Course Notes – Bernard Williams, “The Human Prejudice”

by Daniel A. Kaufman http://www.nyu.edu/classes/gmoran/WILLIAMS.pdf The last unit of my introductory level “Ethics and Contemporary Issues” course is devoted to the question of moral concern for non-human animals.  We begin with excerpts from Peter Singer’s Practical Ethics, then move on to Cora Diamond’s “Eating Meat and Eating People” (which I discussed in a This Week’s Special some time ago (1)), […]

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The Scope of Morality

by Daniel Tippens Every decision is a moral decision. Every dollar you spend on yourself is a dollar that could instead be donated to a good cause. Every minute you spend is a minute you could have done something more kind or helpful than what you actually did. Every person you see, you could greet warmly or grumpily, give them […]

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Course Notes – W.D. Ross, The Right and the Good, Ch. 2.

by Daniel A. Kaufman http://spot.colorado.edu/~heathwoo/readings/ross.pdf School is back in session, so it’s time, once again, for Course Notes.  This semester I am teaching two sections of Ethics and Contemporary Issues, a course that is part of the General Education curriculum, and Aesthetics, an upper-division offering that runs every Fall. I have made a significant change to the first section of […]

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Morality Everywhere?

by Daniel A. Kaufman Lately, I’ve been having a certain kind of argument, over and over again.  I feel compelled to defend something that I really like – and which I would have thought it quite normal to like – against rather emphatic moral criticisms from various quarters.  Eating food, for instance (well, food that includes meat or dairy), and […]

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Course Notes – G.E.M Anscombe’s “Modern Moral Philosophy”

by Daniel A. Kaufman http://www.pitt.edu/~mthompso/readings/mmp.pdf We are nearing the end of the semester in my Theories of Ethics course and have just completed our discussions of my favorite reading, Elizabeth Anscombe’s “Modern Moral Philosophy.” (MMP) Not only do I think it is Anscombe’s greatest philosophical accomplishment – beyond her translating, editing, and publishing of Wittgenstein, of course – but it […]

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Course Notes – H.A. Prichard, “Does Moral Philosophy Rest on a Mistake?”

by Daniel A. Kaufman http://www.hist-analytic.com/PrichardObligation.pdf We have finished with our survey of traditional ethical theories, in my Theories of Ethics course, and the students have been given a whopper of an exam on Aristotle, Hume, Kant, and Mill.  I don’t envy them.  (Though neither do I envy myself, as I will be spending a good portion of my Spring Break […]

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Course Notes – Immanuel Kant, Groundwork for the Metaphysics of Morals

by Daniel A. Kaufman http://www.inp.uw.edu.pl/mdsie/Political_Thought/Kant%20-%20groundwork%20for%20the%20metaphysics%20of%20morals%20with%20essays.pdf I’ve just finished two rounds of teaching Kant’s moral philosophy – once for my introductory level Ethics and Contemporary Issues course and again, for my upper-division Theories of Ethics course – so it seemed like a good time to give our favorite deontologist his time in Course Notes.  (Actually, my favorite deontologist is W.D. Ross, […]

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Violence and Identity

by E. John Winner “I wouldn’t have it any other way” The Wild Bunch is a 1969 film directed by Sam Peckinpah (written by Peckinpah and Walon Green) [1]. Nominally a Western, it tells the story of a gang of aging outlaws in the days leading up to their last gun battle. After a failed payroll robbery, in which more […]

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The Dark Side of Medical Research

by Daniel Tippens I graduated from New York University in 2014 and subsequently began working as a research technician in a lab at the medical school. While our lab is a part of the Department of Surgery and has only one researcher with a Ph.D. (most are M.D.s), we apply for and secure a large number of grants. So, as one […]

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