Teaching

Cosmopolitanism and Global Ethics Syllabus (Fall, 2016)

This course will focus mainly on political questions concerning cosmopolitanism in a globalized world, though we will begin with a short discussion of moral cosmopolitanism to set the stage for thinking universally. We will consider critiques of cosmopolitanism as a kind of moral universalism from the perspective of both nationalist and postcolonial thinking.
Global ethics, for the purpose of this class, is a set of ethical and political considerations that emerge from living in a globalized world. Actions in the global context (immigration, economic policy, human rights legislation, and (non)democratic institutions) have a pervasive impact on the lives of individuals–and this impact often differs based on how one is situated in the world. In order to better understand this impact, we will consider the moral and political aspects of international organizations and global governance, colonialism, immigration, economic inequality, and gender justice.

Environmental Ethics Syllabus  (Fall, 2016 Spring, 2016)

This course will introduce students to a number of topics in philosophical ethics through the use of environmental questions. It focuses on four areas in particular: the value of the environment, the culture/nature distinction, the relationship of humans to non-human animals, and what humans owe to each other with regard to the environment. We will also discuss some environmental law and policy issues.

Introduction to Philosophy Syllabus (Spring, 2016)

This course serves as a topics-based introduction to philosophy. We will cover issues of immortality, knowledge, god, causation, inequality, government, and the good life. Through readings and discussion, students will be introduced to major controversies, topics, and areas of study in philosophy. This course will help students develop an appreciation of the complexity of the natural world, social relations, and human existence. Such complexity requires critical thought and investigation, and this course provides students with an opportunity to exercise and hone those skills through reading, writing, and verbal discussion. In particular, we will cover 4 main areas of philosophy: metaphysics, epistemology, social and political philosophy, and ethics.

Ethics and Contemporary Life Syllabus

This course will consider the various philosophical ways of understanding ethics. We will begin with classical moral theories: virtue ethics, consequentialism, and deontology. Here we will discuss different orientations, principles, and actions that may be right or wrong. The last moral theory we will consider is an ethics of care. This is a contemporary moral theory that claims the basis of all moral action is care for ourselves, for others, and for society. Lastly, we will consider some applied moral problems such as ethical decisions involving other animals, environmental ethics, the ethics of opportunity, and how to analyze political actions and structures using ethical models.

Sexual Ethics Syllabus

This course examines the ethical dimensions of human sexuality and sexual lives. Topics discussed include gender, sexual identity, pornography and censorship, sexual violence, ‘natural’ and ‘perverse’ sex, marriage, love, and intimacy.

Advanced Medical Ethics (Fall, 2015 for graduate nursing students)

This course explores medical ethics from two perspectives: the critical analysis of recent bioethics literature and the impact for future health care professionals. Both theory and application will be considered, especially as they relate to informed consent, human personhood, allocation of resources, technological advancement, research methods, professional duties, interpersonal relations, and compassion in the workplace. (Course taught as part of the Graduate Nursing Program at Molloy College.)

Markets, Ethics, and Law Syllabus (Summer, 2015)

This course aims to provide an introduction to the legal and ethical issues involved in markets. We will cover topics such as property rights, the morality of capitalism, the contract system, the ethics of trading in markets (What should we be able to buy and sell? Human body parts? Sexual services? Children?), corporate social responsibility, and sexual harassment law. In doing so, this course provides an outline of arguments that both support, as well as critique, market transactions.

Cosmopolitan Political Theory Syllabus (Summer, 2014)

What does it mean to be a citizen? For the most part, we are all citizens of some country. Yet, there are many questions to be asked concerning citizenship: is citizenship of a particular nation-state best for us as humans? Should some other characteristic decide to whom we owe loyalty and other political duties? Should we have global economic interactions? Does citizenship require that we reflect a national culture in our political processes?

Cosmopolitanism, deriving from the greek ‘cosmo’ (world) and ‘polites’ (citizen), is the study of citizenship beyond the boundaries of nation-states. In this course, we will study theories of world-citizenship, the many varieties (political, cultural, economic, and ethical) of world-citizenship, as well as critical perspectives on those theories. Lastly, we will have some focus on global institutions, paying particular attention to the way in which global institutions interact with states and their citizens.

Introduction to Political Philosophy Syllabus (Fall, 2013)

Political thought, since Plato, has continuously grappled with the relationships shared between the individual, her government, and her society. This course will deal with those same issues, and will include an exploration of various questions such as: what is the nature of the authority of the state, to whom does one owe political duties (including taxation), how do we balance individual interests and freedoms with the interests of the social group, and what are the limits of political entities? In doing so, we will survey the landscape of historical movements in political thought including, republicanism, liberalism, libertarianism, authoritarianism, socialism, and anarchism. Such a survey is designed to provide a critical tool for assessing and understanding contemporary political thought and movements.

The course will focus explicitly on three themes in political philosophy: liberty, equality, and political participation. Rather than being oriented toward the historical trajectory of thought, the course is designed to show how diverse thinkers from different places and time periods are ‘in conversation’ with each other. This will provide you with a wide array of both positions in political philosophy and critiques of those positions.

Methods of Reasoning Syllabus (Spring, 2013)

In this course, we will focus on developing skills related to good thinking and reasoning. Attention will be paid to analyzing arguments, deductive and inductive reasoning, identifying argumentative fallacies, and employing the elements of formal logic. We will practice these skills in a variety of contexts, including mathematics, science, law, advertising, ethics, religion, and politics. Successful completion of the course should result in an improved ability to articulate what separates good from bad arguments, develop promising lines of reasoning, quickly notice errors in reasoning, identify methods for resolving disagreements, and think critically in general.

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