PHIL 102 Contemporary Moral Issues • 5 Cr.


Provides philosophical consideration of some of the main moral problems of modern society and civilization such as abortion, euthanasia, war, and capital punishment. Topics vary. Fulfills social science or humanities credit at BC.


After completing this class, students should be able to:

  • Formulate, clarify and evaluate arguments.
  • Analyze and assess views that make ethics a matter of convention, including moral relativism and Divine Command Theory.
  • Explain and evaluate substantive ethical theories of right action such as utilitarianism and respect for persons, virtue ethics and the ethics of care.
  • Explain how substantive ethical theories including utilitarianism, respect for persons and the ethics of care incorporate the value of cultural diversity. Explain the ethical foundations for sustainability.
  • Apply substantive ethical theories including utilitarianism and respect for persons to a range of specific problem areas like the death penalty, physician-assisted suicide, animal rights, poverty, environmental protection, and free speech.
  • Write argumentative essays containing clear thesis claims, strong arguments for the theses, reasonable consideration of opposing views, and conforming to the presentation/writing standards set forth in the "BC Philosophy Writing Guidelines.
  • Explain and evaluate major theoretical approaches to social justice.
  • Apply theories of justice to explain problems of structural injustice such as racism, sexism, colonialism.