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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 regional Intercollegiate Ethics Bowl competition hosted by Marian University on November 14. The competition will be virtual this year. We may enter other regional competitions as well. An Ethics Bowl team has 3-5 members and I hope to have 1-2 teams. 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 fewer 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, especially as the competition grows closer). These meetings will probably be a mix of face-to-face and virtual. Students will write several drafts of outlines 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 Cincinnati in February, 2021. 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. You can also enroll for partial credit (as PHIL 470A) if that fits better with the rest of your schedule. Whether you sign up for credit or as an auditor, my permission is required to enroll in the course. Please contact me at mamck@depauw.edu as soon as possible so that I can answer your questions and we can determine if this class is a good option for you. Quick anecdotal brag: a former team member who is now a third-year law student was asked about her undergraduate Ethics Bowl experience in a recent interview for a clerkship with a federal judge! You can learn more about Ethics Bowl at https://www.appe-ethics.org/appe-ieb-

Jessica Mejia

209B: Tps:Global Ethics

People around the world have always encountered different cultural, national, religious groups with whom they engaged. With technological advances, connections with people all over the world seem to have become more common, more frequent, more broad, and more vivid. Over time, the fortunes of people around the world seem to have become more interdependent as well. These conditions raise a host of questions regarding the moral status of: globalization itself, foreign aid, nationalism and patriotism, immigration, war, human rights, and religion.

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, to familiarize students with a variety of views on these topics (including positions from several religious traditions), and to familiarize students with the common challenges of global ethics in practice.

Global Ethics 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


209A: Topics

Jessica Mejia

209B: Topics: Ethics and Technology