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PHIL 209


An introductory course to a systematic field of philosophy, history, philosophical movement, or set of philosophical problems. May be repeated for credit with different topics.

Distribution Area Prerequisites Credits
1 course

Fall Semester information

Marcia McKelligan

209A: Tps:Ethics Bowl

In this class, we will engage in a variety of activities to prepare for the Central States Intercollegiate Ethics Bowl competition at Marian University, which will take place in November, 2019. (The exact date has not been announced.) I hope to have two teams of 5-6 enter the competition. To prepare we will cover the basics of ethical theory and then explore the particular moral and social policy questions raised in the 15 cases that will be made available in early September. (It may be that only 9 are chosen to be used in the actual competition.) We can be flexible about how we distribute the case preparation and presentation duties: each case might be assigned to just one student, or all cases might be shared among all or some members of a team. Either way, all cases will be discussed in detail by all members of the class. We will meet as a group for 6 hours a week (perhaps more once in a while). Students will write several drafts of papers that will form the basis of their case presentations. Those drafts will be energetically (but charitably and in a friendly way) critiqued by me and by other members of the class. One goal will be for a DePauw team to win or place highly enough in the regional competition to earn a bid to the national competition in Atlanta in early 2020. Other significant goals will be to learn in depth about timely and important moral issues, hone your argumentative skills, and gain experience and confidence in the oral presentation and defense of your ideas. It is possible to enroll in the class as an auditor rather than for credit. Whether you sign up for credit or as an auditor, the instructor's permission is required to enroll in the course. Please see me as soon as possible so that I can answer your questions and we can determine if this class is a good option for you. You can learn more about Ethics Bowl at http://appe-ethics.org/ethics-bowl/.

Jessica Mejia

209B: Tps:Moral Controversies

Moral Controversies is an introductory course in applied ethics. Applied ethics is the branch of ethics that concerns itself with concrete, practical moral problems and controversies such as abortion, euthanasia, capital punishment, pornography, etc. In this course, we will consider arguments for different conclusions on the same issue, e.g., pro-choice and pro-life arguments.

The aims for this course are: to equip students with the skills to evaluate ethical arguments, to equip students with basic skills for developing their own arguments, and to familiarize students with a variety of views on popular topics.

Moral Controversies is a philosophy course. As such we will focus on the quality of the arguments for various positions. We will evaluate the reasons offered and whether and to what extent they support their intended conclusion. We will also consider consequences of ethical principles across topics.

Spring Semester information

Jennifer Everett

209A: Tps:Animal Ethics

Richard Cameron

209B: Tps:Wealth and Happiness

Jeffrey Dunn

209C: Tps:Philosophy for Children