Ethics

Program Overview

The ethics minor not only helps prepare students for a variety of graduate programs such as law, medicine, and business, but also helps students explore important questions such as how ethics should interpret war, business practice and poverty.  

Minor Offered

  • Minor in ethics

Contact

Anne Osborne
Professor and Chairperson
North Hall 116
609-895-5455
osborne@rider.edu

Program Website:  Philosophy
Associated Department: Department of History and Philosophy

Related programs

Ethics Minor Requirements

(18 credits)

PHL 115Ethics3
PHL 360Contemporary Ethics3
One 400-level philosophy seminar3
Three philosophy electives including one at the 300-level or above9
Total Credits18

Courses and Descriptions

PHL 115 Ethics 3 Credits

A combined historical and systematic analysis of the problems of ethics. Such problems as the nature and meaning of moral values and judgments, moral responsibility and freedom, conscience and happiness, the good life, and the relativity of value, are explored through the writings of such philosophers as Plato, Aristotle, Aquinas, Kant, Mill, and Nietzsche. This course counts towards the fulfillment of the Disciplinary Perspectives element of the CLAS general education curriculum.

PHL 360 Contemporary Ethics 3 Credits

An examination of recent and contemporary challenges to traditional ethical theory including such movements as logical positivism, cultural relativism, feminism, environmentalism, multiculturalism, and postmodernism. Such problems as the meaning and cognitive status of value judgments, the relation between fact and value, the relativity of values, and how value judgments can be justified are considered.

PHL 402 Nietzsche and Nihilism 3 Credits

A seminar dealing with Nietzsche’s provocative ideas on Nihilism and the possibility of creating meaning, value, and truth for human existence. Many of his important works are read, analyzed, and critically discussed. Recent scholarly interpretations of Nietzsche’s philosophy are considered.

Prerequisite(s): any previous philosophy course or permission of instructor.

PHL 404 Philosophy of Wittgenstein 3 Credits

Seminar involving a concentrated study of Wittgenstein’s contributions to philosophy with special attention to his analysis of language, meaning, and mental concepts.

Prerequisite(s): any previous philosophy course or permission of instructor.

PHL 406 Philosophy of David Hume 3 Credits

Seminar involving a concentrated study of Hume’s contributions to philosophy, including his work on epistemology, metaphysics, ethics, philosophy of science, and philosophy of religion.

Prerequisite(s): any previous philosophy course or permission of instructor.

PHL 407 Philosophy of Hannah Arendt 3 Credits

Seminar involving a concentrated study of the philosophy of Hannah Arendt with special attention to her analysis of action, thought, and freedom.

Prerequisite(s): any previous philosophy course or permission of instructor.

PHL 408 The Philosophy of William James 3 Credits

Seminar involving a concentrated study of William James’ contributions to philosophy with special attention to his pragmatism, pluralism, and radical empiricism. Many of James’ philosophical works are read, analyzed, and critically discussed. Recent scholarly interpretations of James’ philosophy are considered.

PHL 418 Great Buddhist Thinkers 3 Credits

Concentrated study of a single Buddhist philosopher, emphasizing the systematic views of that philosopher across a range of philosophical issues. Through an examination of primary sources in translation and recent scholarship, students will investigate the views and arguments of one important figure from the Buddhist philosophical tradition on a variety of philosophical problems regarding knowledge, existence, consciousness, religion, and ethics.

PHL 490 Independent Study: Research and Creative Expression 1-4 Credits

Independent Research and Study allows juniors and seniors in good academic standing to investigate topics of interest under faculty supervision. Projects must be approved by the faculty member, department chairperson, and academic dean no later than the third week of the semester in which the project is to be conducted. Only one project can be scheduled in a semester, and for no more than four semester hours; up to 12 semester hours of independent research and study may be counted toward graduation. Note that individual departments may have additional restrictions.

PHL 491 Internship in Philosophy 1-4 Credits

Students will work under supervision within an area hospital, corporation, or legal agency. The specific duties and tasks will be developed jointly by the intern, intern agency, and faculty supervisor. Within the hospital setting, students will work with the Hospital Medical Ethics Committee. Within the corporate setting, there will be two types of internships: students will work in the corporate office responsible for addressing the ethical issues that arise in the business environment; or students will work in a department that allows them to explore the potential business applications of their philosophic intellectual training. Within the legal setting, students will work with the federal magistrate, prosecutor, or public defender, exploring issues in the philosophy of law that arise in the practice of law. Students must have completed four philosophy courses, one at the 300 level, before applying for the internship. No more than six credits will be allowed toward graduation. A member of the department of philosophy will supervise the internship.

Prerequisite(s): juniors and seniors with a minimum of 2.7 cumulative GPA and 3.0 GPA in philosophy, or permission of the department of philosophy.

PHL 494 Preparation and Research for Senior Philosophy Thesis 1 Credits

Supervised by a faculty member, the Philosophy major chooses a topic, composes an outline and a bibliography. Must be completed prior to enrolling in PHL 495.

PHL 495 Senior Philosophy Thesis 3 Credits

In a tutorial setting, the Philosophy major will write a thesis which serves as the Capstone Experience in the Department.

Prerequisite(s): PHL 494.