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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Janice E. Moskalik
PHIL 241
Seattle Campus

Topics in Ethics

Introduction to ethics through in-depth study of one or more selected topics (e.g., limits of moral community, animal rights, moral education, and freedom). Topics vary.

Class description

Retribution and forgiveness are often seen as directly contrary to one another, as in the descriptions “an eye for an eye” and “turn the other cheek.” Each is a possible response to wrongdoing. But what, exactly, do we mean by “retribution” and “forgiveness”? And what are we to think about the moral appropriateness of each response? Is one of them right and the other wrong? If so, is one always right and the other always wrong? Or does the morally appropriate response in a given case depend upon the facts of that case? Or can either of retribution or forgiveness be an appropriate response to a particular wrongdoing? Or is neither one ever a morally appropriate way to respond to wrongdoing?

In this course, we will consider some of the different philosophical conceptions of retribution – or attitudes in favor of retribution, such as a desire for revenge – and forgiveness, and as well some of the philosophical arguments for and/or against some of those conceptions as morally appropriate responses to wrongs.

Student learning goals

General method of instruction

Recommended preparation

Class assignments and grading


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by Annette R. Bernier
Date: 06/30/2010