Ethics & Public Policy

OSH 124 / Non Credit
Course taught in: English
Locations: TBA
Instructor: Cynthia Halpern

Course Description

In this course, we look at several of the most urgent policy questions of our time. We examine the nature and validity of the arguments for and against major policy proposals, and we look at examples or cases for each policy choice. We focus on what the ends of policy should be and how citizens make choices, both regarding ethical principles and political practicalities. The aim of the course is not to change your moral perspectives, but to clarify the criteria by which we make ethical policy choices. We carefully consider both sides of every issue. I have chosen issues that involve a conflict between genuine and serious value commitments. 

Week 1 Just and Unjust Wars. What is wrong with violence?
Week 2 Global Warming
Week 3 Euthanasia and Physician-Assisted Suicide
Week 4 Healthcare
Week 5 Affirmative Action
Week 6 Multiculturalism


Mrs. Cynthia Halpern is an active OLLI member. She taught Ethics and Public Policy course for the last 30 years, first at Princeton University and then at Swarthmore College, a top-ranked Liberal Arts College Outside Of Philadelphia. She is an associate professor emeritus at Swarthmore College and an excellent teacher. She is a published author in Political Theory, and taught five courses a year in Political Theory at Princeton and then at Swarthmore. This is her profession.

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