INTRODUCTORY HANDOUT Click
on blue to access.
This introductory handout contains a list of assignments, required readings, a description of the course, and other key information you will need. The week-by-week notes below are NOT a substitute for this handout.
A course webforum has been set up. You can carry on
discussion with other people interested in the class. Access to the
You will need a username, password, and email address to post to this forum. You are required to use your UCSD email address for this. However, you have the option of hiding your email address from everyone except the site administrator.
Week 1. September 22-25.
Friday. INTRODUCTORY LECTURE. Click on blue.
Week 2. September 26-October 2.
Monday: Reading: J. L. Mackie, "The Subjectivity of Values." Click on blue.
Wednesday: Reading includes Ronald Dworkin, "Objectivity and Truth: You'd Better Believe It." Click on blue.
Friday: "Lecture Notes: Introduction to Mill's Utilitarianism." Click on blue.
Week 3. October 3-9.
Wednesday: Reading includes Richard Kraut, "Desire and the Human Good." Click on blue.
Friday: "Lecture Notes: Utilitarianism and Consequentialism." Click on blue.
Week 4. October 10-16.
Monday: "Lecture Notes: Mill's 'Proof' of the Principle of Utility." Click on blue.
Wednesday: "Lecture Notes: Mill versus justice--chapter 5 of Utilitarianism." Click on blue.
Friday: Take-home exam distributed in class, and also available here. Click on blue.
Week 5. October 17-23.
Wednesday: Take-home exam due in class. Reading: Amartya Sen, "Rights and Agency." Click on blue. NOTE: ONLY SECTIONS 1-4 of this essay are required reading. "Blackboard Notes on Nozick versus Sen on rights." Click on blue.
Friday: "Lecture Notes on the Doctrine of Double Effect and the Doctrine of Doing and Allowing." Click on blue.
Week 6. October 24-30.
Monday: Reading, Thomas Nagel, "Agent-Relativity and Deontology" (in Stephen Darwall collectuion of readings, Deontology). Addendum to reading--Nagel explains the distinction between agent-neutral and agent-relative reasons as follows: "If a reason can be given a general form which does not include an essential reference to the person who has it, it is an agent-neutral reason. For example, if it is a reason for anyone to do or want something that it would reduce the amount of wretchedness in the world, then that is a neutral reason. If on the other hand the general form of a reason does include an essential reference to the person who has it, it is an agent-relative reason. For example, if it is a reason for anyone to do or want something that it would be in his interest, then that is a relative reason."
Monday: Writing assignment to be handed out in class, and available here. Click on blue.
Monday: Here are three how-to-do-it guides that might provide helpful advice on writing the essay for your writing assignment. They repeat pretty much the same advice in different words; see if any helps you. I would not spend too much time on these advice manuals unless you are really unsure about how to proceed; none is required reading. Talking with your TA can also give you clues about successful essay writing for philosophy classes.
Handout #1: Writing a philosophy paper. This is the shortest. Click on blue.
Handout #2. Writing a Moral Philosophy paper. Click on blue.
Handout #3. Tips on writing a philosophy paper. This is the longest of the three guides. It also includes links to other guides.
Wednesday: Reading: Judith Thomson, "Self-Defense." Click on blue.
"Lecture Notes on Judith Thomson on Self Defense." Click on blue.
Friday: Reading: Peter Singer, "Famine, Affluence, and Morality." Click on blue.
Week 7. October 31-November 6.
Monday: "Blackboard Notes on Garrett Cullity." Click on blue.
Wednesday: Reading: Richard Miller, "Beneficence, Duty, and Distance." Click on blue.
Friday: "Notes on Spongy and Rigid Side Constraints." Click on blue.
Week 8. November 7-13.
Wednesday: "Notes on Kant's Groundwork, pages 1-40." Click on blue.
Friday: WRITING ASSIGNMENT DUE. Holiday: No class on this day.
Week 9. November 21-27.
Friday: NO CLASS. Thanksgiving Holiday.
Week 10. November 28-December 3
Monday: Reading: Includes C. Korsgaard, "The Right to Lie: Kant on Dealing with Evil." Click on blue. Also available in Darwall anthology, Deontology.
Wednesday: Blackboard note on free will. Click on blue.
Friday: Advance information on final exam handout. Click on blue.
The final exam for this course will be a regular final
exam that will take place on Thursday, December 8, from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30
p.m. in our classroom, Center Hall 216. No use of books or notes
will be permitted at any time during this exam. The first 90 minutes
of the final will consist of short-answer questions testing comprehension
of course readings and handouts. The second 90 minutes of the final
will consist of essay questions. You will have some choice on both
the short-answer and essay sections of the exam. The two halves of
the exam count equally for grading purposes. In past years, the exam
essay questions were drawn from a longer list of questions handed out on
the final day of class. To gain an impression of what sorts of questions
you are likely to see on our final exam, you may if you wish take a look
at sample exams from two past years.
Sample final exams:
2002 short-answer questions. Click on blue. 2002 essay questions. Click on blue.
2004 short-answer questions. Click on blue. 2004 essay questions. Click on blue.