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Ethics Courses at UNC

Below is an up to date list of ethics courses listed in the UNC Online Course Catalogue .

Courses from this list can be used to fulfill a portion of the academic course requirement for the Parr Center Ethics Scholar Program.

 

Course NumberCourse NameCouse DescriptionGeneral Education Attributes
AMERICAN STUDIES (AMST) 220On the Question of the Animal: Contemporary Animal StudiesThis course is an introduction to "animal studies," through animal rights, animal welfare, food studies, and the human/animal distinction in philosophical inquiry. We will read work from dog and horse trainers, and explore the history of the American racetrack. This course builds a moral and ethical reasoning skill set.PH, NA
AMST 225Comedy and EthicsThis course explores the historical, sociocultural, and legal significance of 20th- and 21st-century comedy in the United States. We will consider comedy as public voice; examine how humor constructs and disrupts American identities; and discuss the ethics of the creative process, performance, and reception.PH, NA
AMST 291Ethics and American StudiesAn interdisciplinary seminar in American studies addressing ethical issues in the United States.PH, NA
AMST 351Global Waters, American Impacts, and Critical ConnectionsWater is a vital element for life, food, energy, and transportation. Nations are connected and separated by water through borders and trade. This seminar will examine key impacts on American port cities with respect to water: global infrastructure, foodsheds, health, and diseases.PH, CI, GL
ANTHROPOLOGY (ANTH) 146The Nature of Moral Consciousness: A course in General AnthropologyAn introductory course in general anthropology focusing on the development of moral consciousness. Western and non-Western patterns of thought and culture are compared and contrasted. The course has a strongly philosophical orientation.PH
ANTH 539Environmental JusticeCourse examining issues of race, poverty, and equity in the environmental movement. Cases include the siting of toxic incinerators in predominantly people-of-color communities to resource exploitation on indigenous lands.SS, EE, US
ASIAN STUDIES (ASIA) 482Sex, Gender, and Religion in South AsiaThis seminar draws on feminist and philosophical theory, including the works of Plato, Butler, and Foucualt, as well as postcolonial theory, to explore the categories of sex and gender in South Asian religions. We also analyze the moral cultivation of the self in relation to gender identity in South Asia.PH, BN
*BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION (BUSI) 404Business EthicsAn examination of ethical issues that affect business.
BUSI 463(H)Business and the EnvironmentThis course explores the intersection of business/economic growth and the major sustainability issues affecting the environment and societal well-being and raises questions about business ethics and the moral responsibility of business leaders, consumers, and citizens. Previously offered as ENEC 306.PH, CI
CHINESE (CHIN) 463Narrative Ethics in Modern ChinaBy exploring intersections of the narrative and the normative, this course considers relations between text, ethics, and everyday life in 20th-century China by reading texts on aesthetics.PH, BN
COMMUNICATIONS (COMM) 450Media and Popular CulturePrerequisite, COMM 140. Permission of the instructor for nonmajors. Examination of communication processes and cultural significance of film, television, and other electronic media.PH
COMM 470Political Communication and the Public SphereA course covering the relationship between communication and political processes and institutions. Topics include media coverage and portrayal of political institutions, elections, actors, and media influence on political beliefs.PH, NA
COMM 499The Dark Side of Interpersonal CommunicationThe "dark side" of communication is a metaphor describing the study of disruptive, dysfunctional, distorted, distressing, and destructive aspects of communication. This course explores humanity's darker side that allows us to reject, exclude, stigmatize, exploit, objectify, misguide, lie, and cheat. The course examines various theoretical perspectives and applies them to everyday problems in interpersonal encounters. A sample of topics discussed include: prejudice, stigma, marginalization, bullying, ostracism, resistance, manipulation, conformity, deceit, gossip, rumors, infidelity, and revenge.SS, CI, EE
COMPUTER SCIENCES (COMP) 380(H)Introduction to Digital CultureAn introduction to digital technology and computer science issues in society. Topics may include Internet history, privacy, security, usability, graphics, games, computers in the media, development, economics, social media, AI, IP, computer and Internet ethics, global ethics, current legal issues, etc.PH
COMP 388Advanced Cyberculture StudiesPrerequisite, COMP 380; a grade of C or better is required; permission of the instructor for students lacking the prerequisite. Explores Internet history and cyberphilosophy; online identify construction, community, communication, creativity; bodies/cyborgs; intelligence and AI. Students perform independent research into and analyze virtual worlds, social media, anonymous bulletin boards, mobile media, and more, and create digital art and literature. Seminar-style; students collaborate on designing and leading class.PH
ECONOMICS (ECON) 384Gateway to Philosophy, Politics, and EconomicsOne course in economics strongly recommended. This interdisciplinary gateway course provides an introduction to subjects and quantitative techniques used to analyze problems in philosophy, political science, and economics.PH
EDUCATION (EDUC) 508Equity, Leadership, and YouThis course was developed to confront and address questions of global cultural competence and self-critique. Culturally competent leaders work to understand their own biases and patterns of discrimination.SS, GL
EDUC 526Ethics and Education: from Global Problems to Classroom DilemmasAmong the topics examined are ethical implications of democratic schooling for a democratic society, educators as moral agents, and education as an institution with incumbent responsibilities. Students explore the explicit and implied ethics of education and schooling as they relate to policy makers, educators, and citizens concerned about social justice.PH, CI
ENGLISH (ENGL) 271Mixed-Race America: Race in Contemporary American Literature and CultureThis service-learning course is partnered with a charter school, and together UNC-Chapel Hill and high school students will explore issues of race in American literature and culture.LA, EE, US
ENVIRONMENT AND ECOLOGY (ENEC) 368Living Things, Wilderness, and Ecosystems: An Introduction to Environmental EthicsThe meaning of environmental values and their relation to other values; the ethical status of animals, species, wilderness, and ecosystems; the built environment; environmental justice; ecofeminism; obligations to future generations.PH, GL
ENEC 462(H)Business and the EnvironmentThis course explores the intersection of business/economic growth and the major sustainability issues affecting the environment and societal well-being and raises questions about business ethics and the moral responsibility of business leaders, consumers, and citizens. Previously offered as ENEC 306.PH, CI
FRENCH (FREN) 515Social Networks: Technology and Community in Modern FrancePrerequisites, FREN 300 and one additional course above FREN 330; permission of the instructor for students lacking the prerequisites. Exploration of the interaction between technology and sociability in 19th- through 21st-century French literature, with an emphasis on questions of modernization, industrialization, colonization, globalization, subjectivity, and ethics. Taught in French.PH, NA
GERMAN (GERM) 283Freedom, Terror, and Identity: Modern Philosophy from Kant to ArendtThis course investigates how philosophical thought motivates, inspires, and generates forms of agency and identity against cultural tendencies that limit or erode freedom. Readings, lecture, and discussion in English.PH, NA
GERM 286(Un)Welcomed Guests? German Reflections on Exile and ImmigrationThis course introduces students to philosophical, literary, and film texts engaging with the ethics of migration. How might the writings by and depictions of refugees throughout German history resonate with the current crisis? The course includes a service learning component, so that students gain experience working with local refugees and are able to use their practical experience to reflect on the theoretical discussions in class. Readings and discussions in English.PH, EE, GL
HEALTH POLICY AND MANAGEMENT (HPM) 310Introduction to Law and Ethics in Health ManagementPrerequisite, HPM 350. An introduction to health law and ethics for health administration undergraduate seniors.
HPM 571Health and Human RightsCourse focuses on rights-based approaches to health, applying a human rights perspective to selected public health policies, programs, and interventions. Students will apply a formalistic human rights framework to critical public health issues, exploring human rights as both a safeguard against harm and a catalyst for health promotion.PH, GL
INFORMATION AND LIBRARY SCIENCE (INLS) 384Information and Computer EthicsPrerequisite, INLS 201. Overview of ethical reasoning, followed by examination of ethical issues relevant to information science, including access to information and technology, societal impacts of technology, information privacy, surveillance and security, intellectual property, and professional ethics.PH, CI
ITALIAN (ITAL) 359Medieval Frauds: Fake News, Counterfeits, and ForgeriesThis course examines medieval Italians' preoccupation with fraud through literary and historical texts: its philosophical definition and taxonomy, its perceived threat to moral and social order, the hermeneutics of fraud detection, and strategies for bearing the burden of proof.PH, WB
JEWISH STUDIES (JWST) 420Post-Holocaust Ethics and TheologyThis course examines the challenges posed to ethics and theology by the Holocaust. We will address philosophical and moral issues such as the problem of evil, divine omniscience, omnipotence, suffering, theodicy, representation, testimony, and an ethics of memory.PH, GL
MEDIA AND JOURNALISM (MEJO) 141Media EthicsExplore what constitutes ethical practices, what interferes with ethical practices, and what emerging ethical issues may challenge the newest generation of professional communicators. Cases involve print, broadcast, and Internet news media; photojournalism; graphic design; public relations; and advertising.PH
MEJO 476Ethical Issues and Sports CommunicationPermission of the instructor. Ethical dilemmas and decisions in the commercialization and coverage of sports, including the influence of television, pressure to change traditions and standards for monetary reasons, and negative influences on athletes.
NAVAL SCIENCE (NAVS) 402Naval Leadership and EthicsCapstone leadership course in NROTC curriculum, emphasizing leadership skills and their ethical implications for the competent commissioned officer in areas of human resources and material management.PH
NUTRITION (NUTR) 245Sustainable Local Food Systems: Intersection of Local Foods and Public HealthExamines the intersection of local foods and public health with respect to nutrition and environmental, economic, and community issues. Students explore impacts and potential solutions of the increasingly industrialized and centralized food system, while assisting community partners to increase opportunities for farmers, local food marketers, distributors, and entrepreneurs.EE
PUBLIC POLICY (PLCY) 340(H)Justice in Public PolicyThis seminar explores arguments about moral issues in public policy. Students examine both the means used to implement policies and policy ends through discussions of case studies of policy choice.PH
PLCY 364Ethics and EconomicsRecommended preparation, at least one course in ethics (PHIL 160, 163, or 170) or one course in economics. Issues at the intersection of ethics and economics, including value; the relation between values and preferences; rationality; the relevance to economics of rights, justice, and the value of human life.PH
PLCY 415Advocacy for Policy ChangePrerequisite, PLCY 210 or 220. This experiential learning course will begin by exploring a number of policy domains where existing laws do not seem to produce positive outcomes for average citizens and state residents. We will then investigate potential ways to address the issue, and pursue a line of advocacy for a particular policy issue. Students will interact with state legislators and their aides as well as non-governmental organizations in order to uncover and employ strategies for policy advocacy.EE
PLCY 570Health and Human RightsCourse focuses on rights-based approaches to health, applying a human rights perspective to selected public health policies, programs, and interventions. Students will apply a formalistic human rights framework to critical public health issues, exploring human rights as both a safeguard against harm and a catalyst for health promotion.PH, GL
POLITICAL SCIENCE (POLI) 206Race and the Right to Vote in the United StatesThis course surveys scholarly literature on electoral institutions, racial politics, and access to the ballot in the United States. In 30 hours of community service with partner organizations, students produce a publicly available research project using oral histories, mapping, scholarly research, and podcasts.SS, EE, US
POLI 272The Ethics of Peace, War, and DefenseAn analysis of ethical issues that arise in peace, war, and defense, e.g., the legitimacy of states, just war theory, terrorism, weapons of mass destruction.PH, NA, GL
POLI 350Peace Science ResearchPrerequisite, POLI 150. This Course-based Undergraduate Research Experience (CURE) introduces students to the practice of quantitative research on peace, conflict, and conflict resolution. Students work in teams to develop original research projects that answer policy-relevant questions in the field of peace science.SS, EE
POLI 384Gateway to Philosophy, Politics, and EconomicsOne course in economics strongly recommended. This interdisciplinary gateway course provides an introduction to subjects and quantitative techniques used to analyze problems in philosophy, political science, and economics.PH
PHILOSOPHY (PHIL) 160(H)Virtue, Value, and Happiness: An Introduction to Moral TheoryExploration of different philosophical perspectives about right and wrong, personal character, justice, moral reasoning, and moral conflicts. Readings drawn from classic or contemporary sources. Critical discussion emphasized.PH
PHIL 163(H)Practical Ethics: Moral Reasoning and How We LiveTopics may include war, medical ethics, media ethics, sexual ethics, business ethics, racism, sexism, capital punishment, and the environment.PH
PHIL 164Morality and BusinessAn examination of business ethics and the types of ethical dilemmas people may face in business practices.PH
PHIL 165(H)BioethicsAn examination of ethical issues in the life sciences and technologies, medicine, public health, and/or human interaction with nonhuman animals or the living environment.PH
PHIL 170(H)Liberty, Rights, and Responsibilities: Introduction to Social Ethics and Political ThoughtAn examination of major issues in political philosophy, e.g., liberty, individual rights, social responsibility, legal authority, civil authority, civil disobedience. Readings include classical and contemporary writings.PH
PHIL 180Philosophy of HumorA course on philosophical issues related to laughter and humor. Historical and contemporary philosophical theories of humor; connections between traditional issues in aesthetics and humor; moral questions about humor, such as what is involved in a joke being racist/sexist/homophobic; and connections between jokes and various epistemological fallacies.PH
PHIL 185(H)Aesthetics and the Philosophy of ArtThe nature of art and artworks and their aesthetic appraisal.PH
PHIL 261Ethics in ActionRequired preparation, one previous PHIL ethics course. Permission of the instructor. Ethics Bowl provides a unique experiential opportunity for students to apply theory to practical global issues. Students will prepare cases to present locally and at Ethics Bowl competition.PH, CI, EE
PHIL 266(H)Not All Fun and Games: Ethics of SportsAn analysis of the moral significance of sports, the nature of sport and competition, and issues such as racism, gender equity, violence, and performance-enhancing drugs.PH
PHIL 272The Ethics of Peace, War, and DefenseAn analysis of ethical issues that arise in peace, war, and defense, e.g., the legitimacy of states, just war theory, terrorism, weapons of mass destruction.PH, NA, GL
PHIL 273Justice, Rights, and the Common Good: Philosophical Perspectives on Social and Economic IssuesThis course will focus on justice and the common good, applying theoretical justifications to contemporary social and economic issues. Readings will include classical and contemporary literature on the nature of justice and rights.PH
PHIL 274(H)Race, Racism, and Social Justice: African-American Political PhilosophyRace, identity, discrimination, multiculturalism, affirmative action, and slave reparations in the writings of Walker, Delany, Douglass, Cooper, DuBois, King, and Malcolm X.PH, US
PHIL 275(H)Moral and Philosophical Issues of Gender in SocietyA survey of feminist perspectives on topics such as the meaning of oppression, sexism and racism, sex roles and stereotypes, ideals of female beauty, women in the workplace, pornography, rape.PH, US
PHIL 280(H)Morality, Law, and Justice: Issues in Legal PhilosophyExplores issues in legal philosophy such as, What is law? Does it serve justice or undermine it? Can punishment be justified? When is a person responsible?PH
PHIL 282Human Rights: Philosophical InterrogationsThe philosophy of human rights addresses questions about the existence, content, nature, universality, justification, and legal status of human rights.The strong claims made on behalf of human rights frequently provoke skeptical doubts and countering philosophical defenses. These will be addressed through classical and contemporary history of philosophy.PH
PHIL 285Moral and Philosophical Issues in EducationA critical examination of the moral and philosophical issues in education: What does it mean to be well educated? What is a liberal education?PH, CI
PHIL 360(H)Major Developments in Ethics: Historical and Philosophical PerspectivesPrerequisite, one previous PHIL course. PHIL 160 recommended. Major developments in the history of moral philosophy, from Plato to Nietzsche.PH
PHIL 362(H)Contemporary Ethical TheoryPrerequisite, one previous PHIL course. Using 20th- and 21st-century texts, this course explores some general questions about morality in depth. For example, Is there moral truth? Are any moral rules absolute? Why be moral?PH
PHIL 364Ethics and EconomicsRecommended preparation, at least one course in ethics (PHIL 160, 163, or 170) or one course in economics. Issues at the intersection of ethics and economics, including value; the relation between values and preferences; rationality; the relevance to economics of rights, justice, and the value of human life.PH
PHIL 368Living Things, Wilderness, and Ecosystems: An Introduction to Environmental EthicsThe meaning of environmental values and their relation to other values; the ethical status of animals, species, wilderness, and ecosystems; the built environment; environmental justice; ecofeminism; obligations to future generations.PH, GL
PHIL 370Authority, Freedom, and Rights: Advanced Political PhilosophyPrerequisite, one previous PHIL course. Advanced discussion of competing philosophical approaches to questions of justice, authority, freedom, rights, and the like, including libertarianism, liberalism, communitarianism, Marxism, and feminism.PH, NA
PHIL 381(H)Philosophy and FilmPrerequisite, one previous PHIL course. An examination of how philosophical issues are explored in the medium of film.PH
PHIL 384Gateway to Philosophy, Politics, and EconomicsOne course in economics strongly recommended. This interdisciplinary gateway course provides an introduction to subjects and quantitative techniques used to analyze problems in philosophy, political science, and economics.PH
PHIL 460History of Moral PhilosophyPrerequisite, Two courses in philosophy other than PHIL 155, including PHIL 360, strongly recommended. Examination of classic texts of Plato, Aristotle, Aquinas, Hobbes, Butler, Hume, Kant, and Mill. Selections may vary from year to year.PH
PHIL 462Contemporary Moral PhilosophyPrerequisite, two courses in philosophy other than PHIL 155, including PHIL 362. Advanced discussion of moral issues such as fact and value, reason and morality, the nature of morality.PH
PHIL 463Contemporary Moral and Social ProblemsTwo courses in philosophy other than PHIL 155 strongly recommended. A detailed examination of one or more of the following contemporary issues: environmental ethics, animal rights, abortion, euthanasia, pornography, racism, sexism, public versus private morality.
PHIL 465Justice in Health CareOne course in philosophy strongly recommended. Medical students welcome. The course will focus on the question of how scarce health care resources ought to be distributed in order to meet the demands of justice.
PHIL 468Risk and SocietyPrerequisite, PHIL 155. One additional course in philosophy strongly recommended. The course examines attitudes toward risk and how they affect our preferences for different public policies in the areas of environmental protection, technology regulation, and workplace and product safety.
PHIL 470Political Philosophy from Hobbes to RousseauTwo courses in philosophy other than PHIL 155, including PHIL 170 or 370, strongly recommended. Explores the foundations of justice and authority in the idea of contract or covenant, the nature of law, rights, liberty, and democracy in the work of Hobbes, Locke, Hume, Rousseau.PH
PHIL 471Hegel, Marx, and the Philosophical Critique of SocietyAn examination of central issues in social and political philosophy as they figure in the work of Hegel, Marx, Nietzsche, and others.
PHIL 473American Political PhilosophyOne course in philosophy other than PHIL 155 strongly recommended. Juniors and seniors only. The issue of unity and diversity in America is analyzed through the writings of Jefferson, the Federalists and Anti-Federalists, Calhoun, MacKinnon, DuBois, and Rawls.US
PHIL 474Foundations of Modern Political PhilosophyPrerequisite, PHIL 170. This course traces the emergence and development of central themes of modern political philosophy from the 13th through the 17th century.PH
PHIL 475Philosophical Issues in Gender, Race, and ClassPrerequisite, PHIL 275 or WGST 101. Examines in greater depth and complexity one or more of the issues addressed in PHIL 275, investigating issues of gender, race, and class within the dominant theories of philosophy.US
PHIL 476Recent Developments in Political PhilosophyTwo courses in philosophy other than PHIL 155, including PHIL 370, strongly recommended. Investigation of major contemporary contributors (Rawls, Nozick, Dworkin, Cohen, Waldron, Arrow) to philosophical debate concerning justice, equality, liberty, democracy, public reason, or rights versus community.PH
PHIL 480Philosophy of LawAn exploration of whether and under what conditions the state has the right to control crime by punishment of past crimes and preventive detention to prevent future crimes.PH
PHIL 482Philosophy and LiteraturePhilosophical readings of literary texts, including novels, plays, and poems.
PHIl 485Philosophy of ArtCompeting theories of art and art criticism. The relationship between art and emotional expression, the formal character of art, and standards of taste.
PEACE, WAR, AND DEFENSE (PWAD) 272The Ethics of Peace, War, and DefenseAn analysis of ethical issues that arise in peace, war, and defense, e.g., the legitimacy of states, just war theory, terrorism, weapons of mass destruction.PH, NA, GL
RELIGIOUS STUDIES (RELI) 134(H)Introduction to Religious EthicsA study of the nature, methods, and aims of ethics as seen in exemplary persons and actions with emphasis on religious and social context and contemporary problems.PH
RELI 135Technology, the Self, and Ethical ProblemsProblems in the study of ethics in the new worlds of information technology.PH
RELI 226Human Animals in Religion and EthicsThis course investigates the figure of the human animal in religion and philosophy. What kind of animal is the human, and what separates humans from animals? We will consider how attending to distinctions between humans and animals can highlight varying ideological and religious viewpoints.PH, GL
RELI 420(H)Post-Holocaust Ethics and TheologyThis course examines the challenges posed to ethics and theology by the Holocaust. We will address philosophical and moral issues such as the problem of evil, divine omniscience, omnipotence, suffering, theodicy, representation, testimony, and an ethics of memory.PH, GL
RELI 430Dimensions of EvilThis course explores the meaning of evil. By investigating the moral dimensions of evil, its social uses, its figuration in cross-cultural religious texts, theology, folklore, and political imaginaries, this course develops a critical framework for understanding the diverse manifestations and varied cultural renderings of evil in the modern world. Previously offered as RELI 526.PH, GL
RELI 482Sex, Gender, and Religion in South AsiaThis seminar draws on feminist and philosophical theory, including the works of Plato, Butler, and Foucualt, as well as postcolonial theory, to explore the categories of sex and gender in South Asian religions. We also analyze the moral cultivation of the self in relation to gender identity in South Asia.PH, BN
SOCIOLOGY (SOCI) 273, 274Social and Economic JusticeCovers theory and practice of social and economic justice, including analyses of racial, gender, sexual, class, national, and other forms of justice, the history of influential movements for justice, and strategies of contemporary struggles. This course has a 30-hour service-learning component. Students may not receive credit for both SOCI 273 and SOCI 274.PH, EE
SOCI 470Human RightsHuman rights are inherent in the advance of peace, security, prosperity, and social equity. They are shared by the global community, yet require local embedding. Course includes a service-learning component.EE
WOMEN AND GENDER STUDIES (WGST) 275(H)Moral and Philosophical Issues of Gender in SocietyA survey of feminist perspectives on topics such as the meaning of oppression, sexism and racism, sex roles and stereotypes, ideals of female beauty, women in the workplace, pornography, rape.PH, US
WGST 475Philosophical Issues in Gender, Race, and ClassPrerequisite, PHIL 275 or WGST 101. Examines in greater depth and complexity one or more of the issues addressed in PHIL 275, investigating issues of gender, race, and class within the dominant theories of philosophy.US
WGST 482Sex, Gender, and Religion in South AsiaThis seminar draws on feminist and philosophical theory, including the works of Plato, Butler, and Foucualt, as well as postcolonial theory, to explore the categories of sex and gender in South Asian religions. We also analyze the moral cultivation of the self in relation to gender identity in South Asia.PH, BN

 

Did we miss one? Email your suggested course to Director of Undergraduate Programming, Sally Moore.