Ethics — Course Modules

Syllabus and Schedule [pdf]

 

What Does Automation Imply for Your Life?

Journalism relevant to Zach Meiborg visit on self-driving vehicles:
“Robots to help stock shelves at 50 Walmart stores.” Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Transportation sector: What could a company do with an additional $500mm of cash flow annually? Diesel is efficient but dirty – what does the costs & benefit of pollution on LA Note the phrase “Dump the fleshbag”: Will negative public emotion or positive economics dominate policy?

McKinsey Global Institute, “Automation Could Eradicate a Third of America’s Workforce by 2030.”
Deirdre McCloskey, “The Myth of Technological Unemployment.”
Freethink, “Will Robots Take Our Jobs?”
Rachel Koning Beals, “To fight automation, white-collar workers must play to this strength.” MarketWatch.
“These skills make you most employable.” [Chart]

Stephen Hicks, “Sex with Robots. The Ethics.” [Article]
Stephen Hicks, “Uber, Cuba, and Freedoms Large and Small.”

 

Egoism, Predation, or Altruism?

Stephen Hicks, “What Business Ethics Can Learn from Entrepreneurship” [Article pdf]. Social Science Research Network
Plato, excerpts from The Republic: excerpt from Book 2 on “The Myth of Gyges.” [Book excerpt]
Mother Teresa, excerpt “On Prayer,” from No Greater Love (1987). [Book excerpt]
Karen Rinaldi, “Motherhood Isn’t Sacrifice, It’s Selfishness,” The New York Times. [Article]
Bartley Madden, Value Creation Thinking. Only available at Amazon. [Book]

 

Competition and/or Cooperation?

Timothy Taylor, “The Blurry Line Between Competition and Cooperation” [CEE]
Shawn Klein, “Sportsmanship” [podcasts] and “Competition” [article].
Frédéric Bastiat, “A Petition from the Candlemakers about Unfair Competition from the Sun” (1845).
Satire: “Ball-less Soccer in Olympia, Washington” .
Stephen Hicks, “Is Life Unfair? My Challenge to the Best Tennis Player in the World.”

 

Freedom and Self-Ownership

Robert Nozick, “The Tale of the Slave” , from Anarchy, State, and Utopia (1974). [HTML]
Jason Brennan and Peter Jaworski, “If You May Do It for Free, You May Do It for Money.” Responses by Benjamin Barber and Ilya Somin.
Stephen Wilkinson, “The Sale of Human Organs,” Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. [Article]

Robert Lawson, “Economic Freedom.” CEE. [Article]

 

Individualism and Collectivism

Stanley Milgram, “Conformity,” excerpt from Obedience to Authority (1974).
Jason D. Hill, Becoming Cosmopolitan. Available at Amazon, the RU Bookstore, and other places.
Historical slavery: overview and statistics.
Charles Ogletree, “The Case for Affirmative Action.” (2015)
Thomas Sowell, “Affirmative Action: A Worldwide Disaster” (2004).
Ayn Rand, “Racism=,” Forbes magazine. [Article]

TedEd, The Atlantic Slave Trade [Video]
Transatlantic Slave Trade: Where the slaves went.
Contemporary slavery.
Global Slavery Index.
Raj Bhopal, “The beautiful skull and Blumenbach’s errors: the birth of the scientific concept of race.” BMJ. 2007 Dec 22; 335(7633): 1308–1309. doi: 10.1136/bmj.39413.463958.80.
Scott Carpenter, http://slatestarcodex.com/2017/06/21/against-murderism/
R. Kevin Hill, “Libertarians and Reparations for Slavery.”

 

Drug Legalizing

William Bennett and Milton Friedman, Open Letters on the War on Drugs, from The Wall Street Journal (1989).
Journalism: Colorado legalization results. Nicholas Kristof, “How to Win a War on Drugs.” The New York Times. Jeff Hunt, “Marijuana devastated Colorado, don’t legalize it nationally,” USA Today. Christopher Ingraham, “Following marijuana legalization, teen drug use is down in Colorado,” The Washington Post.

 

Health Care

Tom Beauchamp, “Manufacture and Regulation of Laetrile”.
Charles Hooper, “Pharmaceuticals” [CEE]
Marta Podemska-Mikluch, “Insurance Cartel Holds Back Life-Saving Therapy from Thousands of Small Children.”
Rationing. Journalism: British decision no surgery for obese or smokers.

Are You Rich or Poor?

Hans Rosling, “200 Countries, 200 Years, 4 Minutes — The Joy of Stats,” BBC Four. [Video]
Max Roser, Five Charts. Our World in Data.
John V. C. Nye, “Standards of Living and Modern Economic Growth,” Concise Encyclopedia of Economics. [Article]

Why Are Some Wealthy and Some Not?

The World Bank, “Doing Business”: An international index of the ease or difficulty of doing business. [Charts]
Jennifer Dirmeyer, “The Jitney Potential” [PDF article]
Journalism relevant to Dirmeyer’s article: Tennessee Cops Bust Barbers Who Lack High School Diplomas. Nigerians’ Mandatory Paid Vacations. Illinois Daycare Regulations. Baltimore Food Trucks.
Peter Singer, “The Duty to Give to the World’s Poor”. [Article]
Garrett Hardin, “Lifeboat Ethics: The Case against Helping the Poor” (1974). [Article]

 

Courage

“Ten Meter Tower.”

 

Why Is Independence Difficult?

Stanley Milgram, excerpt from Obedience to Authority (1974).
Ayn Rand, Book 1 of The Fountainhead.
Nathaniel Branden, “Self-Esteem in the Information Age” (1997).

 

Toleration

John Locke, excerpts from A Letter concerning Toleration (1689).
Martin Luther, excerpts from The Jews and Their Lies (1543).

 

Love and Sex

Immanuel Kant, “Duties towards the Body in Respect of Sexual Impulse” [1775-1780].
Sex with robots: Journalism: “The Scarlett Johansson Doll Is Dangerous”.
Stephen Hicks, “Sex with Robots. The Ethics.” [Article]

 

Is Government Welfare Good or Bad?

Charles Murray, from Losing Ground: American Social Policy (1984).
Bryan Caplan, “12 Reasons to Oppose the Welfare State.”

Wealth and Poverty

Peter Singer, “The Duty to Give to the World’s Poor” (1979).
Garrett Hardin, “Lifeboat Ethics: The Case against Helping the Poor” (1974).

 

Climate Change for Non-scientists

Al Gore, “Nobel Lecture.”
Andrew Bernstein, “The Truth About Climate Change.”
Richard Lindzen, http://www.climatedepot.com/2017/05/01/mit-climate-scientist-dr-richard-lindzen-believing-co2-controls-the-climate-is-pretty-close-to-believing-in-magic/

 

Education

Amy Chua, “Why Chinese Mothers Are Best.” [Article]
Lisa VanDamme, “Response to Chua” [Video]

 

Slavery

Historical slavery: overview and statistics.
Ed.Ted, The Atlantic Slave Trade [5:30 minute video]
Capitalist or Anticapitalist?
Transatlantic Slave Trade: Where the slaves went.
R. Kevin Hill, “Libertarians and Reparations for Slavery.”
Contemporary slavery.
Global Slavery Index.
Mary Mazzio, “I am Jane Doe” (2017 documentary).
Robert Nozick, “The Tale of the Slave”, from Anarchy, State, and Utopia (1974). [HTML]

 

Racism

Raj Bhopal, “The beautiful skull and Blumenbach’s errors: the birth of the scientific concept of race.” BMJ. 2007 Dec 22; 335(7633): 1308–1309. doi: 10.1136/bmj.39413.463958.80.
Scott Carpenter, http://slatestarcodex.com/2017/06/21/against-murderism/
Jaana Woiceshyn, “Why is there racism in business?”

 

Crime

Journalism: “Black police officer confronts BLM.”
Which extremist group is worst: KKK or Antifa?

 

Human Nature, Sex, and Gender

Alex Fradera, “Sex differences in human brain structure are already apparent at one month of age,” British Psychological Society, 2018.
James Damore, “Google’s Ideological Echo Chamber” [pdf].
Susan Wojcicki, “Read YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki’s Response to the Controversial Google Anti-Diversity Memo.”
The Google Memo: Four Scientists Respond.
Dana Varinsky, “A Google employee was fired after blaming biology for tech’s gender gap — but the science shows he’s wrong.”
Scott Alexander, “Contra Grant on Exaggerated Differences.” Adam Grant’s original article is linked to, and his reply is posted at the end of Alexander’s piece.

 

Women’s Rights and Men’s Rights

Elizabeth Cady Stanton, “Speech to Women’s Suffrage Convention, Washington, D.C.” (1868) [HTML].
Cathy Young, Rape Culture?
Marilyn Frye, “Oppression,” from The Politics of Reality.
(1983).
Jennifer Wriggens, [pdf] University of Maine Law Review.
Journalistic: Are Men’s Rights Being Slighted? Why are Sweden’s rape statistics so high? Is there a wage gap caused by sexism?
Lara Stemple, Ilan H. Meyer, “Sexual Victimization by Women Is More Common Than Previously Known,” Scientific American, October 10, 2017.
Claire Berlinksi, “The Warlock Hunt,” The American Interest (2017).

 

Military Ethics

William James, “The Moral Equivalent of War” (1906).
Jean Bethke Elshtain, “Identity, the State and Sacrifice” (1991).
Collateral damage: Eye in the Sky (2015 movie)
War crimes and political optics: Breaker Morant (1980 movie)

 

Immigration

Michael Huemer, “Is There a Right to Immigrate?” Social Philosophy and Policy 36:3 (2010).

 

Government funding and Art

Four articles from the 1989 debate sparked by federal funding for works by Robert Mapplethorpe and Andres Serrano:
Jesse Helms, “Amendment 420: The NEA Should Not Fund Obscenity” [pdf].
Robert Hughes, “A Loony Parody of Cultural Democracy” [pdf].
Robert Samuelson, “Highbrow Pork Barrel” [pdf].
Steven Durland, “Censorship, Multiculturalism, and Symbols” [pdf].
All four articles in one file [pdf].

 

Individuals

Was Columbus a good man?
Was Che Guevara a good man?
The story of Noah: genocide or moral lesson?

 

Self-esteem

Nathaniel Branden, Self-esteem as a Spiritual Discipline.

 

 

Genocide

Who Killed Most?

 

Other Materials

Heterodox Academy, Open Mind.
Debate Evaluation Rubric.