AP/MODR1760 6.0 B: Reasoning About Morality and Values
Calendar Description / Prerequisite / Co-Requisite
This is a skills-based course focusing on critical thinking, critical writing, and logical and linguistic analysis. The course uses examples drawn from areas in the humanities where value judgements are made. Different sections will stress different topics in ethics, aesthetics, religion or law. Course credit exclusions: AP/MODR 1730 6.00, AP/MODR 1770 6.00.
Dr. Patrick J.J. Phillips
Office hours: In person: suspended due to the pandemic. Online via Zoom
This is a problem-based course where students will be required to assess ethical issues and questions of value from historical, political, economic, and ethical approaches. Emphasis will be placed on providing explicit instruction in critical analytical thought, and its communication in writing. (For an expanded description see below).
Contemporary Moral Problems by James E. White
Paperback: 544 pages
10th edition (January 1, 2011)
Publisher: Wadsworth Publishing
The Power of Critical Thinking by Chris MacDonald and Lewis Vaughn 5th Canadian Edition (4th Edition is also permitted).
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Both textbooks are available via the York Bookstore. Multiple used copies are available (at reduced cost).
Note: Be mindful, if essay writing is NOT your preferred mode of assessment you may wish to reconsider undertaking this section of Modes
Essay 1: 35%, (Sunday, June 13th, 2021)
Essay 2: 35% (Sunday, July 18th, 2021)
Essay 3: 20% (Sunday, August 8th, 2021)
Opinion papers (x4) : 10% (details to be forthcoming)
Note: All Essays will be run through Turnitin.com
Details of the content and form of these essay components will be posted on Moodle in due course
The course director has the sole and absolute discretion on the format and content of all assessments. Exams and tests may be based on the assigned readings (including, but not limited to, any exercises in the texts), assigned films and discussions.
To ensure fairness and impartiality for the benefit and protection of all students, and to safeguard academic integrity, grades are not subject to bargaining or negotiation. Students may formally request a reappraisal of their final grades to the Faculty of Liberal Arts and Professional Studies. It is the students’ responsibility to obtain, complete, and submit all applicable documents within the required time frame in accordance with the University’s requirements.
A grade reappraisal may result in the original grade being raised, lowered or confirmed.
Late or Missed Assignments and Assessments
All assignments are due at the same time on the same day: Sunday at 12.00 midnight. For dates of submission see below
Submissions are to Tunitin on the E-class website ONLY.
The assignment submission e-mail must have a Word Document attached. No alternative format will be accepted. Student’s FULL NAME AND STUDENT NUMBER must appear in the email subject line
For late submissions, a 5% per calendar day grade reduction will apply, unless accompanied by a doctor’s note, court-date note, or other official document detailing a serious matter. Failure to meet these requirements will result in a grade of zero will being recorded.
Retro-active extensions will NOT be granted.
Students must notify the course director in writing of late submissions within 24 hours of the due date and time, or as soon as possible if a serious matter applies, or as the University otherwise requires. Otherwise, a grade of zero for that component will be recorded.
Make-up or Alternate Assessments
Despite the current challenges posed by the pandemic make-up or alternate assessments are not guaranteed.
If the course director has agreed to grant a mark-up or alternate assessment, the course director has the sole and absolute discretion on the format and content of the assessment (e.g. a makeup exam, take-home essay, etc.).
Deferred standing may be granted to undergraduate students who are unable to write their final exam at the scheduled time or submit their outstanding work on the last day of classes.
To apply for deferred standing, students must submit the Final Exam/Assignment Deferred Standing Agreement form, Attending Physician's Statement (if applicable), and all supporting documents to the course director in accordance with the University’s requirements.
To make up for a missed exam not held during the formal exam period, students must make alternate arrangements directly with the course director to write the exam within the duration of the course at the course director’s discretion.
It is the students’ responsibility to obtain, complete, and submit all applicable documents within the required time frame in accordance with the University’s requirements.
The course director and tutorial leader(s) (if applicable) are committed to providing reasonable accommodation in accordance with the University’s requirements, and federal and provincial legislation.
Please contact the course director as early as possible with any request for reasonable accommodation. The course director cannot help if he is not aware of the need to do so.
Here are some of the resources available to students (the information is subject to change from time to time – please consult the University’s website for the latest information):
Centre for Aboriginal Student Services: 246 York Lanes, 416-736-5571 o
Centre for Human Rights, 416-736-5682, firstname.lastname@example.org
Learning Disability Services, W128 Bennett Centre for Student Services, 416-736-5383 o Learning Skills Services – S172 Ross Building, 416-736-5144
Mental Health Disability Services, N110 Bennett Centre for Student Services, 416-736-5350
Personal Counselling Services: N110, Bennett Centre for Student Services, 416-736-5297
Physical, Sensory and Medical Disability Services, N108 Ross Building, 416-736-5140
Writing Centre for the Faculty of Liberal Arts and Professional Students Writing Department, S329 Ross Building, 416-736-5134
- The course director’s office hours are currently suspended.
- Any queries that ARE NOT ANSWERED BY THIS DOCUMENT may be addressed to the course director by email.
Those students who do not wish to critique, discuss and debate their ideas are strongly discouraged from joining this course.
This course is multidisciplinary and, where appropriate, interdisciplinary, in character. A concatenation of approaches and texts include, but are not be limited to, humanities, social science, natural science, politics, and moral philosophy.
Students who successfully complete this course will acquire the following skills:
improve their knowledge of classical and contemporary social scientific and ethical theories, and apply these theories critically and grow their analytical skills for application throughout their undergraduate experience.
discuss and debate issues respectfully and critically, both orally and in writing.spoken and written eloquence, listening skills, and ability to argue their position, through i) argument, ii) logic (including the fallacies), iii) rhetoric, and iv) practical application of skills gained in debates.
- identify, synthesize, and record relevant and important concepts in note-taking.
- take responsibility for their learning, and comply with all rules and regulations, as preparation for graduate studies and the work force.
Computing resource links
Computing for LAPS Students
Learning Commons (e-learning)
York University Bookstore
Library during the pandemic
Peer Mentors are high achieving upper year students who have completed some and/or similar courses you are currently enrolled in. Peer Mentors can provide you with one-on-one consultations to review class assignments, show you how to implement learning skills (i.e. time management tools, efficient note-taking), and refer you to appropriate resources at York University (i.e. the Writing Centre, Learning Skills Services, etc.), along with other mentorship services!
To ask a question or book an appointment, please email email@example.com, or visit their online drop-in hours hosted on Zoom, on Mondays and Wednesdays from 1:00pm-2:00pm, and Tuesdays and Thursdays from 11:00am-12:00pm. For schedules, the link to drop-in, and to learn more about each Peer Mentor's program specialization, please visit https://vanier.laps.yorku.ca/peer-mentors-program/.
Email response policy
The email address of the course director is firstname.lastname@example.org.
The subject line of all emails must contain the student’s full name, student number and section number (i.e. Mode. Section E).
All emails must be professional, clear, and coherent. Avoid instant text messaging terms, inappropriate language, emoticons, and poor composition.
While the course director endeavors to review all emails in a timely manner, emails sent after 5 pm on a business day, and emails sent on weekends and statutory holidays, may be reviewed on the next business day.
- Academic Honesty
- Student Rights and Responsibilities
- Religious Observance
- Grading Scheme and Feedback
- 20% Rule
No examinations or tests collectively worth more than 20% of the final grade in a course will be given during the final 14 calendar days of classes in a term. The exceptions to the rule are classes which regularly meet Friday evenings or on Saturday and/or Sunday at any time, and courses offered in the compressed summer terms.
- Academic Accommodation for Students with Disabilities