Reaching Others University at Buffalo - The State University of New York
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Summer Session

COURSE DESCRIPTIONS

Summer 2015 Philosophy courses are conducted entirely on-line, including any exams the course might include. At no time will any course require students to be on campus.

Each course title listed below is linked to the HUB course registration window, updated nightly.

Ariane Nomikos
Online; 05/26/2015 - 07/03/2015
Class #: 11516

This course will introduce students to some of the central questions and debates in philosophy.  What (if anything) can we know about the world we inhabit, and how?  What does it mean to have knowledge?  How do minds relate to bodies?  What is consciousness?  Is freedom necessary for moral responsibility?  Do we have reasons to be good?  What is the extent of our ethical responsibilities to human and non-human animals?  Under what conditions could a society be properly described as just?  Philosophers have grappled with questions of this sort for centuries, and so will we.  By examining various historical and contemporary approaches to such questions, the importance of philosophical reflection for everyday life should become evident.

Brandon Rudoff
Online; 07/06/2015 - 08/14/2015
Class #: 12508

This course will serve as an introduction to the field of ethics and the study of morality. Here, we will examine questions such as: How ought we to act? What makes an action morally right/wrong? As human beings, what responsibilities do we have to ourselves and those around us? Are there objective moral facts in the world? To accomplish this, we will primarily survey the moral theories of Utilitarianism, Deontology, and Virtue Ethics. In conjunction with this, we may also cover relevant currents ethical discussions, such as abortion, animal rights, euthanasia, and climate change. Grading for this course will be based upon discussion and participation in an online setting, quizzes, and a final essay assignment.

John Beverley
Online; 05/26/2015 - 07/03/2015
Class #: 12509

"Most of us aren't careful thinkers. We tend to take mental shortcuts and follow instinctive cues rather than reason attentively. Unfortunately, such shortcuts and cues often lead to incorrect conclusions. I imagine you can empathize with being swept up by your emotions, or perhaps being confident that the feeling in your "gut" will lead you to the truth. For instance, if you are vegetarian, then arguments in favor of eating meat may just feel wrong. However, I also imagine you can empathize with the experience of your "gut" being wrong. Untrained reactions to statistical data, for example, are notoriously unreliable. One goal of this course is learning to avoid gut reactions and pre-wired tendencies.

A second goal of the course is learning to reason correctly. To that end, we will be analyzing material from news articles and contemporary debates. These two goals converge as some of the material covered may evoke passionate responses if you are inclined to certain views. Putting these goals together then, this course will result in your learning to neutrally evaluate arguments for and against positions, and become a more careful thinker."

David Limbaugh
Online; 05/26/2015 - 07/03/2015
Class #: 10714

“What is bioethics?”  Great question.  Bioethics is focused on humans and the issues that emerge in conducting biomedical and clinical research, healthcare, and the policies that ought to govern medicine, nursing, allied health, and the related biomedical sciences.  This course is about making ethical decisions in medicine.  We will explore what it means to live and die well, and the meaning of value in the context of medicine.  This is for the purpose of building a framework with which we can think well about situations in medical ethics.  We will accomplish this goal by diving into interesting articles, exploring television medical dramas, and doing a bit of writing.

Jake Monaghan
Online; 05/26/2015 - 07/03/2015
Class #: 11518

In this class, we’ll focus on ethical issues that arise in the context of medicine. We start with a brief section on the nature of morality, and a method for making ethical decisions developed specifically for the healthcare professional. Next we turn to the issue of moral status. Who, or what, has moral status, and why? These considerations are applied to the debate about the permissibility of abortion. We then consider ethical problems about death. Is suicide morally permissible? Is it permissible for doctors to euthanize terminal patients? Should we honor advanced directives when patients have become severely demented and express the desire to receive lifesaving medical treatment? The course concludes by considering a topic determined by class vote. Readings are made available for free on UBlearns.