Moral Responsibiliy: Doubts, Debates, Dialogue|
|Certificates: Civic Engagement|
"[T]he last century has produced an abundance of ideologies that pretend to be keys to history but are actually nothing but desperate efforts to escape responsibility."--Hannah Arendt
"[Prison] relieves us of the responsibility of seriously engaging with the problems of our society, especially those produced by racism and, increasingly, global capitalism."--Angela Davis
Moral responsibility is more than an abstract philosophical puzzle; it's a subject where philosophical reflection plays an indispensable role in practical, political, and legal reasoning.
Popular claims about free will are being challenged from many directions. They are accused of being confused, ideologically driven, culturally specific, and at odds with causal understanding. How--if at all--can affirmations of moral responsibility be salvaged or reshaped in light of these doubts? The first half of this course surveys many conflicting landmark arguments about moral responsibility, and the second half slows down to explore three recent books, each with a sustained proposal for how we should weigh in about responsibility.
Final projects for this course may take at least two different forms (or some combination): a sustained discussion of a practical case in which someone's status as a responsible agent is unresolved, or a detailed argument analysis in connection with a philosophical text.
This course aims to engage students beyond the philosophy major, including anyone with an interest in social justice, legal reasoning (including LSAT skills), and/or political accounts of incarceration, punishment, and desert.
||Gen Ed Area Dept:
|Course Format: Lecture / Discussion||Grading Mode: Student Option|
||Prerequisites: [PHIL212 or ENVS212] OR [PHIL215 or ENVS215] OR PHIL217 OR PHIL218
||Fulfills a Major Requirement for: (CIVI-MN)(PHIL)(PHIL-Philosophy)(PHIL-Social Jus)(SISP-Phil Ethic)(SISP-Phil Mind)
||Past Enrollment Probability: 90% or above
|Major Readings: Wesleyan RJ Julia Bookstore
George Marshall, _DON'T EVEN THINK ABOUT IT: Why Our Brains Are Wired to Ignore Climate Change_
Pereboom, ed., FREE WILL (Hackett)
Fisher & Revizza, ed., PERSPECTIVES ON MORAL RESPONSIBILITY
Tammler Sommers, RELATIVE JUSTICE: Cultural Responsibility, Free Will, and Moral Responsibility
Dana Nelkin, MAKING SENSE OF FREEDOM AND RESPONSIBILITY
Manuel Vargas, BUILDING BETTER BEINGS: A Theory of Moral Responsibility
(Texts subject to revision.)
|Examinations and Assignments: |
Participants will engage in regular written dialogue on the readings, two short essays, and one final paper. Students will practice frequent analysis of arguments (using diagrams and short essays). The close critical discussion of inferences and reasoning patterns should be especially useful to students interested in journalism and/or legal and policy domains, as well as philosophy.
|Additional Requirements and/or Comments: |
Prior to the semester's beginning, students are encouraged to read Marshall, _Don't Even Think About It_; it will set the stage for the first week of classwork.
|Instructor(s): Springer,Elise Times: .M.W... 01:10PM-02:30PM; Location: FISK312; |
|Total Enrollment Limit: 25||SR major: 3||JR major: 5|| || |
|Seats Available: 14||GRAD: X||SR non-major: 3||JR non-major: 5||SO: 8||FR: 1|
|Drop/Add Enrollment Requests|
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