Ethics and Public Policy
Undergraduate: Level 6
Sunday 17 January 2021
Friday 26 March 2021
04 October 2018
Requisites for this module
Should murderers be executed? Should cocaine and heroin be legalized? Is torture ever morally justified? Is abortion morally wrong? Should pornography be banned? Should prostitution be legal? Are laws permitting the slaughter of animals unjust? This module assesses these and other questions in an intellectual search for the moral principles that ought to govern public policy.
The module aims to expose students to a variety of scholarly debates about the moral principles that govern different areas of law and policy-making.
By the end of the module, students will be able to explain and appraise the arguments on different sides of a wide range of controversial political topics. The module's further objectives are to develop students' capacities for critical reasoning: for understanding and explaining arguments, identifying weaknesses and articulating objections to arguments, and offering constructive criticism about how to make arguments better. The module will also develop students' skills in oral argumentation, strengthening their capacities to articulate their positions on complicated questions and defend them with confidence in front of their colleagues.
No additional information available.
The module will feature an hour of lecture per week and an hour of class per week. The lecture will be largely interactive, so students should come having done the readings and prepared to participate.
- Ben Juratowitch. (2008) 'Torture Is Always Wrong', in Public Affairs Quarterly. vol. 22 (2) , pp.81-90
- Jeffrey H. Reiman. (1985) 'Justice, Civilization, and the Death Penalty: Answering van den Haag', in Philosophy & Public Affairs. vol. 14 (2) , pp.115-148
- Elizabeth S. Anderson. (1990) 'Is Women's Labor a Commodity?', in Philosophy & Public Affairs. vol. 19 (1) , pp.71-92
- Martha C. Nussbaum. (1998) '“Whether From Reason Or Prejudice”: Taking Money For Bodily Services', in The Journal of Legal Studies: The University of Chicago Press. vol. 27, pp.693-723
- Shue, Henry. (2005) 'Torture in Dreamland: Disposing of the Ticking Bomb', in Case Western Reserve Journal of International Law. vol. 37, pp.231-239
- Rogers, Joel. (c2001) 'A Basic Income for All', in What's wrong with a free lunch?, Boston, Mass: Beacon Press.
- Velleman, David. (1992) 'Against the Right to Die', in Journal of Medicine and Philosophy. vol. 17 (6) , pp.665-681
- Waldron, Jeremy. (2010) Torture, terror, and trade-offs: philosophy for the White House, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
- Rae Langton. (1993) 'Speech Acts and Unspeakable Acts', in Philosophy & Public Affairs: Wiley. vol. 22, pp.293-330
- Jeff McMahan. (2008) 'Torture in Principle and in Practice', in Public Affairs Quarterly. vol. 22 (2) , pp.91-108
- Judith Jarvis Thomson. (1971) 'A Defense of Abortion', in Philosophy & Public Affairs. vol. 1 (1) , pp.47-66
- Wolff, Jonathan. (2011) Ethics and public policy: a philosophical inquiry, Abingdon: Routledge.
The above list is indicative of the essential reading for the course. The library makes provision for all reading list items, with digital provision where possible, and these resources are shared between students. Further reading can be obtained from this module's reading list.
Assessment items, weightings and deadlines
|Coursework / exam
Module supervisor and teaching staff
Dr James Christensen, email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dr James Christensen
Module Supervisor: Dr Christensen, email@example.com
Module Administrator: Sallyann West, firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr Arzu Kibris
University of Warwick
Available via Moodle
Of 82 hours, 55 (67.1%) hours available to students:
0 hours not recorded due to service coverage or fault;
27 hours not recorded due to opt-out by lecturer(s).
* Please note: due to differing publication schedules, items marked with an asterisk (*) base their information upon the previous academic year.
Disclaimer: The University makes every effort to ensure that this information on its Module Directory is accurate and up-to-date. Exceptionally it can
be necessary to make changes, for example to programmes, modules, facilities or fees. Examples of such reasons might include a change of law or regulatory requirements,
industrial action, lack of demand, departure of key personnel, change in government policy, or withdrawal/reduction of funding. Changes to modules may for example consist
of variations to the content and method of delivery or assessment of modules and other services, to discontinue modules and other services and to merge or combine modules.
The University will endeavour to keep such changes to a minimum, and will also keep students informed appropriately by updating our programme specifications and module directory.
The full Procedures, Rules and Regulations of the University governing how it operates are set out in the Charter, Statutes and Ordinances and in the University Regulations, Policy and Procedures.