Today it seems that we are in auditory crisis. Everyone wants to be heard but few feel listened to. Our course examines the phenomenon of listening from many sides - the physiology and psychology of hearing the interpersonal dynamics of discourse and the bearings of society and culture on what is heard and what is silenced. Cross-listed with IDS-3812-01.
The subtitle of this course is “Business Ethics.” What do we mean by “business,” what do we mean by “ethics”; and how, to what degree, are business and ethics compatible or complementary? The word “ethics” comes from the ancient Greek term “ethos,” which has to do with the “character” or “habits” of a person; indeed, for many, one’s character was thought to be defined largely by one’s habits. Further, the ancient Greeks used a related word, ethike, to signify the investigation of guidelines or principles for living a good life and also those guidelines or principles themselves.
What was thought of as right was that which would probably lead to a good life; conversely, what was thought of as wrong was that which would probably lead to a bad life. Thus, the philosophical study of ethics investigated the proper ways of discerning right from wrong, as manifested in human actions. Not surprisingly, as ethics is part of a long philosophical tradition, numerous ethical perspectives have arisen, such as virtue ethics, deontology, and utilitarianism. Each of these has its own ways of determining what is right or wrong in what people do. In this course, we will be looking at a handful of ethical perspectives that have proven themselves to be very influential down through the ages.
Business, as we know, abides or should abide by strict rules and regulations. Further, there are often guidelines that businesspeople are expected to follow if they wish to engage in business, a certain code regarding what is acceptable and what isn’t; even where legality isn’t in question, businesses (and businesspeople) are expected to follow fair practices, be trustworthy, honest, and diligent in carrying out their work.
The study of philosophy, and ethics in particular, offers us a means of pressure-testing situations that may arise or have arisen in a business setting. Ethical principles can serve as a lens for viewing a given problem or, more likely, an ambiguous situation, in which what is right and what is wrong may require some investigation. Philosophical questioning about ethics seldom leads to easy answers; sometimes, it makes the questions themselves more difficult. But exploring such issues should sharpen our ethical senses and, we hope, help us to develop clearer and more consistent guidelines for our actions, with a solid ethical foundation.

(PHL:38) No prerequisites. Meets general education Aesthetic and Philosophical Expression - A requirement. No prerequisites. Meets general education Aesthetic and philosophical Expression - A requirement.