The Really Big Questions-Peter Singer’s Ethics in the Real World

Facilitator:       Mac MacNeill, 377-2012,                                        Dates:              Thursdays, January 11 - March 1, 2018 Time:                9:30 AM - 11:30 AM                         Text:               Ethics in the Real World, Peter Singer ($15).                                                       Presentations:  No presentations are required, just your intelligent participation in the discussions.

Peter Singer is an Australian philosopher who teaches at Princeton University. He was recently chosen as one of the top three influential thinkers in the world. His specialty is practical ethics, the ethical situations that real people confront in the real world. He has written books on animal rights, the global poor, and our environmental responsibilities and short essays on many other topics, often for the New York Times.

Singer’s Ethics in the Real W orld is a collection of his short essays. Each of these essays is written for a general reader; no deep understanding of philosophy is needed. Each week we will read a few of Singer’s essays and discuss them in class, focusing on two of them as Really Big Questions.  

Some of the big questions will be:

When should we show mercy to wrongdoers?

Is there a moral case for meat?

Should the buying and selling of kidneys be legalized?

Should virtual vices be controlled?

Should political figures expect to have a private life?

What do we owe the global poor?

Should Colorado’s end of life act cover Alzheimer’s disease?

Singer’s book Ethics in the Real W orld is required. We will cover half the book in this course and the second half of the book in a future course.

Join us as we explore some of the most interesting questions of our time.