UWG Philosophy Program

 

PHIL 4120

PROFESSIONAL ETHICS (3 hours)

Fall 2010

MWF 10-10:50pm

Prerequisites: PHIL 2100 or permission of instructor

Classroom: Pafford 105

Web Site: http://www.westga.edu/~rlane/professional

Email: rlane@westga.edu *

Instructor: Dr. Robert Lane

Office: TLC 2247

Office Hours:

M: 9-9:45am; 11am-1:45pm

W: 9-9:45am; 11am-12pm; 1-1:45pm

F: 9-9:45am; 11am-3pm

and by appointment

My office telephone: (678) 839-4745
English/Philosophy telephone: (678) 839-4848

 

*All email communication must be conducted from your official UWG email account. Students are obligated to check their UWG email accounts on a regular basis and to ensure that their mailboxes do not become full.

 

UWG Severe Weather Policy

 

DESCRIPTION: This course examines ethical questions that can arise for individuals working in law, medicine, and business. To provide a general theoretical background for these questions, we will also examine normative ethical theories such as utilitarianism, Kantianism, and virtue ethics.

 

 

LEARNING OUTCOMES: By the end of the semester, each student will be able to

·         define the technical terms (philosophical and otherwise) introduced in the course;

·         describe the central theories within normative ethics;

·         discuss selected moral issues relevant to the legal profession (such as the normative theory that best accounts for the ethical obligations of lawyers; the distinctive role of the lawyer and the difference between role-morality and general morality; the conflict between one’s duty to the court and one’s duty to one’s client) and assess arguments relevant to those issues;

·         discuss selected moral issues relevant to the medical professions (such as requests to die; the treatment of patients in comas and PVS; abortion; human embryonic stem cell research and cloning; the distribution of health care in American society) and assess arguments relevant to those issues;

·         discuss selected moral issues relevant to business and the workplace (such as corporate social responsibility; employee rights, including the rights to work and to privacy; preferential hiring; sexual harassment) and assess arguments relevant to those issues.

These course-specific learning outcomes contribute to the departmental learning outcomes of the Philosophy Program by enabling students better to

·         ask philosophical questions;

·         incorporate philosophical positions in oral and written communications;

·         outline critically and analyze philosophical questions; and

·         exhibit critical thinking skills.

 

 

METHODS OF INSTRUCTION: Each day’s class will combine lecture and class discussion. Lectures are intended to elucidate and provide supplementary information relevant to the reading assignments and to form the basis for a vigorous class discussion of the concepts, theories and arguments at hand. Reading assignments will be made on a regular basis, and some day’s assignments will be lengthy. In order to benefit fully from lectures and to participate meaningfully in class discussion, it is a must that you set aside adequate time for each reading and to finish that reading before the class for which it is assigned.

 

 

REQUIRED TEXTS:

 

There are two required textbooks, each of which are available for sale at UWG’s bookstore:

1.       Gregory Pence, Medical Ethics: Accounts of Ground-Breaking Cases, 6th ed., McGraw-Hill, 2011.

2.       Joseph DesJardins, An Introduction to Business Ethics, 3rd ed., McGraw-Hill, 2009.

 

You will also need to download several articles that are on electronic reserve at the Ingram Library course reserves page for this class [http://www.westga.edu/library/ -- click on “Course Reserves” tab; you will need the password I provide in class]

1.       Michael Milde, “Legal Ethics: Why Aristotle Might Be Helpful,” Journal of Social Philosophy 33:1 (2002) 45-66.

2.       Richard Wasserstrom, “Lawyers as Professionals: Some Moral Issues,” Human Rights 5 (1975-76) 1-24.

3.       Richard Wasserstrom, “Roles and Morality,” in The Good Lawyer, ed. David Luban, Totowa, NJ, Rowan & Allanheld, 1983, pp.25-37.

4.       Monroe Freedman, “Professional Responsibility of the Criminal Defense Lawyer,” Michigan Law Review 64:8 (1966) 1469-84.

5.       James Rachels, “Euthanasia, Killing and Letting Die,” in Medical Responsibility: Paternalism, Informed Consent, and Euthanasia, ed. Wade L. Robison and Michael S. Pritchard, Clifton, NJ: Humana Press, 1979, pp.153-69.

6.       D. W. Haslett, “Moral Taxonomy and Rachels’ Thesis,” Public Affairs Quarterly 10 (1996) 291-306.

7.       Robert Lane, “Safety, Identity and Consent: A Limited Defense of Reproductive Human Cloning,” Bioethics 20:3 (2006) 125-35.

8.       Kai Nielsen, “Autonomy, Equality and a Just Health Care System,” International Journal of Applied Philosophy 4 (1989) 39-44.

 

Lecture notes. For some (but not all) class meetings, I will post my own lecture notes for that day on the class web site; I expect students to study these notes on a regular basis.

 

 

In addition to those required texts, there are blogs on medical, business and legal ethics that I encourage you to read. Links to these are on the class website.

 

 

EVALUATION

·         Three in-class examinations, including a comprehensive final exam (20% each = 60% total). Mixed format. See course schedule below for tentative dates.

·         Pop quizzes on reading assignments (10%). We will have at least 12 pop quizzes. Only the 10 quizzes on which you do best will count toward your grade (i.e., I will drop at least two quizzes). The number and difficulty of questions on each quiz will vary. They are intended to motivate you to complete reading assignments on time and to read attentively.

·         Term paper (30%). Minimum length: 2,500 words, due no later than Monday November 29. Details about this assignment will be given later in the semester. You must submit a term paper proposal for my approval by no later than Sunday October 10. You must submit a draft of at least 1,250 words by no later than Sunday October 24.

·         Class participation does not contribute to your final grade in any fixed way, but I will consider giving a borderline student the next highest grade if his or her contributions to class discussions warrant my doing so.

·         GRADING SCALE:

100 – 90.1%  A        90.0 – 80.1%  B             80.0 – 70.1%  C             70.0 – 60.1%  D             60.0 - 0%   F

 

 

HONORS POLICY

·         Any student wishing to receive honors credit for this course must get the approval of the professor and complete all the necessary paperwork within the first two weeks of class. No honors forms will be signed after this point.

 

 

ATTENDANCE, FOOD, CELLPHONES, ETC.

·         You are permitted to miss six class meetings (two weeks worth of class) with no effect on your grade. Beginning with your seventh absence, you will lose three points from your final average for every class meeting you miss. This policy applies to the first week of class, even for days on which you have not yet registered for the class. I will make exceptions for absences necessitated by UWG-sponsored events or by other circumstances that were absolutely outside your control. However, I will make these exceptions only if ALL of your absences can be accounted for in one of these ways (e.g., if you miss seven classes and you have documented, acceptable reasons for missing only six classes, then your seventh absence will still count against you, no matter the reason for that absence, even if it is for a UWG-sponsored event). Documentation will be required in all cases in which I make an exception to this absence policy. Do not squander the six absences you are allowed: they are to be saved for when you must be absent, not to be burned through when you simply don’t feel like coming to class.

·         Students who miss 12 or more class meetings (four weeks, or one month, worth of classes) will receive a grade of “F.” In this case the reason for your absences is irrelevant, even if many of your absences are necessitated by participation in UWG-sponsored events. If participating in UWG-sponsored events will require that you miss one month’s worth of class meetings, you should drop this class immediately, before the end of the drop-add session. If you are unable to attend class for a month due to medical reasons, a family emergency, or any other reason, you should withdraw from class; if the withdrawal date has passed, you should apply for a hardship withdrawal from all of your classes.

·         An early departure or late arrival may be counted as an absence, depending on the circumstances. I will decide in each case whether an early departure or a late arrival counts as an absence. If you know before class that you will not be able to stay for the entire class session, please inform me of this before class and sit as close to the door as possible, so as to be minimally distracting when you leave.

·         Leaving the classroom while class is in session (e.g., to visit the restroom) is both disrespectful and distracting. Do not leave the room during class unless it is essential that you do so.

·         Do not study material from other classes while this class is in session. While you are in this class, I expect your attention to be focused on it rather than on your other courses.

·         Do not eat while class is in session (drinks are OK).

·         You must keep all cell phones, iPods, and other electronic devices off during class; this implies that you may not send text messages during class.

·         You may use a laptop computer to take notes during class, but I reserve the right to change this policy during the semester if your laptop use becomes distracting to me or to other students, or if you abuse this privilege by looking at material during class that has nothing to do with class.

 

 

DISRUPTIVE BEHAVIOR

·         UWG defines disruptive behavior as follows: “Disruptive student behavior is student behavior in a classroom or other learning environment (to include both on and off-campus locations and to include online learning environments, about which more detail is provided by the Office for Distance Education), which disrupts the educational process. Disruptive behavior for this purpose is determined by the instructor, but such determination will be based upon behavior that includes, but is not limited to, verbal or physical threats, repeated obscenities, unreasonable interference with class discussion, making/receiving personal phone calls, text messages or pages during class, excessive tardiness, leaving and entering class frequently in the absence of notice to instructor of illness or other extenuating circumstances, and persisting in disruptive personal conversations with other class members.” I will ask students who engage in any of these behaviors to leave the classroom.

 

 

MISSED TESTS / LATE PAPERS / EXTRA CREDIT:

·         If you know that you will need to miss class on a day on which a test is scheduled (for example, due to a UWG sponsored event), you must let me know about your absence as far in advance as possible so that we can schedule another day and time for you to take the test (or a make-up test). If you miss a test without receiving my explicit permission beforehand and making arrangements for a make-up test, you will be permitted to take a make-up test if and only if one of the following conditions applies: (a) Your absence was due to illness or injury serious enough to require professional medical care and which prevented you from contacting me before the test; or (b) Your absence was due to other extenuating circumstances beyond your control. I will determine on a case-by-case basis what constitutes "extenuating circumstances beyond your control." You may be required to provide documentation pertaining to your absence before you are allowed to take a make-up test. Make-up tests will usually be longer and more difficult than the original test that you missed.

·         You may turn in your term paper late ONLY IF you have made arrangements with me beforehand and I have given you explicit permission.

·         Extra-credit work will not be given under any circumstances.

·         Work completed for other courses will not be accepted in this course.

 

 

RELEVANT INFORMATION FROM THE UNDERGRADUATE CATALOG:

·         "each student is responsible for everything which happens in class and is responsible for making specific arrangements with the instructor for the work missed, including that missed during illness or university-sponsored activities"

·         "any student who is unable to continue attendance in class should either drop the course, withdraw from the University, or make appropriate arrangements with the instructors"

·         "any student who must be absent for more than three successive days is required to notify the Student Development Center, Parker Hall, telephone 770-836-6428."

·         "Students who do not intend to remain in a course must drop the course before the end of the official drop/add period. Failure to drop a course during the drop/add period may result in grades of F in courses not attended."

·         Academic Honor. "At West Georgia, the student is expected to achieve and maintain the highest standards of academic honesty and excellence. Not only does academic honesty preserve the integrity of both the student and the institution, but it is also essential in gaining a true education. The West Georgia student, therefore, pledges not to lie, cheat or steal in the pursuit of his or her studies and is encouraged to report those who do." Students who commit plagiarism (using someone else’s words or ideas without attribution of credit) will receive an “F” for the entire course and may be reported to the office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs for additional action.

 

 

 

COURSE SCHEDULE: PROFESSIONAL ETHICS (PHIL 4120)

 

THE FOLLOWING SCHEDULE IS TENTATIVE AND MAY CHANGE AS THE SEMESTER PROGRESSES. THIS INCLUDES TEST DATES AND DUE DATES FOR PAPERS, WHICH ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE. If the class finds a specific topic especially interesting and/or difficult, then we may spend more than the allotted time on that topic. I will maintain an up-to-date version of the course schedule on the class web site. If you miss class, it is your responsibility to keep up with test dates, due dates, and reading assignments, either by checking the class web site or contacting me directly.

 

An asterisk ("*") indicates that the reading is on electronic reserve at the Ingram Library website (go to http://www.westga.edu/library/ and click on the “Course Reserves” tab; you will need the password I gave you in class).

 

Aug.

Topic

reading due

papers due/tests

13 F

Introduction to the course

--

--

16 M

An overview of normative ethics

--

pop quiz possible

18 W

Legal Ethics and Deontology

*Milde, “Legal Ethics” 45-51

pop quiz possible

20 F

Legal Ethics and Consequentialism

*Milde, “Legal Ethics” 52-54

pop quiz possible

23 M

Legal Ethics and Virtue Ethics

*Milde, “Legal Ethics” 55-60

pop quiz possible

25 W

Concepts of Law

*Milde, “Legal Ethics” 60-64

pop quiz possible

27 F

Lawyers and Role-Defined Morality

*Wasserstrom, “Lawyers as Professionals” 1-15

pop quiz possible

30 M

Lawyers and Role-Defined Morality

*Wasserstrom, “Lawyers as Professionals” 15-24

pop quiz possible

 

Sep.

Topic

reading due

papers due/tests

1 W

Lawyers and Role-Defined Morality

*Wasserstrom, “Roles and Morality” 25-33

pop quiz possible

3 F

Lawyers and Role-Defined Morality

*Wasserstrom, “Roles and Morality” 33-37

pop quiz possible

6 M

LABOR DAY – no classes

--

--

8 W

Criminal Defense and Honesty

*Freedman, “Professional Responsibility” 1469-74

pop quiz possible

10 F

Criminal Defense and Honesty

*Freedman, “Professional Responsibility” 1474-78

pop quiz possible

13 M

Criminal Defense and Honesty

*Freedman, “Professional Responsibility” 1478-84

pop quiz possible

15 W

Review for Test 1

--

pop quiz possible

17 F

--

--

TEST 1

20 M

Class does not meet; Dr. Lane is out of town. To replace this class meeting, watch “Dax’s Story: A Severely Burned Man’s Thirty-Year Odyssey,” URL = < http://www.uwtv.org/programs/displayevent.aspx?rID=3619&fID=567 >. Watch this AFTER doing the reading for Wednesday Sept.22: “Requests to Die,” chapter 1 of Pence, Medical Ethics)

22 W

Death & Dying: Requests to Die

Pence ch.1 (all)

pop quiz possible, on Pence ch.1 and/or “Dax’s Story” video

24 F

Death & Dying: Comas & PVS

Pence ch.2 (all)

pop quiz possible

27 M

Death & Dying: Physician Assisted Suicide

Pence ch.3 (all)

pop quiz possible

29 W

Death & Dying: Active vs. Passive Euthanasia

*Rachels, “Euthanasia, Killing and Letting Die”

pop quiz possible

 

 

Oct.

Topic

reading due

papers due/tests

1 F

Death & Dying: Active vs. Passive Euthanasia

*Haslett, “Moral Taxonomy and Rachels’ Thesis …”

pop quiz possible

4 M

Beginnings of Life: Abortion

Pence ch.4 (all)

pop quiz possible

6 W

Beginnings of Life: Assisted Reproduction & Multiple Births

Pence ch.5 (all)

pop quiz possible

8 F

Class does not meet; Dr. Lane out of town. Spend this time working on your term paper PROPOSAL, which you must email to me by no later than 5pm on Sunday October 10. [instructions.]

11 M

Beginnings of Life: Embryos & Stem Cells

Pence ch.6 (117-29)

pop quiz possible

13 W

Beginnings of Life: Cloning

Pence ch.6 (130-38)

pop quiz possible

15 F

FALL BREAK – no classes

18 M

Beginnings of Life: Cloning

*Lane, “Safety, Identity & Consent” (125-32)

pop quiz possible

20 W

Beginnings of Life: Cloning

*Lane, “Safety, Identity & Consent” (133-35)

pop quiz possible

22 F

Class does not meet; Dr. Lane out of town. Spend this time working on your term paper DRAFT, which you must email to me by no later than 5pm on Sunday October 24. [instructions.]

25 M

Medicine & Inequality

Pence ch.16 (310-22)

pop quiz possible

27 W

Medicine & Inequality

Pence ch.16 (322-29)

pop quiz possible

29 F

Medicine & Inequality

*Nielsen, “Autonomy, Equality and a Just Health Care System”

pop quiz possible

 

Nov.

Topic

reading due

papers due

1 M

review and catch-up

--

pop quiz possible

3 W

--

--

TEST 2

5 F

Introduction to Business Ethics

DesJardins ch.1 (1-16)

pop quiz possible

8 M

Corporate Social Responsibility

DesJardins ch.3 (45-53)

pop quiz possible

10 W

Corporate Social Responsibility: Utilitarianism

DesJardins ch.3 (53-58)

pop quiz possible

12 F

Corporate Social Responsibility: Private Property & the Moral Minimum

DesJardins ch.3 (58-64)

pop quiz possible

15 M

Corporate Social Responsibility: Stakeholder Theory

DesJardins ch.3 (64-70)

pop quiz possible

17 W

Employee Rights & the Right to Work

DesJardins ch.6 (113-20)

pop quiz possible

19 F

Employment at Will vs. Due Process

DesJardins ch.6 (120-25)

pop quiz possible

22 M

Privacy in the Workplace

DesJardins ch.6 (132-37)

pop quiz possible

24 W

THANKSGIVING HOLIDAY: NO CLASSES

--

--

26 F

THANKSGIVING HOLIDAY: NO CLASSES

--

--

29 M

Diversity and Discrimination: Preferential Hiring

DesJardins ch.11 (233-53)

Term Paper Deadline [instructions]

 

Dec.

Topic

reading due

papers due

1 W

Diversity and Discrimination: Sexual Harassment in the Workplace

DesJardins ch.11 (253-58)

pop quiz possible

3 F

Review / wrap-up

--

pop quiz possible

8 W

COMPREHENSIVE FINAL EXAM: Wednesday December 8, 8-10am

 

 

 

IMPORTANT DATES:    August 12-18                Drop/Add and late registration

October 1                     Graduation application deadline for spring 2011

October 6                     Last Day to withdraw with grade of "W"

December 3                 Last Day of MWF classes