This course is designed to confront students with perennial human questions about existence, meaning, knowledge, conduct and value, and to acquaint them with selected perspectives on these questions provided by the Western philosophical tradition. A wide range of philosophers, representing many different modes of philosophical inquiry, will be examined. Problems in the contemporary world will provide starting points for the exploration of philosophical theory.
This course introduces students to important traditional ethical theories, new directions in moral thinking, and contemporary ethical controversies. It focuses on ethics as the practice of informed dialogue and principled behavior in a diverse and changing society and in the workplace.
This course will cover critical theories about the relationships and moral responsibilities of humans to their environments. Using traditional moral theories, moral psychology, behavioral economics, and contemporary philosophies, students will explore questions such as: What is Nature? Does it have rights? What is the environment? Are we the environment? How about animals? What responsibilities do we have to future generations? What makes people actually change their behaviors toward the environment? Non-Western approaches will be included. Students will then apply their insights to current environmental conflicts such as global warming, land development, endangered species preservation, and intensive farming.
In concert with the theme fo the annual Camden Conference, which can range from the Palestinian-Israeli problem to the rise of China as the dominant global super-ower, this course introduces students to contemporary global issues through discussion and readings on the topics to be addressed by the conference. In 2014, the Camden Conference focuses on food and water security. Students will delve into the intricate concepts surrounding the global food crisis, including obesity and starvation, the ecological impacts of modern sgriculture, as well the governance of water rights in the face of climate change.