Revised Class Schedule

*Thursday, March 15: Debate: Resolved that affirmative action whereby disadvantaged minorities and especially African Americans are given preferential treatment in educational admissions and hiring is morally permissible.

Nicolas Lemann, "Taking Affirmative Action Apart" AA, pp. 34-55.
Lyndon Johnson "To Fulfill These Rights: Commencement Address at Howard University" AA, pp. 56-63.
Ward Connerly, "The Sweet Music of Equal Treatment" AA, pp. 64-69.
Richard Wasserstrom, "A Defense of Programs of Preferential Treatment," AA, 198-204.
D. Hausman and M. McPherson, "Some Notes on Libertarianism" (xerox)
Robert Fullinwider, "The Case for Reparations" (xerox)
David Horowitz, "Ten Reasons Why Reparations for Blacks is a Bad Idea for Blacks -- and Racist Too" (xerox)
Henry Lewis Gates, "Ending the Slavery Blame Game" (xerox)
George Sher, "Justifying Reverse Discrimination in Employment," AA, 227-38.
Michael Levin, "Is Racial Discrimination Special?" AA, 214-26.
Louis Pojman, "The Moral Status of Affirmative Action," AA, 175-97.
D.Hausman, "Some Notes on Utilitarianism" (xerox)
Center for Equal Opportunity Press Release and Report (xerox)
Ronald Dworkin, "Affirming Affirmative Action" (xerox)

Homework #6 Due: Write an informal essay of 300-500 words stating your "initial" view of whether affirmative action programs are morally permissible. Give what seems to you to be the strongest argument in support of your initial view and try to make the argument as clear and logical as possible. Explain what reservations one might have concerning your argument and your position.


*Tuesday, March 20: Affirmative Action: Introduction and non-discrimination argument

Nicolas Lemann, "Taking Affirmative Action Apart" AA, pp. 34-55.
Lyndon Johnson "To Fulfill These Rights: Commencement Address at Howard University" AA, pp. 56-63.
Ward Connerly, "The Sweet Music of Equal Treatment" AA, pp. 64-69
Richard Wasserstrom, "A Defense of Programs of Preferential Treatment," AA, 198-204.

Homework 7: Ward Connerly quotes the following passage from UC Berkeley's Daily Californian "Race-based affirmative action is wrong because it discriminates on the basis of race. For three decades, such discriminatory policies have been embraced with the hope that they would reverse the effects of centuries of racism....But the ends of social policy do not justify the means." (AA, pp. 65-66) Analyze this criticism of affirmative action. What is meant by "discrimination," and why is discrimination wrong? How strong an argument is this against affirmative action? Write a 300-500 word essay developing your answers to these questions.


*Thursday, March 22: The non-discrimination argument against preferential hiring and admissions

Richard Wasserstrom, "A Defense of Programs of Preferential Treatment," AA, 198-204.

Term Paper Due:


Tuesday, March 27: Libertarianism and rectification

D. Hausman and M. McPherson, "Some Notes on Libertarianism"
Michael Levin, "Is Racial Discrimination Special?" AA, 214-26.


*Thursday, March 29: Reparations for African Americans

Robert Fullinwider, "The Case for Reparations" (xerox)
David Horowitz, "Ten Reasons Why Reparations for Blacks is a Bad Idea for Blacks -- and Racist Too (xerox)
Henry Lewis Gates, "Ending the Slavery Blame Game" (xerox)

Homework #8 due: Consider the following objection to reparations for the injustices of slavery. "Reparations are irrational because they demand that people who are entirely innocent of the injustices compensate people who are not victims of the injustices." How, if at all, can a defender of reparations respond to this objection? Write a 300-500 word informal essay in response.


Tuesday, April 10: Equal results, equal opportunity, and individual responsibility

George Sher, "Justifying Reverse Discrimination in Employment," AA, 227-38.
Louis Pojman, "The Moral Status of Affirmative Action," AA, 175-97


*Thursday, April 12 : Utilitarianism, social policy, and affirmative action

D. Hausman, "Some Notes on Utilitarianism"

Homework #9 due: Write a 300 to 500-word informal essay discussing how a utilitarian would approach surrogate motherhood or abortion and what conclusion the utilitarian would draw.


Tuesday, April 17: Conclusions on affirmative action: what are the consequences?

Center for Equal Opportunity Press Release and Report (xerox)
Ronald Dworkin, "Affirming Affirmative Action" (xerox)


*Thursday, April 19: Debate: Resolved that the United States should institute a single-payer health-insurance plan, whereby everyone has comprehensive health insurance, which is paid for via general tax revenue.

Wall Street Journal, "U.S. Spends 141% More on Health Care"
"Comparison of Canadian and U.S. health care systems"
John Rawls, "Justice" (excerpts)
Norman Daniels, "Justice, Health, and Health Care"
H. Tristram Engelhardt, "Freedom and Moral Diversity: The Moral Failures of Health Care in the Welfare State."
Loren Lomasky, "Medical Progress and National Health Care"
Richard Wilkinson and Michael Marmot, "Social Determinants of Health: The Solid Facts"
Angus Deaton, "What does the empirical evidence tell us about the injustice of health inequalities?"
"Description of Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act"
Henry Aaron and Joseph Newhouse, "Meeting the Dilemma of Health Care Access: Extending Insurance Coverage while Controlling Costs"
Grace-Marie Turner & James C. Capretta & Thomas P. Miller & Bob Moffit, "Getting Health Care Right"

Homework #10 due: Write a 300 to 500 word essay expressing your initial view about whether the government ought to ensure that all its citizens have adequate health insurance. What do you take to be the main argument in defense of your view? What do you take to be the main objections to your view, and how would you respond to them?


Tuesday, April 24:Justice, health and health care in the U.S. and elsewhere

"Comparison of Canadian and U.S. health care systems"


Thursday, April 26:Justice and health care

John Rawls, "Justice" (excerpts)_Norman Daniels, "Justice, Health, and Health Care"


Tuesday, May 1: Justice, health care, and individual choice

Norman Daniels, "Justice, Health, and Health Care"
H. Tristram Engelhardt, "Freedom and Moral Diversity: The Moral Failures of Health Care in the Welfare State."


*Thursday, May 3: Libertarianism and health care

H. Tristram Engelhardt, "Freedom and Moral Diversity: The Moral Failures of Health Care in the Welfare State."
Loren Lomasky, "Medical Progress and National Health Care"

Optional Revision of Term Paper Due

You must submit the original paper along with the revision and an explanation (no more than one page) of how you revised your essay. Only significant revisions will be graded. Revisions that merely fix some copy-editing will not be graded.


*Tuesday, May 8: Health care and health

Richard Wilkinson and Michael Marmot, "Social Determinants of Health: The Solid Facts"
Angus Deaton, "What does the empirical evidence tell us about the injustice of health inequalities?"

Homework #11 due: Write an informal essay of 300-500 words explaining how your views on one of the issues discussed this semester changed and why they changed.


Thursday, May 10: Assessment of Obamacare

"Description of Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act"
Henry Aaron and Joseph Newhouse, "Meeting the Dilemma of Health Care Access: Extending Insurance Coverage while Controlling Costs"
Grace-Marie Turner & James C. Capretta & Thomas P. Miller & Bob Moffit, "Getting Health Care Right"