2017-2018 University Catalog 
    Oct 03, 2023  
2017-2018 University Catalog archived

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PHIL 180 - FS: First-Year Seminar

Credits: 3

First-year seminar. Prerequisite: First-Year class standing. A seminar for first-year students.

Fall 2017, PHIL 180-01: Philosophy of Education: Why Are We Here? (3). First-Year Seminar. Prerequisite: First-Year class standing. What is education? Which purposes can and should it serve? What obligations do private colleges have to the communities and societies in which they operate? These questions about the nature of education are essential to philosophy, and also to the history and future of Washington and Lee University. In this course, students read and discuss classic texts in the philosophy of education in close conjunction with materials concerning the public policy commentaries about present practices in American liberal arts colleges. Special attention is paid to Washington and Lee, and students are encouraged to reflect upon their own educational goals and choices in light of the philosophical works that they read. (HU) Dudley, Strong.

Fall 2017, PHIL 180-02: FS: Equality and Difference (3). First-Year Seminar. Prerequisite: First-year standing only. How should differences affect equal treatment? Do we treat persons equally in light of their differences or in spite of them? These questions, among others, motivate our study. We first explore why equality matters and then seek to determine what equal treatment might look like in particular contexts (applied philosophy). After some theoretical background, we ask how we should distribute benefits in light of differences in well-being when we have a finite supply of resources, followed by an examination of how bad luck affects equal treatment. Other topics include distribution of health care resources, and commonly discussed differences in public life, relying on legal cases and op-eds as well as academic articles, including debates surrounding what equal treatment with regard to race and gender means in education and the military. (HU) Henzel.

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