Phil 318  Professional Ethics  -- Summer 2013   

Begins May 22
Meets MTWHF 8:20 am to 10:30 am in
MacLean 272

Last Day: June 18

Theodore Gracyk 

Office: Maclean 279S     Office: (218) 477-4089           
Summer Office hours: by appointment.


Principal Objectives of this course:

1. Explain differences between deontological and consequentialist normative theories

2. Explain and apply core concepts of ethical analysis

3. Apply normative theories to case studies of professional decision making

4. Identify morally relevant distinctions between major professions

5. Explain how competing normative assumptions generate competing solutions in professional decision making

6. Defend personal decisions in complex professional situations

7. Distinguish factual from evaluative aspects of complex professional situations

8. Use a coherent writing process including invention, organization, drafting, revising, and editing to form an effective written product.

9. Create logical, engaging, effective written products appropriate for specific audiences and purposes.


REQUIRED TEXTS:

  • Ethics for Professions, Edited by John Rowan and Samuel Zinaich, Jr (Thomson-Wadsworth, 2003)

Learning Outcomes for LASC 6 & 9

As a result of taking this course, students will:

Area 6: Humanities/Fine Arts

Demonstrate awareness of the scope and variety of works in the arts and humanities. Understand those works as expressions of individual and human values within an historical and social context. Respond critically to works in the arts and humanities. Articulate an informed personal reaction to works in the arts and humanities.

Area 9: Ethical/Civic Responsibility

Examine, articulate, and apply their own ethical views. Understand and apply core concepts (e.g. politics, rights and obligations, justice, liberty) to specific issues. Analyze and reflect on the ethical dimensions of legal, social, and scientific issues. Recognize the diversity of political motivations and interests of others.


This is a Writing Intensive Course. 

The quality of your formal writing will affect your course grade. Most of your course grade is based on three formal essays that you write. The first of these three will be submitted as a two-page draft and will be submitted to the instructor for comments before it is completed.

The course combines informal writing (short pieces of writing produced during class sessions), integrative formal writing in which you will explain, integrate, and evaluate material covered in the assigned readings (three essays), and one "informal" essay (a final exam). 

Taken together, the integrative formal writing must be at least a minimum of 4800 words. (About 16 pages of double-spaced work.)

Robert Hughes, one of the most articulate and important art critics of recent years, has said this about the process of writing: “My main impulse for writing a book was to force myself to find out about things I didn't know. … Otherwise, why do it at all?” This point encapsulates my goals for having you write. Writing is a mode of exploration. There is no reason to write except to find out things you did not already know, including things about yourself, such as your own position on controversial topics. 

Writing Intensive Outcomes

  • You will use a coherent writing process including invention, organization, drafting, revising, and editing to form an effective final written product. To do this, the course will combine informal and formal writing. Informal writing will be used to formulate ideas that will be important in formal writing. The first paper will require submitting a draft.
  • You will consult effectively and appropriately with others to produce quality written products. To do this, the first paper will require submitting a draft.
  • You will read, analyze, evaluate, synthesize, and integrate appropriately and ethically both information and ideas from diverse sources or points of view in their writing. To do this, you will write essays, quizzes, and a final exam. Each will require you to integrate material from multiple sources (e.g., different books plus material presented in class).
  • You will create logical, engaging, effective written products appropriate for specific audiences and purposes. Students will be provided with a rubric that clarifies this expectation.
  • You will use correct grammar and mechanics in writing. Essays will not be graded unless they satisfy reasonably high standards, spelled out in the assignments.

Formatting 

All versions of all the formal writing must conform to basic format rules. 

  • They must be typed and double-spaced with a minimum length as specified in the assignment. 

  • Margins of an inch on the top and bottom and on the left and right sides of the page are standard. (Margins of an inch and a quarter on the sides are acceptable.) 

  • Twelve point fonts are standard. Times New Roman is a standard font style, as are Helvetica and Arial.

  • The essay must have a cover page. Put your NAME on the cover page. Do not put your name anywhere else on the essay. Put your WORD COUNT on the cover page.

  • Page numbers must be on the pages. Do not put a page number on the cover page.

  • If you do not know how to start page numbers on the second page of a document, make your cover page a separate document so that you don't disrupt the page numbering of the remainder. Or make ZERO the page number for your title page.

Bibliography Page

  • If you take a string of words from any source, you must attach a bibliography of all sources. 
    To be perfectly clear: failure to put a short phrase into quotation marks (and related failure to provide a bibliographic reference) will lead me to FAIL a student for the course; for example, the short phrase "premature death is by no means a great harm" led me to fail a student not long ago.

  • If you incorporate ideas from any source other than class lecture or the assigned readings,  you must attach a bibliography of all sources. (Notice that this applies to ideas, not just actual words taken from a source.) 

Carefully proofread your papers. For the final versions of assigned papers, I will accept no more than an average of three grammatical errors, typos and spelling errors per page. If you exceed this number, I will return the paper to you at our next class meeting. It must then be handed in, “cleaned up,” no later than the next scheduled class meeting. Such papers will count as one day late. (Notice that if you fail to attend the class session in which I return the papers and your paper needs rewriting to meet the minimum mechanical standards, you do not receive any kind of special extension.)

If I return a paper to you to be “cleaned up” because there are format or grammar problems, and if it is not re-submitted at the next class meeting, it will receive an additional grade reduction for each school day that it is not returned to me. A paper that is not “cleaned up” by the time of the final exam receives a grade of F.

If I return a paper to you because it is too short, you must expand it and resubmit it at the next scheduled class session. Such papers will count as one day late. If it is not re-submitted at the next class meeting, it will receive an additional grade reduction for each school day that it is not returned to me. (Notice that if you fail to attend the class session in which I return the papers and your paper needs rewriting to meet the minimum mechanical standards, you do not receive any kind of special extension.) Failure to resubmit such a paper by the time of the final exam will result in a failing grade for the course. 

For writing help, see http://web.mnstate.edu/write/ or call 218-477-5937.

Paper Topics 

For each of the three papers, you must cover the following:

  • Develop your own thesis, addressing the assigned topic.
  • Identify a source of controversy.
  • Identify at least one competing perspective that generates this controversy. (Explain how someone might have a principled disagreement with you about what is ethical in this situation.)
  • You will critique at least one competing perspective to your own position.
  • You will defend your own thesis on this topic by providing relevant reasons in favor of your thesis. (Reasons must include discussion of examples.) 
  • You will write about 1600 words, not counting the title page.

THESE ARE NOT A RESEARCH PAPERS. 

THERE IS SIMPLY NO REASON TO DO ANY ADDITIONAL RESEARCH for this paper. If you use any additional sources, you must provide a complete bibliography of those sources.  (Exceptions to the bibliography rule: You are always free to consult the assigned readings for this course, dictionaries, writing guides, grammar books, etc.).

THE GOAL OF WRITING THE PAPER IS THAT YOU’LL DEMONSTRATE THAT YOU:

  • correctly comprehend the issues involved.
  • can reconstruct the thinking of others.
  • can clearly articulate your ideas and present them in an organized way.
  • can critically evaluate what others think.
  • can use correct grammar and mechanics in writing.
  • can argue persuasively in support of a thesis.

DUE DATES for the three Formal Papers

  • DRAFT of 1st paper due: Tuesday, May 28
    TOPIC: What is a fiduciary duty?
    Rewrite due (1600 words minimum length): to be announced (Attach original!)
  • 2nd paper (1600 words minimum length) due: June 6.
  • 3rd paper (1600 words minimum length) due: June 14

For a fuller account of my writing expectations, see my "Expectations about Essays" page.


EXPECTATIONS ABOUT STUDENT WORK 

This is an upper level course. I will enforce the University's policies on student conduct. I expect all essays to conform to recognized standards of presentation, originality, and documentation of sources. 

Any violation of the University's policies on student conduct will result in a failing grade for the course.

The University expects all students to represent themselves in an honest fashion. In academic work, students are expected to present original ideas and to give credit to the ideas of others. The value of a college degree depends on the integrity of the work completed by the student. For more information, click here. 

PLAGIARISM POLICY Plagiarism is passing off somebody else's writing or ideas as your own. There is nothing wrong in consulting any number of sources to help you understand what we are studying (whether an article in The Encyclopedia of Philosophy or a web site or Cliffs Notes) but it is stealing to take material without first paraphrasing it completely into your own words, or without placing it in quotation marks. Rule of thumb: if you take more than two consecutive words from a source, put them in quotation marks, and if the idea behind a sentence comes from an outside source, acknowledge that source! I recently FAILED a student paper because it did not put the following short phrase into quotation marks and it failed to provide a page reference: "premature death is by no means a great harm." Any time you consult and draw on ideas from any source, you should cite your source. Taking ideas from another person and pretending that they are your own, original thoughts, is also plagiarism. The fact that your source was an assigned text for the course does not mitigate or lessen the seriousness of plagiarism. Students sometimes claim unintentional or accidental plagiarism. It is difficult for an instructor to judge whether the plagiarism was intentional or unintentional. Basically, the latter occurs when a student reads a secondary source or takes notes, writes a paper without looking at the source or the notes, and accidentally uses phrasing and ideas from that source. Or a student may attempt to paraphrase an author's ideas, but fails to put it completely into his or her own words. (If you paraphrase and don't cite your source, that's evidence of intentional plagiarism.) If evidence demonstrates that you have plagiarized any part of any written assignment for the course, the offense will be reported to the Vice President for Student Affairs and you will receive a failing grade for the course. In short, if you use an outside source, simply provide footnotes or citations in parentheses where appropriate..


GRADING: Your final course grade will be calculated using the +/- system.  

10%     Informal writing (you will do informal writing in class at least 10 times) 

15%     Final Exam on June 18 (in-class essay -- informal writing)

75%      Three papers  (1600 or more words each)  -- each one is 25% of total grade
            The first paper will first be submitted as a 3 page draft, then revised.

Failure to submit any of the formal writing (the three integrative formal papers) will result in a failing grade for this course.


READING ASSIGNMENTS  

All readings are in the assigned textbook. (These assignments are subject to change) 

Read the assigned texts before class on the day indicated. Come to class prepared to do informal writing about any of the assigned readings.

Wednesday, May  22 -- First day of class
Thursday, May 23 -- Faber essay, begins on page 125 AND this NY Times article
Friday, May 24 -- Bayles essay, begins on page 56
Monday, May 27 -- HOLIDAY (Memorial Day)
Tuesday, May 28 -- Draft of first essay due & continue discussion of Faber and Bayles
Wednesday, May 29 -- Smith essay (begins on page 70)
Thursday, May 30  -- Alexandra and Miller (begins on page 134)
Friday , May 31  -- Continue discussion of Alexandra and Miller
Monday, June 3  -- Kupfer and Klatt (begins on page 306)
Tuesday, June 4  -- McGinn  (begins on page 228)
Wednesday, June 5 --  Armstrong (begins on page 145)
Thursday, June 6  -- Cohen (begins on page 315)
Friday, June 7  -- Gutman (begins on page 409)
Monday, June 10  -- Andre (begins on page 152)
Tuesday, June 11  --  Werhane and Radin (begins on page 96) AND 
handout: "Potential Employers Are Watching"
Wednesday, June 12  --  Lippke (begins on page 101)
Thursday, June 13 -- No Class: Work on third paper
Friday, June 14 -- Shaw (begins on page 108)
Monday, June 17 -- Schultz (begins on page 115) 
Tuesday, June 18 -- Final Exam (in class) 

The final exam will be an in-class exam. You will see the questions in advance. You will be allowed access to limited notes (whatever you can fit on one sheet of standard paper). It is not cumulative.


Notice of disability services & special accommodations 

The Minnesota State University of Moorhead is committed to a policy of equal opportunity in education and employment and welcomes students with disabilities. We are prepared to to offer you a range of services to accommodate your needs.

However, students must accept responsibility for initiating the request for services. 

Students with disabilities who believe they may need an accommodation in this class are encouraged to contact Greg Toutges,  Director of Disability Services at 477-4318 (Voice) or 1-800-627-3529 (MRS/TTY), Flora Frick 154  as soon as possible to ensure that accommodations are implemented in a timely fashion.

Do not discuss your needs with me, your instructor, until you talk to Disability Services and are approved to receive these services at this University.


This page last updated June 6, 2013