The elements of moral philosophy

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RGS6036.21 ETHICS FOR DECISION MAKING WINTER 2015 Location: Frisco Center
Dr. Linda Revel
Phone Number:
972-279-6511 ext. 224
Faculty Fax #:
Office Location:
Frisco Center, Faculty work room
Office Hours:
By appointment on Saturday 2, 8:00-8:30 a.m. (before class)
Email Address:
[email protected]
This is a closed email system. Emails from accounts outside of the eCmail system will not be delivered. Refer
to "Course Communications" below.
Level: Graduate
Beginning Date of Session: Saturday, December 6, 2014
Ending Date of Session:
Thursday, February 26, 2015
Holiday Break: Friday, December 19, 2014 through Friday, January 2, 2015
The first class meeting is DECEMBER 13, 2014 in Room F2 on Frisco campus
Other class meetings: JANUARY 10, 2015; JANUARY 24; FEBRUARY 7; FEBRUARY 21
Class meeting times are 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Publisher: MCGRAW-HILL
Year Published:
Publisher: WADSWORTH
Year Published:
4th Edition
ISBN-13: 978-1-133-93487-5
Amberton University has an agreement with to provide a full-service online bookstore to students. The Amberton University Virtual Bookstore is accessible through the University's website, Just look for the "Bookstore" tab across the top of the home page. There is also a bookstore link in the Student Portal.
The AU Virtual Bookstore provides an easy to use interface, online buyback of books, and same day shipment of most titles with an average delivery time of 2-3 days depending on the student's location. Textbook options include new, used, rental, and electronic media as available.
Since no books are sold on campus, students should plan accordingly and purchase their books in advance of the first day of class, allowing time for shipping. Be certain you are enrolled in the course before purchasing your book(s). All textbook information (Title, Author, ISBN, etc.) is available in course syllabi so students can shop competitively. Students should be careful to obtain the exact resource(s) required for the course.
Course PrerequisiteS: NONE COURSE COMPETENCIES: The following represents the course competencies for this class. Competencies are equivalent for all lecture and distance learning courses. Following each competency is the assignment used to gain mastery of this area of study. The course presents an integrated approach to understanding the basis for ethical decision-making. The roots of ethical concepts, the methodologies for making decisions, and the application of norms and logic to current Ethical Issues are presented. Use the following key for identifying the type of assignments used for each competency: L (lecture), R (assigned readings), E (in class exercise or group discussion). CS (case study), P (position paper), N (notebook for observations and reflections). UPON COMPLETION OF THE COURSE, THE STUDENT WILL BE COMPETENT IN: 1. Exploring several ethical theories, including definitions of major terms. (R, L, E, CS) 2. Defining and discussing the variables that comprise the basis of one's ethical beliefs. (L, E, CS) 3. Illustrating the variables that comprise the basis of one's wants and needs relative to ethical issues. (L, E) 4. Investigating the importance and influence of relationships to one's ethical decision-making. (L, E, CS) 5. Analyzing the various decision-making methodologies and the techniques normally used in the decision-making process. (R, L, CS) 6. Probing the relationship of ethics to a particular culture. (R, L, E) 7. Questioning the logical reasoning for rejecting or accepting selected theories as they relate to behavior and conduct. (R, L, N) 8. Applying ethical theories to specific life experiences--social, business, personal--and logically defending one's personal conclusions about using an ethical decision-making process. (CS, P) 9. Describing the importance of experience, perception, and intellect to identify and interpret ethical issues. (R, L, P, CS, N) 10. Critiquing the multidimensional nature of ethical decision making and the influences and complexities these variables have on the decision-making process. (R, L, CS, N) 11. Defining and discussing the influences of customs, social norms, law, and religion on a personalized interpretation of ethical issues. ((L, E, P) 12. Analyzing one's human emotion and self-discipline as they relate to ethical decision-making. (R, E, CS, P) 13. Questioning how behavior in non-ethical situations is sometimes controlled by, or influenced by, ethical perceptions. (R, L, E) 14. Exploring how one is often culturally inducted into certain beliefs and how one might guard against such socialization. (L, E, N) 15. Applying the methodology for perceptively discerning the ethical influences of others. (CS, N) COURSE POLICIES: There will be no make-up exams or late work accepted. Students are expected to participate in all class discussions and exercises. In the event of any unexpected circumstance or crisis on the day of class, students should email their assignments due that day by the end of regular class time to avoid any penalty points or assignment not being accepted for credit. Students must also send an email to report on their absence. Student's Responsibilities This syllabus contains information, policies and procedures for this specific course. By enrolling, the student agrees to read, understand and abide by the policies, rules, regulations, and ethical standards of Amberton University as contained in the current university catalog and schedule of classes.
COURSE DELIVERY METHODOLOGY: This course is offered as a Lecture/Classroom course. This course requires that students meet a designated time in the classroom for the full class time of 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Due to the limited number of class meeting times (5), it is imperative that students attend each meeting and participate for the full class time until class is dismissed.
Class time will utilize lecture, small group discussions, case studies and both group and individual activities. Students will be expected to complete all assigned readings prior to class time to be prepared for all classroom activities. Assignments will include a Position Paper which presents the student's position on an ethical issue utilizing Critical Thinking Skills and sound arguments; a notebook of reflections and observations on ethical theories and perspectives based on textbook readings, personal research, lectures, and written analyses of case studies; and assigned readings from textbooks. One comprehensive Final Exam will be administered on the last class day along with a take-home portion of the final exam. Details for each assignment will be given on the first class meeting.
Week 1
Introduction to 1, 2, 3, 4, 11,
Dec. 13,
Ethics and Morals 12, 14
historical context for
the development of
philosophy and ethics
will be identified.
The Ethical Conduct
Paradigm will be
introduced and
students will identify
and discuss their own
ECP with other class
Out of Class Applying Learning; 1, 5, 8, 9, 14,
Preparation for next 15
The homework
assigned readings
will provide students
with skills to
assignments and to
discuss concepts
during next class
Activities Chapter 1 of Rachels text will be reviewed; background information will be presented by lecture. Case studies will be discussed in small groups. Students will be completing assignments and preparing for a group presentation to summarize a specific (assigned) Ethical Theory from Rachel's text.
Assignments Review syllabi and preface to both textbooks. Homework in progress: Read Pheiffer's book chapters 1, 2, 3, and 4. Complete assigned case studies and prepare hard copies to bring to class. Prepare for group presentation. Read chapters 1, 2, 3, and 4 in Rachels' book. Begin collecting entries for Notebook assignment.
Week 2 Jan. 10, 2015 Out of class activities
History of Philosophy and the Development of Ethical Theory An historical timeline and identification of important events and world influences on the development of ethical theories will be presented and discussed. Defining terms for a study of ethics. Introduction to cultural relativism. Ethical styles of decision making and application to workplace ethics will be explored. What is the role of reason and objectivity in a study of ethics? What is the influence of others' perceptions when reaching ethical decisions? Applying Learning: Preparation for next class The homework assigned readings will provide students with background for the Group presentations. Case study assignments will require students to apply the ethical decision making model covered in class.
1, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10, 13, 15 1, 5, 6, 7, 8, 10, 11, 12, 15
Students will complete a Survey of Ethical Style and discuss results in small groups. Students will present their case studies decisions in a small group discussion then submit their group decision. Lecture material will be presented on the history of philosophy and its influence on the development of ethical theories and their influence today in ethical decision making. The RESOLVEDD method of decision making will be reviewed and then applied in a case study in class.
Homework Due: 2 copies of assigned case studies; written assessment of one's ECP; readings from textbooks: Rachels: ch. 1,2,3, and 4 Pfeiffer: ch. 1,2,3, and 4
Students will be completing assignments and preparing for group presentations in class to summarize and apply a specific (assigned) ethical theory from Rachels' text. Students will continue to conduct research and prepare an "Ethical Dilemma" topic or question for their Position Paper. Students will also complete case study assignments and gather information for their Notebook.
Homework in progress: Read Rachels' book chapters 5, 6, 7, and 8. Produce 2 copies of solutions to case studies assigned. Prepare for group presentation. Develop an ethical question or dilemma for your Position Paper which will be due February 7; this will be used in a class discussion next week. Continue to add entries to Notebook.
Week 3 Jan. 24, 2015 Out of Class Activities
The Role of Duty and Obligations in Ethics and other Ethical Theories Consider the dominant role of utilitarianism in today's workplace. Explore the use of social contracts in diverse groups. Does morality depend on religion? Is ethical egoism a legitimate choice for Social behavior? We will explore ethical theories that relate to each of these questions. Applying Learning: Preparation for next class The homework assigned readings will provide students with background for the group presentations. Case study assignments will require students to apply the ethical decision making model covered in class. Students will also work on completing assignments for the last full class session using critical thinking skills and synthesis of all the information we have covered to complete final assignments.
1, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 15 1, 2, 4, 5, 7, 8, 10, 13
Groups will present the major concepts and current applicability of specific assigned ethical theories. Students will participate in small group discussions resolving case studies from these different perspectives and identify which ones they accept or reject. Students will also present a 2 minute or less overview of their position paper topic in small groups and respond to questions from their classmates.
Homework Due: Rachels' chapters 5, 6, 7, and 8. Conduct group discussion on your assigned ethical theory. Bring copies of case studies solutions.
Students will complete Position Papers and prepare to discuss/defend their positions in a class discussion. They will also prepare for their group presentation due next week. Students must continue to add entries to their Notebook of Reflections and Observations and complete any assigned case studies.
Homework in progress: Read Rachels' chapters 9, 10, 11, and 12. Produce 2 copies of your assigned case studies. Complete Position Paper and prepare to discuss it in class.
Week 4 Feb. 7, 2015
Absolutes vs. Relativism; Gender Issues in Ethics Final group presentations will provide students will a wide range of knowledge about ethical theories that are applicable today. We will explore issues of gender and attempt to answer the question: Do men and women view ethics differently? What does culture have to do with it? Also we will apply all discussions and readings and research to address the question of whether or not Truth/Absolutism exists. Topics of justice and fairness will be discussed as well as the effects ethics has on the development of political and social systems.
1, 4, 6, 7, 8, 10, 11, 14
The last group presentations as well as the readings from Rachels book and lecture material will provide students with knowledge points about ethics. Students must then synthesize this information with their own ECP concepts and ethical styles of decision making to determine their own positions when posed with an ethical dilemma. Students will participate in a group process for defending their own positions using logic and clear communications and avoiding emotional conflict.
Homework Due: Read and review chapters 9, 10, 11, and 12 in Rachels' text. Continue to develop Notebook which will be due next class session. Prepare last group presentation. Turn in last case study assignment.
Out of Class Applying Learning; 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, Students must complete Homework in progress:
Preparation for next 9, 10, 12, 13 their Notebook of
Reflections and
Read chapter 13 in
Using critical thinking
Observations. They will Rachels text.
skills and synthesis
also review all the
to develop a
material covered during Review class notes,
this course to prepare for assigned readings,
Ethical decision
the comprehensive final textbook readings, and
making process.
any handouts from
Students must
group presentations to
prepare to verbalize
prepare for
their own decisions
comprehensive final
and explain why and
exam which will be an
how they reached
essay exam in class.
those decisions.
Also complete the
TAKE-HOME question
for the final exam and
have it ready to turn in
before the exam starts.
Also complete the
Notebook of
Reflections and
Observations to turn
Week 5
Demonstration of ALL
Students will complete a Homework Due:
Feb. 21,
achievement of
competencies written final exam during Notebook of Reflections
Competencies for will be
class time. Students
and Observations is
must also submit all
Students will
Take-home question for
complete a
final exam is due.
comprehensive final
exam which will be in
essay format.
Students will also
turn in all outstanding
course feedback:
Students may make personal arrangements to receive feedback on final assignments and final exam grade by
Thursday, February 26. Arrangements must be made and approved with the professor by Saturday,
February 7.
Graduate Grading Scale:
92 - 100
82 - 91
72 - 81
62 - 71
Below 62 F
Grading Criteria: Position Paper Notebook of Reflections and Observations: Assigned Case Studies: Final Exam:
25% 25% 25% 25%
GRADE NOTIFICATION AND INSTRUCTOR FEEDBACK: Each assignment/exam submitted will be reviewed, graded and return to the student in a timely manner, along with appropriate commentary. final grades are mailed approximately one week after the last day of the session to the student's address of record. Amberton University staff will not release grades over the phone. University instructors will not leave a message with comments or grades in any type of media that is not secure. Arrangements can be made with the Professor to pick up assignments due the last class meeting during the final week of the session by appointment only. For questions regarding grades after the semester has ended, students should use their eCmail account and contact the instructor at [email protected] Do not use the Course Number e-mail as it is no longer operational. The professor will no longer be available after the summer session starts. Incomplete Grades An "I" (incomplete grade) is given at the discretion of the professor and may be given only when an emergency or illness prevents the student from completing course requirements. Should an "I" be granted, the student has 30 days from the end of the session to complete the conditions of the incomplete. An "I" which is not properly removed within 30 days following the session enrolled will become an "F" grade. How to Withdraw From a Course To be official, the class withdrawal must be in writing and signed by the student requesting the withdrawal; no withdrawal is accepted verbally. Please review the "Schedule of Classes" (online or in-print) for procedures for class changes or withdrawals and the refund policy and schedule. COURSE COMMUNICATIONS: This course is offered as a lecture course; however, several technological options are available to faculty and students that can enhance communication both during the session and after the session has ended. The Student Portal is the gateway to eCmail, Discussion Forums, Chat Rooms, Remote Research, General Tools and Electronic Instructor Folders (FTP). The Student Portal may be accessed through the University's main page ( After selecting the "Student Portal" link, you will be prompted for a Username and Password. Use your assigned username and password (AUID) as described below: Username = your capitalized firstname initial+lastname+last 3 digits of your SSN. * Use your name exactly as it is listed on the University's records, including any suffixes or hyphenations, such as Jr, Sr, or II, as a part of your username. For example: James Jones, Jr. SSN: 123-45-6789 Username: JJonesJr789 Password = your Amberton University ID# (AUID) including the dashes For example: 04-999-999 Once your login has been validated, you may select from a variety of menu options, including eCmail access, Discussion Forum, Chat Room, Remote Research, General Tools, all Syllabi, QEP Tutorials and Electronic Instructor Folders (FTP). Each student enrolled is assigned an Amberton email account, which gives the student access to the Amberton student eCmail system ( Students are encouraged to check their email regularly for University news and notices. When using the eCmail system, students may send to and receive email from those users who have accounts on the Amberton email servers only ( and Email from outside the University's systems will be rejected.
Upon completion of a session, all mail is removed from the eCmail account. If a student needs to maintain a record of communications or assignments, the student is strongly encouraged to print out or download these items to a disk for their own records. Discussion Forum The forums are accessible, as of the first day of the session, through the Student Portal. The discussion forums are good avenues for student ­ to ­ student communication and interaction. Help forums such as "Ask-a-Librarian" and "Tech Tips" are also listed with the course forums. Visit these areas if you have questions about research and technical issues. Chat Rooms Chat rooms are accessible through the Student Portal as of the first day of the session and provide students and faculty the ability to communicate on-line in real time. course evaluation: Each session, all Amberton students are requested to evaluate their courses. The evaluation process is an important one and provides students with an anonymous and confidential way to give meaningful feedback to the University. Summary information and comments are provided to faculty after the close of the session. Students' identities are not disclosed. Students will be notified through the Amberton eCmail system of the Course Evaluation procedures. Usually, the evaluations take place during the last two weeks of the session. Please take advantage of this opportunity and participate in the evaluation process. Academic Honesty/PLAGIARISM: Plagiarism is the presentation of someone else's information as though it were your own. If you use another person's words, ideas, or information or if you use material from a source ­ whether a book, magazine, newspaper, business publication, broadcast, speech, or electronic media ­ you must acknowledge the source. Failure to do so violates Amberton University's ethics policy. RECOMMENDED ONLINE SOURCES: Online research resources are available through "Research Tools Database", accessible through the Student Portal, under "General Tools." QUALITY ENHANCEMENT PLAN ­ QEP TOOLKITS: Online research resources are available through "Research Tools Database", accessible through the Student Portal. (For additional assistance, students may access the "QEP Tutorials" link located in the General Tools area on the Student Portal.) Access the Portal by clicking "Student Portal" from the University's website. You must know your Amberton ID to access the Portal. BIBLIOGRAPHY: Research resources are available through the University's physical library and the online virtual library. Students may search for books, periodicals, and online sources pertaining to subjects covered in this course. The physical library contains a specialized collection of Research Materials specifically chosen to support the degrees and courses offered at Amberton. Interlibrary loan and document delivery services are available. The TexShare Card offers borrowing privileges in libraries all across the state of Texas. Students with research questions or questions about Library services are encouraged to visit the University physical Library, or the Virtual University "Ask-A-Librarian" section of the discussion forum, or email their questions to [email protected]

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