
theories. In addition, ethicshelp is a good place to seek information
about test questions, interesting readings, or a pre-evaluation of
your philosophy papers.
For this aspect of the course, you will need an e-mail account.
All new and returning students have Lander e-mail accounts based
upon your user name and password (your 4-digit PIN number issued to you
when you registered for classes). If you do not know your PIN number and password, please see a
lab assistant at the help desk on the second floor of Laura Lander Hall.
The lab assistant will help you find your user name and password and
explain how to use the Web-based e-mail.
The Office of Computing Services has set up a server whereby you can
check your e-mail on the following web page: http://student.lander.edu/webmail,
or you can accesses your mail with a 3.5” Eudora Email Diskette
available for purchase at the University Bookstore.
Many students set up web e-mail accounts with a free Internet
service such as http://www.hotmail.com.
An extensive list of free e-mail account directory is provided at http://www.emailaddresses.com
For one of the purposes of this course and to encourage you to become
conversant with the tools of the everyday world, a requirement of our
course is for you to post a minimum of ten messages during the semester as
part of your course grade. In
order to reduce bandwidth on the network at Lander, your posts
need to be distributed over the course of the semester, rather than at the
end of the course. For this
reason, the scoring for this aspect of the course is somewhat arbitrary.
One point of each quiz is determined by whether you have posted at least
one message to ethicshelp
prior to that quiz. In
other words, if you choose not to post a message prior to a quiz, the
highest grade obtainable on that quiz is 9 out of 10 points.
The most convenient way to join ethicshelp is to type in the following URL
(Address) in your browser (i.e., Microsoft’s Internet Explorer,
Netscape Navigator, or Opera): http://philosophy.lander.edu/ethicshelp/index.html
. Type in your e-mail
address in the form at the left and click the "submit query"
button. You will receive on-screen confirmation of your
subscription. That’s all there is to it.
To submit a message to ethicshelp, just send an e-mail to email@example.com
as in the following example:
If you wish to receive a copy
of your own post, be sure to cc a copy to yourself¾otherwise
you will not receive a copy, even though you are a member of the
discussion list. If e-mail is
new to you, please stop by the Logic Lab in M33 during office hours, and I
will be most happy to show you how to use Lander’s web-based email, how
to sign up for ethicshelp,
and how to send e-mail.
When you post messages to ethicshelp,
for full credit, please observe the following guidelines:
a clear and precise subject line. When
responding to a previous message, type your subject-line with a “Re: “
before the subject given in the subject-line of the previous message.
For example see the screenshot above concerning “Re: Bentham’s
Argument.” A simpler way to
respond to a previous message is by clicking “Reply to All” in your
e-mail client; this click will automatically set the subject –line of
your e-mail. Please note that if you just click "Reply" your
message will be sent only to the writer of the previous message and not to
the ethicshelp list.
chain letters, flaming are expressly prohibited and, if repeated, could
result in the sender’s suspension from the list.
as is usual with e-mail etiquette, do not use all capital letters
in your posts and include all text in the post—i.e., do not use
attachments to your e-mail.
(4) Configure your e-mail client so that your full name appears in
the "From: " box. In some cases, you might find it easiest
to type in your name in front of your e-mail address in the "From:
" box and place the e-mail address in angle brackets like
< firstname.lastname@example.org >
All messages to the ethicshelp
discussion list are archived and are accessible from the Ethics Homepage.
Your final course grade is
assigned according to your final average.
An A (above 90 points) reflects approximately three or more hours of study per class period and represents a great deal of time,
thought, and effort.
(above 80 but below 90 points) reflects approximately two hours of study
per class period and represents above average time, thought and effort.
(above 70 but below 80 points) reflects approximately one hour of study
per class period and represents average time, thought, and effort.
(above 60 but below 70 points) reflects cramming for examinations and
represents minimum time, thought, and effort.
(below 60 points) reflects very little time, thought, and effort and
represents below college level work.
reflects attending fewer that 75% of class meetings.
can only be given in cases of sudden illness or emergency.
Your General Responsibilities
Our course is not difficult if you keep up with the assigned work.
to class prepared.
notes in class and take notes on assigned reading.
all homework problems assigned.
questions. Seek help at
the first signs of difficulty.