Ethics and Public Policy


Units: 6

Description: The first section of the mini-course will be devoted to a discussion of the nature of ethics and applied ethics. Here a framework useful in the ethical analysis of issues, problems and dilemmas in public life will be constructed. The second section of the course will demonstrate the usefulness of this framework in the analysis and evaluation of policy issues from a normative point of view. In this section, various arguments concerning the nature of the social ethics that form the background of policy debates also will be a focus in the mini-course. The course will consider: reproductive rights matters, end-of-life decisions, questions about free speech, social and economic justice and environmental considerations.

Learning Outcomes: 1. Identify relationships among ethics and public policy and develop a conscience of various ethical issues embedded in public policies, through case analysis, group discussion and lectures. 2. Have confidence in the ability to apply basic ethical concepts, principles and theory. 3. Defend positions on topics in ethics and public policy in both written and oral formats and prepare defensible ethical and normative judgments.