Dr. Robert Sutton

Office: S511-B

PHI 240 Spring 2014Summer

Phone: 362-7133


Office Hours: MWF 9-10:00, TTH 11-12:00 and by appointment.

Home Page:

Mail S202


COURSE DESCRIPTION: This course introduces theories about the nature and foundations of moral judgments and applications to contemporary moral issues. Emphasis is placed on utilitarianism, rule-based ethics, existentialism, relativism versus objectivism, and egoism. Upon completion, students should be able to apply various ethical theories to individual moral issues such as euthanasia, abortion, crime and punishment, and justice. This course has been approved to satisfy the Comprehensive Articulation Agreement general education core requirement in humanities/fine arts. This course may meet the SACS humanities/fine arts requirement for AA, AS, AFA, AGE, AAS, DIP, or CER programs.
COURSE OBJECTIVES: Upon completion of this course, a student should be able:

  1. identify the major ethical theories and the theories of the Western and, when possible, non-Western traditions,
  2. discuss some of the complex issues that confront us as individuals and as citizens,
  3. apply the various ethical theories and principles to these contemporary issues and problems,
  4. ponder the role of moral decision making in his/her personal life,
  5. recognize the value of critical thinking and the precise use of language in order to develop habits of thinking, speaking, and writing with logical rigor and clarity.


Written Communication

Basic Computer Usage

Oral Communication

Problem Solving

Critical Thinking



All required readings are online and discussed in BlackBoard under the “Assignments” tab.


Throughout the semester you will be asked to read philosophical essays, PowerPoint presentations, short stories, and the three novels that I am asking you to purchase for this course. You will be asked to respond in writing to these readings and to the questions that they raise. There are 6 discussion board questions and your responses to those questions will count 20% toward your grade and the remaining 80% will be based on 7 short papers, at least two pages, typed in MLA format.  As explained on BlackBoard, these papers will be submitted as hard copies in class and also electronically. There will be no late papers accepted. 

The class format will be lecture-discussion.

ASSIGNMENTS: As this is a hybrid course, all assignments are located on BlackBoard.  Instructions on using BlackBoard will be given in class

CAPE FEAR ATTENDANCE POLICY: CFCC policy requires 80% attendance. This course has 16 scheduled class meetings.  Thus, a grade of "F" is issued after your third (3rd) absence, no exceptions. As a matter of respect for your colleagues, and me you are expected to be in class on time.  Roll will be taken at the beginning of class and if you are not here to respond, you will be marked absent.

GRADING: School wide grade scale is as follows:

           A=100-92(4), B=91-84(3), C=83-76(2), D=75-68(1), F=67(0), WP, WF, I.

No withdrawals will be granted without a face to face consultation with the instructors and it is CFCC policy that, No withdrawals may be requested after the 80 percent point of a class.

PLAGIARISM STATEMENT: Plagiarism is using as your own the words or ideas of another, whether written or oral.  When you use material from a source, you must quote or paraphrase accurately and properly cite the information.  Failure to do so is considered plagiarism.  Examples of plagiarism include word-for-word copying without correctly indicating that you are quoting, inaccurate quoting and paraphrasing and incomplete or missing documentation.  Purchasing a paper or copying someone else's work and submitting it as your own are also plagiarism.  Any misrepresentation of the source in your writing or speaking would constitute a form of plagiarism. Whether intentional or unintentional, plagiarism is not acceptable.  The Humanities and Fine Arts Department adheres to the CFCC policy on cheating as stated in the Catalog and Student Handbook. In the unlikely event of an act of plagiarism, I will give the student a failing grade for the course.

CONTINGENCY PLAN:  If there is an emergency and the instructor or an appropriate substitute does not meet with the class, wait fifteen minutes.  If no instructor shows, the class should sign a roll sheet and designate someone to take it to the Humanities/Fine Arts Department Secretary or Chair. In the event of faculty absences, unless an assignment is given, it is expected that students will use the time studying in the library.

ACCOMMODATION OF SPECIAL NEEDS: Any student who requests classroom accommodations because of a disability must present documentation to verify his/her disability.  This documentation must be furnished to the Disabilities Service Coordinator.  On a confidential basis, the student, disabilities services and the instructor will determine the appropriate accommodations following documentation.  These accommodations will be provided in a manner that is consistent with the objectives, outcomes, and academic standards of the course. Absences must not exceed class attendance policy.

CELL PHONES:  Please make sure that your cell phone is off before entering the classroom.  There is no reason to ever have your cell phone out during class time, thus there is no need to every see a cell phone in the classroom.


MYCFCC:  MYCFCC is your student web portal - there you can access your class websites, email, and WebAdvisor (official academic info such as grades, transcripts, schedules, etc).  Your official CFCC-provided email account is to be used for all e-mail correspondence with your instructors and CFCC staff.   Some information from CFCC will ONLY be emailed to this address, and not sent through postal mail, so it is very important that you check this account.  To access this account, visit the myCFCC portal - there is a link to the portal near the top of the website.  Login and click the Email link.  Your username is part of your email address:  (Note if you've had a CFCC email address in the past, this one differs because we've changed 'email' to 'mail' in the address.)  This email account is provided to you as long as you are enrolled in classes (you can take the summer off), and may be used for personal email as well as academic email.   The class websites linked from the portal are automatically created for every class - it is up to the instructors to decide whether and how to use them.  Even if they are not used, you can send an email to your instructor by clicking the Send Email link on your class homepage.


TOBACCO USE:  Tobacco use is prohibited on all CFCC property.  The first offense is a warning and the second offense may result in disciplinary action.


Disclaimer on First-Day Handouts:  The instructor reserves the right, acting within the policies and procedures of Cape Fear Community College, to make changes in course content or instructional techniques without notice or obligations.


Semester Hours Credit: 3
Course hours per week: 3
Prerequisites: ENG 111.
Corequisites: None:

Updated 1/15/2013