Comparative European Ethics
5 Credit Hours
Required Texts and Materials
Lester, James D. Writing Research Papers: The City University Style Manual. 8th ed. New York: HarperCollins, 1996.
Additional study materials may be provided during the course.
Access to a personal computer is required. All written assignments must be word processed.
Upon the successful completion of this course, you will be able to:
1. Identify four main schools of ethics: Egoism, Utilitarianism, and Kant’s theory of the Categorical Imperative.
2. Discuss the philosophical problems associated with the concept of free will.
3. Chart the development of ethical theories over the preceding two centuries.
4. Compare ethical theories to determine how each theory influenced its time, and in particular discuss how twentieth century events have influenced moral thinking.
5. Evaluate moral problems from both Christian and non-Christian perspectives.
6. Use the Socratic method to refine your thinking.
7. Discuss moral issues in a public forum.
8. Defend an ethical theory and its impact on life in a unifying Europe, using logical, defensible and clear support.
Overview of Course Activities and Grading
Assignments and Grading
1-Page outline of essay
Explanation of Assignments and Grading
-a book from the
pre-approved list (denoted on the syllabus with the symbol )
-a topic in business ethics (denoted on the syllabus with the symbol )
Mastery of original
text / dilemna in business ethics - 25%
Syle of presentation (do you catch the audience’s interest?) - 25%
Is your argument logical and convincing? - 25%
Discussion Quality - Your ability to withstand questioning - 25%
There are two possible types of essay, similar to the two types of presentation. Students who wish to do a topic other than the ones listed here should get their topic approved first.
Choose one primary text from the list circulated during the first week of class. Based on your reading of this text, compose a critical analysis which incorporates your personal response to the author’s claims and/or arguments. The purpose of this assignment is not to generate a summary of the text or a biography of its author, but to interpret the text, to enter a dialogue with it.
Some of the texts are in the CU library, either in Bratislava or in Trenčin. Those books are marked on the syllabus with the symbol ☻ If you choose to do one of the titles which the CU library does not have, you are responsible for finding the book on your own. Only one student per section may choose a given book. Students from different sections of this class are expected to stay in contact with each other insofar as there may only be one copy of the book to share between different sections. You should exchange phone numbers at the very least, so that both students get a chance to read the book.
School holiday Intro to course.
Homework: Chapter 1 “ethics.”
Monday April 8
Select paper topics. ☻ Plato Dialogues ☻
Socrates, Plato, Aristotle ☻ Aristotle On the Soul☻
The Socratic Method ☻ Marcus Arelius The Meditations☻
Ring of Gyges (if time) Questions: Socrates in Prison, MP p.19
Monday April 15
Intro to monotheism: ☻ Augustine: Confessions ☻
Judaism, Christianity, Islam ☻Descartes Philosophical Writings ☻
MP p. 7 “moral commands” Stakeholder theory TN 188-191
Law vs. Morality Money and Ethics TN 80-84, 101-105 Homework: Chapter 2 “Egoism”
Monday April 22 Wednesday, April 24
Abortion: Thompson, MP 159. Profits vs. Ethics TN p. 38-40
Discussion of Outlines - Q&A
Homework: Chapter 3 “Utilitarianism”
Sunday April 28 Monday, April 29
☻ Machiavelli The Prince ☻
Newton > Stress on Reason ☻ Smith - Wealth of Nations☻
Hedonic Calculus: MP p. 43 ☻ J.S. Mill On Liberty☻
Outlines Due! ☻ J.S. Mill Utilitarianism☻
☻ Bentham Introduction to the Principles…☻
Sunday May 5 Monday May 6
☻ Marx: Communist Manifesto☻
Individual vs. Collective ☻ Hugo Les Miserables ☻
Punishment: MP p. 103, 109,110 ☻ Hegel Philosophy of Spirit ☻
Punishment and Rewards: TN 152
Homework: Chapter 4 “Kant”
Monday May 13 Wednesday, May 15
Kant - The Categorical Imperative ☻Kant Philosophy of Right ☻
“Duty” and the 19th century. ☻Nietzsche The Antichrist ☻
MP. p 112. Ross, MP p. 131 ☻Nietzsche Beyond Good and Evil☻
Homework: Chapter 5 “Free Will”
Monday May 20 Monday May 22
World War and ethical impact ☻Arendt Eichmann in Jerusalem ☻
Nietzche > Hitler? ☻ Camus Myth of Sisyphus ☻
Disillusionment > Existentialism ☻ Sartre Being and Nothingness☻
Monday May 27
Free Will, Totalitarianism Ethics in Advertising TN 181-183.
Hopes/fears for total control ☻ Freud “Civilization and Discontents” ☻
Freud, psychological ideas ☻ Orwell 1984 ☻
Papers due! ☻ Burgess Clockwork Orange☻
☻ Huxley Brave New World ☻
Monday June 3 Wednesday, June 5
Discrimination (sexual) FINAL EXAM!
Review for final exam