AP/PHIL1002 3.0 M: Justice, Law and Morality

Offered by: PHIL


Winter 2022






Calendar Description / Prerequisite / Co-Requisite

An introduction to some foundational questions in moral, political, and legal philosophy. Topics to be covered include (but are not restricted to) the nature of law and punishment, morality, justice, equality, rights, and liberty. PRIOR TO FALL 2017: Course credit exclusion AP/PHIL 1002 6.00.

Course Start Up

Course Websites hosted on York's "eClass" are accessible to students during the first week of the term. It takes two business days from the time of your enrolment to access your course website. Course materials begin to be released on the course website during the first week. To log in to your eClass course visit the York U eClass Portal and login with your Student Passport York Account. If you are creating and participating in Zoom meetings you may also go directly to the York U Zoom Portal.

For further course Start Up details, review the Next Steps webpage.

For IT support, students may contact University Information Technology Client Services via askit@yorku.ca or (416) 736-5800. Please also visit Students Getting Started UIT or the Getting Help - UIT webpages.

    Additional Course Instructor/Contact Details

Parisa Moosavi

    Expanded Course Description

This course is an introduction to some of the foundational questions in moral, political, and legal philosophy. We will engage with ethical questions regarding global justice and poverty, punishment and the death penalty, liberty and drug use, oppression, affirmative action, and sexual morality. Our aim in this course is not necessarily to find the right or wrong answers to all of these questions. Instead, we will use the fundamental tools of philosophy to better understand what these questions are asking and how best to argue for and defend various conclusions intended to answer them.

    Additional Requirements

Technical requirements for taking the course:

The course will combine pre-recorded lectures with in-person lectures and tutorials held on campus. The office hours will be held on Zoom.

The technical requirements for taking the course include:

  • A computer or smart device with an internet connection to access eClass (Moodle), which will be used for delivering the course material, including pre-recorded lectures, assignments, discussion forums, and quizzes.
  • Software necessary to view Microsoft Office files (MS Word and MS Powerpoint) and Adobe Reader (for pdf files).
  • Video-conferencing technology (such as a webcam and microphone) for attending (optional) virtual office hours on Zoom, and in case holding class remotely becomes necessary due to unpredictable circumstances related to the pandemic.

Please review this syllabus for the details of how the lectures, tutorials, assignments, quizzes, and office hours will be delivered.

Here are some useful links for student computing information, resources and help:

Student Guide to Moodle

Zoom@YorkU Best Practices 

Zoom@YorkU User Reference Guide

Computing for Students Website

Student Guide to eLearning at York University

To determine Internet connection and speed, there are online tests, such as Speedtest, that can be run.]

Times and locations:

Mondays and Wednesdays 9:30-10:30pm - CLH H

The course will follow a “flipped classroom” model. It will combine pre-recorded lectures with in-person lectures and tutorials. The in-person lectures will likely only meet once a week (either on Mondays or Wednesdays at the scheduled time and location). The tutorials will also meet in person once a week, depending on tutorial group. There is no option to attend the in-person lectures and tutorials remotely if you don’t have access to campus.

Virtual Office Hours: The course director’s virtual office hours will be scheduled on Zoom.

    Required Course Text / Readings

The course will use a reading kit. This reading kit is available as a physical book (not an e-book) to purchase through the bookstore’s website

    Weighting of Course

Tutorial Attendance and Participation 15%

Quizzes (twice a week) 25%

Paper 1 (Argument Reconstruction) 10%

Paper 2 (Argument Assessment) 20%

Paper 3 (Comparative Essay) 30%

    Organization of the Course

Please review the table below for the details of various components of the course.


Component Description
Pre-recorded Lectures These are pre-recorded lectures made available on eClass and should be watched and studied along with the course readings before the in-person lectures.
In-person Lectures These are in-person lectures held on campus once a week (either on Mondays or Wednesdays) at the scheduled time and location. There is no option to attend these sessions remotely.


Tutorials are held on campus once a week at the scheduled time and location, depending on tutorial group. There is no option to attend the tutorials remotely.
Quizzes Each week, there will be two short online quizzes that cover the lectures and the assigned readings for that week.
Office Hours The course director’s virtual office hours will be held on Zoom.
    Course Learning Objectives

Completing the work for this course will:

  • Introduce you to some of the most central questions in moral philosophy and applied ethics.
  • Teach you the motivations behind the primary positions in the field, along with their benefits and flaws.
  • Improve your ability to read difficult texts with comprehension.
  • Improve your ability to analyze and evaluate arguments.

Improve your ability to communicate complicated ideas in concise prose.

    Additional Information / Notes

Grading Policy:  The grading scheme for the course conforms to the 9-point grading system used in undergraduate programs at York (e.g., A+ = 9, A = 8, B+ - 7, C+ = 5, etc.).  Assignments and tests* will bear either a letter grade designation or a corresponding number grade (e.g.  A+ = 90 to 100, A = 80 to 90, B+ = 75 to 79, etc.)

(For a full description of York grading system see the York University Undergraduate Calendar here.)

Assignment Submission: Proper academic performance depends on students doing their work not only well, but on time.  Accordingly, assignments for this course must be received on the due date specified for the assignment.

Assignments are to be submitted electronically on eClass.

Lateness Penalty: Please see the policy for each type of assignment below.

Paper assignments: You may be granted an extension of up to 3 days on a paper assignment, no questions asked, only if you email your TA requesting an extension at least 48 hours before the due date of the paper assignment. Late submission of any written assignment without an extension will be penalized 3 percentage points for each day that the assignment is late.

Quizzes: The quizzes won’t be available online after the deadline. If you have a valid reason for missing a quiz, contact the course instructor as soon as possible to receive a make-up assignment. Note that you can miss one quiz (out of 21) with no penalty without having to provide justification.

Use of Lecture Recordings: Students do not have permission to duplicate, copy and/or distribute the lecture recordings outside of the class (these acts can violate not only copyright laws but also FIPPA).

    Relevant Links / Resources