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Minor

Ethics and Contemporary Social Issues

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  • Program requirements
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A complementary minor is taken in addition to a student’s main program. There is no direct admission in a complementary program; the choice is made after admission and registration in a bachelor program.

Compulsory courses (12 credits)

PHI1105 Introduction to Critical Thinking
PHI2141 Fundamentals of Democracy and Governance
PHI2146 Social Justice
PHI2182 Philosophical Anthropology

Optional courses (18 credits)

12 credits from:

PHI2111 History of Western Ethics
PHI2121 Ethics and New Bio Technologies
PHI2142 Utilitarian Ethics
PHI2143 Deontological Ethics
PHI2144 Virtue Ethics
PHI2185 Ethics and Education
PHI3133 Feminist Ethics

6 credits from :

PHI3134 Environmental and Animal Ethics
PHI3129 Ethics, AI and Big Data
PHI3307 Ethics, Multiculturalism and Immigration
PHI3308 Ethics and Public Service
PHI3309 Ethics and Religion

Some courses have specific prerequisites.

A course that is part of a bachelor degree or a major cannot count as an optional course toward a minor

PHI 1105 - Introduction to Critical Thinking

Explores the various sides of Critical Thinking: the nature of arguments, common errors in reasoning as well as evaluating evidence and information. Enables students to acquire and develop research and writing skills.

PHI 2111 - History of Western Ethics

When offered, this course would take one of the following three forms: I. Ancient and Medieval Ethics: Greek, Hellenistic, and Roman Ethics. Selection from Plato’s Dialogues, and Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics. Selection from the Epicureans, Stoics, Neoplatonists, and Aquinas. II. Early Modern Ethics: Renaissance Humanists, Hobbes, Descartes, Spinoza, Locke, and Hume. III. Post-Kantian Ethics. Selections from Hegel, Schopenhauer, Nietzsche, J.S. Mill, T.H. Green. Selections from Moore, the positivists and post-modernists. Western ethics may be compared and contrasted to selected non-Western traditions.

PHI 2121 - Ethics and New Biotechnologies

Impact of robotics and new technologies on the patient-healthcare practitioner relationship, medical interventions, the manner in which we perceive our own bodies, and transhumanism.

PHI 2141 - Fundamentals of Democracy and Governance

Study of the fundamentals of democracy and governance, and of its principal thinkers and critics, starting from Plato. Distinction between ancient and modern forms of democracy. Overview of the principles of political liberalism underpinning contemporary democracies. Comparison between democracy and other forms of government. Study of different models of governance and of the implications of a managerial conception of politics.

PHI 2142 - Utilitarian Ethics

General history of utilitarianism, with readings from main thinkers in the tradition from its beginnings up to the present day (Bentham, Mill, Sidgwick, Singer, Lazari-Radek). Study of applied dimensions of this approach, as well as of its limitations.

PHI 2143 - Deontological Ethics

General history of deontology, with readings from main thinkers in this tradition from its beginnings up to the present day (Kant, Ross, O’Neill). Study of applied dimensions of this approach, as well as of its limitations.

PHI 2144 - Virtue Ethics

General history of virtue ethics, with readings from main thinkers in this tradition from its beginnings to the present day (Aristotle, MacIntyre, Nussbaum, non-western perspectives). Study of applied dimensions of this approach, as well as of its limitations.

PHI 2146 - Social Justice

Explores, from the perspective of social justice theories, issues such as social inequalities, poverty, refugees, war, and environmental degradation. Examines criticisms of this perspective.

PHI 2182 - Philosophical Anthropology

Study of different philosophical conceptions of the human being.

PHI 2185 - Ethics and Education

Examination of the philosophical and psychological research on the formation of ethical judgments. Relationships between judgment, feeling, and moral action. Examination of how various learning theories can be incorporated into teaching ethics to children, how ethics may be taught to children both inside and outside a religious context. Education as a pillar of democratic citizenship.

PHI 3129 - Ethics, AI and Big Data

Study of emerging ethical issues and dilemmas prompted by the Internet and related technologies. Range of topics that could include privacy, cyber-bullying, algorithms governance, control society, accessibility issues, and the monetization of data. Foundations of artificial intelligence, and ethical and public policy issues linked to emerging and possible artificial intelligence technologies.

PHI 3133 - Feminist Ethics

Examination of the development of critical theories and new ethical models in different feminist currents. How these ethics take into consideration the marginalized voices of oppressed groups.

PHI 3134 - Environmental and Animal Ethics

Explores ethical issues concerning non-human animals and the environment, such as harvesting non-human animals for food production and the social problems arising from global warming.

PHI 3307 - Ethics, Multiculturalism and Immigration

This course examines the relation of ethics, multiculturalism, and immigration, studies the questions regarding the possibility of a multicultural ethics, and addresses the issues and debates arising from cultural relativism and identity politics in the functioning of modern societies.

PHI 3308 - Ethics and Public Service

Ethical issues relating to the public sector. Definitions of the common good and of public service. Study of the role of public policy in the functioning of various states and governments, and the implications of their coherence or conflict in the social, political and economic realms.

PHI 3309 - Ethics and Religion

This course examines the philosophical foundations of various ethical and religious traditions and addresses the possibility of their convergence in modern liberal societies.





Information for future students

Saint Paul University

223 Main Street
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
K1S 1C4

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613-236-1393

613-782-3005

info@ustpaul.ca

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