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authorSean Whitton <>2020-12-08 08:40:41 -0700
committerSean Whitton <>2020-12-08 08:40:41 -0700
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Winter syllabus
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+# PPEL/PA/PHIL 205 Winter session:<br/>The Ethics and Economics of Wealth Creation
+In this course we seek to apply philosophical methodology to the
+ethical issues that arise from wealth creation in a globalised world.
+You will gain an understanding of the relevant ethical and economic
+issues, and improve your ability to philosophically analyse the issues
+in writing.
+# Learning objectives
+1. You read and gain an understanding of some representative texts in
+ historical and contemporary Western philosophy.
+2. You will study and explore core philosophical questions regarding wealth
+ creation in a globalised world.
+3. You will write and revise philosophical essays explaining and analysing the
+ views presented in the course reading material.
+# Learning outcomes
+1. You will be able to understand what an author means to say in difficult
+ philosophical texts, and demonstrate this understanding by answering
+ comprehension questions.
+2. You will be able to defend in depth your understanding and conception of
+ a philosophical topic in the writing of a philosophical essay.
+3. You will be able to identify and engage in distinctively philosophical
+ theorising about a number of topics, and express this understanding in
+ formulating the basic structure of your written answers.
+# Learning outcomes
+# Instructor
+* Sean Whitton `<>`
+* Virtual office: Zoom link available on D2L
+* Office hours: By appointment between 1pm and 4pm each day of the course, or
+ at other times if you are in a different timezone
+During the course, I expect to respond to all e-mails within 24 hours. Please
+do not expect a response sooner than 24 hours after you send your e-mail.
+Plan ahead.
+To be sure of an appointment in office hours, be sure to write before 5pm on
+the day before when you wish to attend.
+Please do not e-mail me if your question could be answered by reading the
+# Required Text
+*Creating Wealth: Ethical and Economic Perspectives (2nd ed.)*, edited by
+David Schmidtz and John Thrasher, published by Cognella. Please let me know
+if you have any difficulty obtaining this book. Please ensure you buy the
+second edition, not the older version. There will be additional readings on
+## Inclusive Access information
+- Course materials are being delivered digitally via D2L through the Inclusive
+ Access program.
+- Please access the material through D2L on the first day of class to make
+ sure that there are no issues with delivery so any problems can be addressed
+ quickly.
+- You automatically have access to the course materials FREE through 12/22/2020.
+- You must take action (even if you have not accessed the materials) to
+ opt-out if you do not wish to pay for the materials and choose to source the
+ content independently.
+- Deadline to opt-out is 12/22/2020.
+- If you do not opt-out and choose to retain your access, the cost of the
+ digital course materials will appear on your December Bursars account.
+- Please refer to the Inclusive Access FAQs at
+ for additional information.
+# Course Format and Teaching Methods
+The structure and content of the course will be as follows:
+1. There are three units.
+2. We will study one unit per week, roughly, but it's a bit complicated due to
+ Christmas and New Year:
+ - Unit 1 is 21st December to 29th December
+ - Unit 2 is 30th December to 6th January
+ - Unit 3 is 7th January to 11th January.
+3. Units 1 and 2 will contain
+ - five reading assignments; and
+ - four or five video lectures (posted throughout the week).
+4. Unit 3 will contain
+ - three reading assignments; and
+ - three video lectures (posted throughout the week).
+5. For each reading assignment I will post discussion questions.
+6. You should make **two discussion posts** during unit 1 and
+ **two discussion posts** during unit 2.
+ - one post should either:
+ + respond to my discussion questions; or
+ + post your own discussion question, and respond to it; and
+ - the other post should respond to another student's post.
+ - The two posts should be of similar lengths.
+7. You should make **one discussion post** during unit 3. You can
+ either:
+ - respond to my discussion questions; or
+ - post your own discussion question, and respond to it; or
+ - respond to another student's discussion contribution.
+8. On the final day of each unit there will be a **multiple-choice quiz** on
+ the content of the unit, due by 11:59pm on the final day of the unit.
+9. You should also **write a final paper** answering the essay prompt
+ I will post at the beginning of the final unit of the course.
+In a face-to-face class I can look at the faces of my students and
+judge how well they are following the material. Even if I asked each
+of you to send me a selfie for every day of the course, I can't make
+that kind of judgment over the Internet. So you need to let me know
+immediately if you think you're falling behind. I want to help you,
+but you need to keep me informed.
+You must have a reliable computer and Internet connection available to
+participate. I won't accept computer problems as an excuse for
+missing any deadlines---it's impossible for me to verify your claims.
+I recommend completing the reading assignments by the fourth day of each unit.
+Then you can spend the fifth day reviewing the parts you didn't understand
+before taking the quiz. Your schedule during each unit is up to you, though.
+I will provide further guidance on the final paper when I set the
+paper topics.
+# Late Registration
+Since this is a short winter session course, you cannot register after the
+first 48 hours of the course.
+# Course Communications
+News about the course will be posted on the D2L course homepage.
+Please enable D2L e-mail notifications and/or check the D2L course
+homepage regularly.
+I will hold Internet office hours using Zoom between 1pm MST and 4pm MST each
+day of the course. The Zoom link and passcode are available on D2L under
+"Content". You need to request a meeting the day before so I know to expect
+you. I can meet at other times if you're in a different timezone such that
+you can't make 1pm MST to 4pm MST. The password is available on D2L. At
+other times I will be available by e-mail. I will try to reply to all e-mails
+within 24 hours.
+"MST" means "Mountain Standard Time"---that's Tucson's timezone.
+# Grading
+## Scale
+- 90%+: grade A
+- 80%+: grade B
+- 70%+: grade C
+- 60%+: grade D
+- Less than 60%: grade E
+## Breakdown
+1. Unit 1 multiple choice quiz: 20%
+2. Unit 2 multiple choice quiz: 20%
+3. Unit 3 multiple choice quiz: 20%
+4. Participation in online discussions: 10%
+5. Final paper: 30%.
+# Rules
+1. Late work will not be accepted, except where mandated by university policy,
+ or where we have agreed, several days in advance, to extend your deadline.
+ It is your responsibility to contact me early enough, not my responsibility
+ to arrange an extension at the last minute. I really mean it. You'll
+ simply get a zero.
+2. The two papers and the paper draft must be submitted in PDF format, on
+ D2L. No Word documents, no Pages documents. **If you submit in the wrong
+ format, you will lose 10% of the points for that paper.** If you have any
+ doubt about your ability to convert to PDF, talk to me well in advance.
+ If you have D2L issues close to a deadline you may e-mail me the PDF
+ as proof you did it in time, but it cannot be graded until it has been
+ uploaded to D2L.
+3. You may go 10% above or below the word limit for a paper. Beyond that, you
+ will get a zero.
+4. There will be no extra credit.
+5. Please double-space, use one inch margins, and a size 12 font. Other than
+ that I do not care about your formatting choices, so long as you satisfy
+ the requirements of academic integrity.
+# General Information on Taking a Philosophy Course
+Philosophy is not like other subjects. Please review my notes on
+[[taking a philosophy course|philos/teaching/philos]].
+# Course Schedule
+## Unit 1: Ethics and Ethical Obligations to the Poor
+- Reading assignments for this unit:
+ 1. Singer: *Famine, Affluence and Morality*
+ 2. Schmidtz: *Islands in a Sea of Obligation*
+ 3. Hardin: *Tragedy of the Commons*
+ 4. Satz: *The Moral Limits of Markets: The Case of Human Kidneys*,
+ pp. 269--277 **only** (PDF on D2L)
+ 5. Goodin: *The Classic Case for Collectivization Restated*
+- Watch five video lectures.
+- Post two discussion contributions.
+- 29th December: unit 1 quiz due by 11:59pm.
+## Unit 2: Trade, Credit and Regulation
+- Reading assignments for this unit:
+ 1. Hayek: *The Use of Knowledge in Society*
+ 2. Zwolinski: *The Ethics of Price Gouging*
+ 3. "A fare shake", *The Economist*, 14th May 2016
+ 4. Smith: *The Wealth of Nations*, bk. I, ch. I **only**
+ 5. Lomasky: *Liberty after Lehman Brothers*
+- Watch four video lectures.
+- Post two discussion contribution.
+- 5th January: unit 2 quiz due by 11:59pm.
+## Unit 3: Property, Labour and Alienation
+- Reading assignments for this unit:
+ 1. Locke: from *Two Treatises of Government*
+ 2. Gaus: *The Idea and Ideal of Capitalism*
+ 3. Marx: *Alienation*
+- Watch three video lectures.
+- Post one discussion contribution.
+- 11th January: unit 3 quiz due by 11:59pm.
+- 12th January (last date of classes): final paper due by 11:59pm.
+[[!template id=uaboilerplate]]