Julius Schönherr
Teaching
Writing Wagner
My teaching focuses primarily on topics in bioethics and the philosophy of climate change / the environment. Courses taught as principal instructor
Spring 2018 -- Topics in Bioethics: Autonomy Morality, one may be quick to judge, solely regulates how people ought to treat others. On reflection, this view is problematic and most likely false. A wide variety of primarily self-effecting acts such as suicide, self-deprecation, and self-enslavement are often considered to be morally wrong. As a corollary, it is sometimes argued that the state may interfere with one’s personal freedom with the aim of protecting its citizens from harming themselves. In this course, we will examine the extent to which various types of entirely self-affecting actions can be morally wrong and the extent to which third parties may permissibly interfere with such self-affecting acts. In discussing these topics, we will gain insight into the moral dimensions of personal autonomy, respect for persons, beneficence, and authority. Syllabus PDF
Fall 2017 -- Introduction to Moral Philosophy Killing is wrong. The generic prohibition against killing, while seemingly univocal, is perplexing. Most people agree that taking human life is wrong, yet there are clearly cases where killing is justified. Morality demands that we not kill others, yet we generally agree that considerations of self-defense override this demand. Millions of animals are killed in the United States each year for culinary purposes, yet the lives of similarly cognitively deficient humans are seen as inviolable. While all people agree that killing infants is wrong, many believe that killing humans in the initial stages of gestation is permissible. How should we reconcile these apparently conflicting condemnations and approvals? What makes killings immoral, when they are? This course will explore a cluster of such questions, (almost) all related to issues of life and death, in the service of addressing the central question of this course: What makes killing wrong? Syllabus PDF
Summer 2017 -- Ethics of Climate Change (online course) It is a common sentiment in today’s society that faith in the broad scientific consensus concerning climate change incontrovertibly favors the adoption of strong climate change abatement policies. In philosophical discourse, this sentiment is often supported with the idea that the potentially disastrous impact of climate change demands special precaution. Next, it is often argued that rich nations such as the United States ought to bear most of the expenses. In this course, we will try to understand and scrutinize these arguments. In doing so we will put special emphasis on the following questions: Does future harm have less moral significance than present harm? Should the expenses be distributed according to the “polluter pays” principle? (To what extend) should expert disagreement within science affect policy making? How do shared responsibilities relate to individual responsibilities? Reading list PDF
Spring 2016 / Fall 2016 -- Ethics of the Environment In this course, we will employ philosophical methodology to study contemporary issues relating to the natural environment. In the first part of the course, we will focus on ethical questions such as "Why is the environmental valuable?", "What attitude should we take towards nature?", and "What parts of nature have value and why?". Furthermore, we will discuss selected economic aspects of environmentalism. In the second part of the course, we will focus on the ethics of climate change. Topics include: obligations towards future generations, temporal discounting of well-being, climate change and risk, collective-v-individual obligations. Reading list PDF
Courses TAed - Political Philosophy (Instructor: Christian Tarsney) - Darwin's Dangerous idea (Instructor: Erin Eaker) - Wisdom Through Cognitive Science (Instructor: Peter Carruthers)
Julius Schönherr
Teaching
Writing Wagner
My teaching focuses primarily on topics in bioethics and the philosophy of climate change / the environment. Courses taught as principal instructor
Spring 2018 -- Topics in Bioethics: Autonomy Morality, one may be quick to judge, solely regulates how people ought to treat others. On reflection, this view is problematic and most likely false. A wide variety of primarily self-effecting acts such as suicide, self-deprecation, and self-enslavement are often considered to be morally wrong. As a corollary, it is sometimes argued that the state may interfere with one’s personal freedom with the aim of protecting its citizens from harming themselves. In this course, we will examine the extent to which various types of entirely self-affecting actions can be morally wrong and the extent to which third parties may permissibly interfere with such self-affecting acts. In discussing these topics, we will gain insight into the moral dimensions of personal autonomy, respect for persons, beneficence, and authority. Syllabus PDF
Fall 2017 -- Introduction to Moral Philosophy Killing is wrong. The generic prohibition against killing, while seemingly univocal, is perplexing. Most people agree that taking human life is wrong, yet there are clearly cases where killing is justified. Morality demands that we not kill others, yet we generally agree that considerations of self-defense override this demand. Millions of animals are killed in the United States each year for culinary purposes, yet the lives of similarly cognitively deficient humans are seen as inviolable. While all people agree that killing infants is wrong, many believe that killing humans in the initial stages of gestation is permissible. How should we reconcile these apparently conflicting condemnations and approvals? What makes killings immoral, when they are? This course will explore a cluster of such questions, (almost) all related to issues of life and death, in the service of addressing the central question of this course: What makes killing wrong? Syllabus PDF
Summer 2017 -- Ethics of Climate Change (online course) It is a common sentiment in today’s society that faith in the broad scientific consensus concerning climate change incontrovertibly favors the adoption of strong climate change abatement policies. In philosophical discourse, this sentiment is often supported with the idea that the potentially disastrous impact of climate change demands special precaution. Next, it is often argued that rich nations such as the United States ought to bear most of the expenses. In this course, we will try to understand and scrutinize these arguments. In doing so we will put special emphasis on the following questions: Does future harm have less moral significance than present harm? Should the expenses be distributed according to the “polluter pays” principle? (To what extend) should expert disagreement within science affect policy making? How do shared responsibilities relate to individual responsibilities? Reading list PDF
Spring 2016 / Fall 2016 -- Ethics of the Environment In this course, we will employ philosophical methodology to study contemporary issues relating to the natural environment. In the first part of the course, we will focus on ethical questions such as "Why is the environmental valuable?", "What attitude should we take towards nature?", and "What parts of nature have value and why?". Furthermore, we will discuss selected economic aspects of environmentalism. In the second part of the course, we will focus on the ethics of climate change. Topics include: obligations towards future generations, temporal discounting of well-being, climate change and risk, collective-v-individual obligations. Reading list PDF
Courses TAed - Political Philosophy (Instructor: Christian Tarsney) - Darwin's Dangerous idea (Instructor: Erin Eaker) - Wisdom Through Cognitive Science (Instructor: Peter Carruthers)
Julius Schönherr
Teaching
Writing Wagner
My teaching focuses primarily on topics in bioethics and the philosophy of climate change / the environment. Courses taught as principal instructor
Spring 2018 -- Topics in Bioethics: Autonomy Morality, one may be quick to judge, solely regulates how people ought to treat others. On reflection, this view is problematic and most likely false. A wide variety of primarily self-effecting acts such as suicide, self-deprecation, and self-enslavement are often considered to be morally wrong. As a corollary, it is sometimes argued that the state may interfere with one’s personal freedom with the aim of protecting its citizens from harming themselves. In this course, we will examine the extent to which various types of entirely self-affecting actions can be morally wrong and the extent to which third parties may permissibly interfere with such self-affecting acts. In discussing these topics, we will gain insight into the moral dimensions of personal autonomy, respect for persons, beneficence, and authority. Syllabus PDF
Fall 2017 -- Introduction to Moral Philosophy Killing is wrong. The generic prohibition against killing, while seemingly univocal, is perplexing. Most people agree that taking human life is wrong, yet there are clearly cases where killing is justified. Morality demands that we not kill others, yet we generally agree that considerations of self-defense override this demand. Millions of animals are killed in the United States each year for culinary purposes, yet the lives of similarly cognitively deficient humans are seen as inviolable. While all people agree that killing infants is wrong, many believe that killing humans in the initial stages of gestation is permissible. How should we reconcile these apparently conflicting condemnations and approvals? What makes killings immoral, when they are? This course will explore a cluster of such questions, (almost) all related to issues of life and death, in the service of addressing the central question of this course: What makes killing wrong? Syllabus PDF
Summer 2017 -- Ethics of Climate Change (online course) It is a common sentiment in today’s society that faith in the broad scientific consensus concerning climate change incontrovertibly favors the adoption of strong climate change abatement policies. In philosophical discourse, this sentiment is often supported with the idea that the potentially disastrous impact of climate change demands special precaution. Next, it is often argued that rich nations such as the United States ought to bear most of the expenses. In this course, we will try to understand and scrutinize these arguments. In doing so we will put special emphasis on the following questions: Does future harm have less moral significance than present harm? Should the expenses be distributed according to the “polluter pays” principle? (To what extend) should expert disagreement within science affect policy making? How do shared responsibilities relate to individual responsibilities? Reading list PDF
Spring 2016 / Fall 2016 -- Ethics of the Environment In this course, we will employ philosophical methodology to study contemporary issues relating to the natural environment. In the first part of the course, we will focus on ethical questions such as "Why is the environmental valuable?", "What attitude should we take towards nature?", and "What parts of nature have value and why?". Furthermore, we will discuss selected economic aspects of environmentalism. In the second part of the course, we will focus on the ethics of climate change. Topics include: obligations towards future generations, temporal discounting of well-being, climate change and risk, collective-v-individual obligations. Reading list PDF
Courses TAed - Political Philosophy (Instructor: Christian Tarsney) - Darwin's Dangerous idea (Instructor: Erin Eaker) - Wisdom Through Cognitive Science (Instructor: Peter Carruthers)