Most undergraduate students want to be morally good people, and most ethics instructors want to help them be morally good people. Part of accomplishing this task is teaching students how to engage in moral reasoning and examine difficult moral questions, which is what most ethics courses emphasize.
This lesson has two main purposes. The first is to illustrate to students how one could apply the Kantian argument that one should not treat others merely as means. This is done by introducing them to an open letter written by the early feminist and abolitionist writer and activist Angelina Grimké in 1838 in which she explicitly argues that men have treated women as mere means.
Texts and Courses
Luvell Anderson: “Racist Humor”
Secondary Texts for Instructor
John Morreall: “Philosophy of Humor” Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
Jorge Garcia: “Current Conceptions of Racism: A Critical Examination of Some Recent Social Philosophy” (1997) Journal of Social Philosophy 28(2): 5-42.
The pursuit and realisation of self-determination for Māori communities has been intimately bound up with – among other things – the revitalisation of Māori philosophies. The capabilities of Māori communities to be able to define who they are, and to pursue and realise lives they value is bound up with the extent to which Māori are able to articulate and appropriately apply and reapply their concepts and values to their lives and futures.
This lesson focuses on a fragment of text from the late Pythagorean philosopher Theano (probably of Sparta, c. 4th-3rd century bce) on different kinds of value and their role in moral education. Theano approaches this topic through the lens of everyday moral advice.