• Course Information
    Section Number: 001
    Credit Hours: 3
    Place: Online (two exams will be taken on campus)

    Instructor Information
    Name: Joel Schmit
    Office: Beeville Campus, C-157
    Office Hours: Mondays and Wednesdays 12:30pm-4:30pm, Thursdays 9:30am-11:30am, and by appointment
    Office Phone: (361) 354-2323
    Email: jschmit@coastalbend.edu

    Textbook Information
    Title: The Elements of Moral Philosophy, by James Rachels, edited by Stuart Rachels
    Publisher: McGraw Hill
    Edition: 7th or 6th
    ISBN-10: 0078038243

    Course Description
    In this course, we will study many of the important ethical theories in the history of philosophy and apply those theories to contemporary moral problems. The purpose of the course is to give each student the opportunity to think about and discuss ethical questions and answers with their fellow students while being guided by an instructor. Since this is an online course, the discussions will take place exclusively on this website. Students will also be given the opportunity to write about the ethical theories and moral problems they encounter in the course, which enable them to develop the ability to formulate and express their thoughts in a coherent manner.

    Course Requirements
    This course will consist of a series of reading assignments, quizzes, writing assignments, discussions, and exams, all organized into individual sections based on the chapters of the textbook we will be reading. You will complete roughly three sections per week for a total of ten sections. In addition to the coursework sections, there will be one exam during the semester, and a final exam at the end of the semester. The first exam will cover the coursework sections up to that point in the course. The final exam will be comprehensive.

    The two exams will be taken in person at the Testing Center of your respective campus site. You will have to make appointments for each exam ahead of time. Each exam will be available for an entire week in order to ensure that you will be able to fit it into your schedule. (Please contact me if you need to take the exam at a campus other than one of Coastal Bend College's campus sites.)

    Evaluation Methods
    Quizzes: 10%
    Writing Assignments: 10%
    Discussions: 10%
    Exams: 70%
    Grading Scale: 100 - 90% = A, 89 - 80% = B, 79 - 70% = C, 69 - 60% = D, 59 - 0% = F

    Student Learning Outcomes
    Students will know the historical origins of the basic ethical theories in philosophy.
    Students will understand and be able to explain those ethical theories.
    Students will be able to apply those ethical theories to contemporary moral problems.
    Students will be able to explain and point out the problems in those ethical theories that are fundamentally flawed.
    Students will learn how to read difficult philosophical texts, write basic philosophical essays, and discuss important philosophical problems. By doing so, they will improve their reading, writing, and discussion skills in general.

    Late Policy
    There will be an automatic one-day extension every week for the sections due. After this, late submissions will not be accepted.

    ADA Statement
    No qualified individual with a disability shall, by reason of such disability, be excluded from participation in or be denied the benefits of the services, programs, or activities of the College District, or be subjected to discrimination by the College District. Nor shall the College District exclude or otherwise deny equal services, programs, or activities to an individual because of the known disability of an individual with whom the individual is known to have a relationship or association. 42 U.S.C. 12132; 28 CFR 35.130(g)

    Academic Integrity
    Each student is charged with notice and knowledge of the contents and provisions of Coastal Bend College’s rules and regulations concerning student conduct. All students shall obey the law, show respect for properly constituted authority, and observe correct standards of conduct. Scholastic dishonesty shall constitute a violation of these rules and regulations and is punishable as prescribed by Board policies. Scholastic dishonesty shall include, but not be limited to, cheating on a test, plagiarism, and collusion. (See the Student Handbook for further explanation of Scholastic Dishonesty.)

    Copyright Law and International Property Rights Policy
    Copyright is the right of an author, artist, composer or other creator of a work of authorship to control the use of his or her work by others. Protection extends to literary works, musical works, dramatic works, pantomimes and choreographic works, pictorial and graphic works, sculpture, motion pictures and other audiovisual works, sound recordings and architectural works. Generally speaking, a copyrighted work may not be reproduced by others without the copyright owner's permission. The public display or performance of copyrighted works is similarly restricted. Generally, the unauthorized reproduction, performance or distribution of a copyrighted work is copyright infringement and may subject the infringer to civil and criminal penalties. The Fair Use Doctrine outlines exceptions to this Law and is outlined in Coastal Bend College Policy, CT (Legal).

    Coastal Bend College, its faculty, students and employees must comply with Copyright Law. Detailed information on Copyright Law and Intellectual Property Rights is available in Coastal Bend College Policy CT (Legal) and CT (Local). Questions regarding this information should be directed to the Librarian of the College or the Public Relations Office.

    Getting Started
    Now that you have read through the syllabus and know what to expect from the course, you can get started on the required assignments for the week. To the left, you will find a link called Section One, which is under the heading "Course Content." It will give you the assignments for the first section. Here is what you will do for each section throughout the semester:

    INTRODUCTION: Read through the short introduction that I have provided for the section.

    READING ASSIGNMENT: Do the reading assignment. Read slowly and carefully, taking notes for yourself about the most important ideas and arguments in the chapter. If you have any questions about what you are reading, write them down and either attempt to answer them yourself, or save them and ask me through an email, or post them to the discussion board.

    QUIZ: After you have completed the reading assignment, click on the first quiz. Complete the quiz in the time allowed. Each quiz consists of five questions about the reading assignment. You will have ten minutes to complete the quiz. You may, of course, use your book during the quiz to help you answer the questions, but it will be difficult to succeed if you do not complete the reading assignment beforehand.

    WRITING ASSIGNMENT: There is in each section a writing assignment that you will have to complete. Each writing assignment will take some work and some thought and should be at least four hundred words in length. That's roughly one to two pages long. Use a word processing document in order to make sure that your writing assignment is the required length. You will have to attach it as a file when submitting it. Always use your own words, and if you would like to quote from the book, or anywhere else, always use quotation marks and acknowledge your sources (if you are unsure how to acknowledge your sources, by all means send me an email).

    DISCUSSIONS: For each section there are a series of discussion threads dealing with certain questions that I have posed for the class. Make sure to respond at least two times to each discussion thread: at least once to the question I ask and at least once to someone else's response to the question I ask. I will ask three questions for each section. That is a total of six responses that you will be required to post for every section. Each response should express your own ideas and be substantive. If you agree with someone's post, you will need to explain why. It is not enough to simply write, "I agree!" or, "You are absolutely right," or even, "You are dead wrong!" You can agree or disagree, but you always have to explain why. Otherwise, you will not get credit for the response.

    DUE DATES: The assignments for each section will be due on Sunday evenings at 11:59pm. Here are the due dates, which can also be found in the Calendar to the left under the "Course Tools" section:

    Section One: Sunday, September 8th
    Section Two: Sunday, September 15th
    Section Three: Sunday, September 22nd
    Section Four: Sunday, September 29th
    Section Five: Sunday, October 6th
    MIDTERM EXAM: Available Monday, October 14th through Thursday, October 17th (including Friday, October 18th only if your Testing Center is open on Fridays)
    Section Seven (yes, we will skip Chapter Six of the book): Sunday, October 20th
    Section Eight: Sunday, October 27th
    Section Nine: Sunday, November 3rd
    Section Ten: Sunday, November 10th
    Section Twelve (yes, we will skip Chapter Eleven of the book): Sunday, November 17th
    FINAL EXAM: Available Monday, December 2nd through Thursday, December 5th (including Friday, December 6th only if your Testing Center is open on Fridays)

    New sections will be posted on Sunday evenings at 11:59pm, the same time that old sections close. Make sure that you give yourself plenty of time each week to complete the sections. If you have any questions about any of this, please contact me by email.

    Coastal Bend College does not discriminate on the basis of race, creed, color, national origin, gender, age or disability.