Ethics Syllabus & Class Schedule

PHIL 31A: Summer 2018 – Course Code 30047

Instructor: Eric Gerlach –

Wednesdays 6 – 9:50 pm – BCC Room 14

Office Hours: WED 5- 6 pm @ K’s Coffee                                                               

Ethics: Syllabus & Class Schedule

Course Description:  This course introduces students to ethical concepts such as principle, virtue, balance, utility, drive, and perspective, as well as ethical issues such as theft, lies, violence, environment, class, gender and ethnicity from individual and social perspectives.

Texts: The readings for the class will be posted at the top of each lecture on the website.

Assignments: Two 4-5 page essays (2 x 25%) & a final 8-10 page paper (50%), emailed to

Class Schedule

June 20  – Ethics in Egypt & India: Phah-hotep, Mahavira & Buddha

June 27 – Ethics in Greece: Heraclitus, Aristotle & Epicurus – First Response Due

July 4 – No Class – HOLIDAY

July 11 – Ethics in China: Confucius, Mozi & Zhuangzi

July 18 – Ethics in Europe: Kant, Mill & Nietzsche – Second Response Due

July 25 – Ethics Today: bell hooks & Wittgenstein

July 29th – No Class – Last Day of the Semester – Third Response Due

Student Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this class, students will be able to:

  1. Describe the main ethical theories covered in the course.
  2. Analyze an ethical theory.
  3. Explain some prominent and on-going moral disagreements in our society.

General Student Requirements

Students are expected to come to class prepared to ask questions and participate in discussions. It is your responsibility to ask if you missed something; it is not the instructor’s responsibility to remind you. Please read through the syllabus and plan ahead.

Plagiarism, “to use another person’s ideas or expressions in your writing without acknowledging the source” (MLA Handbook,  5th ed., §1.8)—will not be tolerated. Plagiarists, intentional or inadvertent, will receive a zero on the assignment in question; repeat offenders will get an F for the course and will be subject to college disciplinary action.

Disabled Student Program & Services (DSP&S) are provided for any enrolled student who has a verified disability that creates an educational limitation that prevents the student from fully benefiting from classes without additional support services or instruction. Please let the instructor know if you require any support services or would like more information about DSP&S.

The syllabus is subject to change at the discretion of the instructor. Any changes will be announced in class. Additional handouts of required readings may also be added.

2 thoughts on “Ethics Syllabus & Class Schedule

  1. jeanine henly

    can you please explain to me what the essays are focused or is there a set of questions that I should be answering

    1. ericgerlach79 Post author

      Go to the main Ethics page, and beneath the links to each of the lectures you can find the link to the essay prompt and topics, as well as the review for the midterm and final exams.


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