Should I Eat My Pet? And Other Moral Problems (Full)

Michelle Mahlik, Lecturer

Course: PHILOS 192 SEM 001
Class Number: 53061
Credits: 3 HU
Time: MW 11:00 AM - 12:15 PM
Place: CRT 607

Course Description:

This course will explore the moral concerns of modern living. What does it mean to be “good”? Where do my moral rules come from? Is selfishness really so bad, or can it be a virtue? Is there a relationship between happiness and morality? Are there universal moral laws that should be followed by everyone everywhere? Or should we judge moral actions only by their consequences? What is our responsibility to our planet and other people?

This course will examine traditional moral theories and apply them to contemporary questions of animal rights, environmental issues, privacy, human rights, consumerism, and other concerns that we face each day.


Course Format

This course will be run as a small seminar with an emphasis on active discussion and sharing ideas. Students will be encouraged to openly share their own views and evaluate the foundations of their own moral belief systems. Reading assignments will be short, but important to class discussion and should be completed before class periods. Work assignments will be in the form of short papers and a presentation, with emphasis placed on improving professional writing skills.

Reading Material

James Rachels and Stuart Rachels, The Elements of Moral Philosophy, 7th Edition

Who is the Instructor?

Michelle Mahlik received her M.A. degree in Philosophy from UWM in 2003. In addition to teaching philosophy, her philosophical interests are expressed through international travel, non-profit work in Africa and Asia, wilderness hiking and camping, art (looking, not making), and proving to her rescued dog, Ella, that human beings are not so bad.