University of Vermont

UVM Course Directory

POLS 245 – Ethics and Public Policy

Credits: 3.00

Course Description: Over the course of the semester, we explore some of the most difficult moral questions that confront citizens and policymakers today. Topics include the ethics of war and torture, abortion and euthanasia, hate speech, immigration, and other related issues. Prerequisite: POLS 041, PHIL 010, PHIL 141, or SOC 101.

Section Description: This course explores some of the difficult moral questions that arise in American public policy today. How much economic inequality is morally tolerable, and how should resources and opportunities be distributed among American citizens? Should we do away with inheritance, for example, or provide a universal basic income? How should abortion be regulated? Should prostitution, hard drugs, and doctor-assisted suicide be legal? Should hate speech be protected by law? What obligations do we have, if any, to people who want to immigrate to America? The course invites you to think carefully and systematically about these and other moral questions, using the tools of moral and political philosophy, and to form your own educated opinions. For each issue we discuss, the readings will present several different and often opposing arguments, each of which you will be asked to evaluate critically.

CRN: 14795

Section: A

Enrolled/Seats: 20/20

Days Time Location
TR 14:50 - 16:05 OLD MILL 523

Instructor(s): Alex M. Zakaras

Meeting Dates: 13 Jan 2020 - 01 May 2020