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Philosophy 106 and Social Science 201 Joint Syllabus

Honors Core Seminar on Ethics and Globalization….Fall 2011

Dr. Holly Graff and Dr. Richard Stacewicz



I.          Course             Course             Course

            Prefix               Number            Name                                       Credit:      Lecture:       


             SSC                   201               Introduction to Global Studies     3                    3

             PHL                   106               Ethics                                            3                    3


II.         Course Prerequisite:      None



III.        Course Description:


Social Science: Course focuses on concepts of global interdependence.  Content includes ecological, nuclear, technological and political-economic relations among selected developed and developing nations.  Multidisciplinary approach uses perspectives from two or more of the following disciplines:  history, economics, sociology, anthropology, psychology and/or political science.


Philosophy: Course studies meaning, value, and moral responsibility in human life. Topics include examination of at least four conflicting theories about what constitutes moral conduct and social justice; application of these theories to individual moral dilemmas and to contemporary social issues such as world hunger or the environmental crisis. IAI H4 904


IV.       Learning Objectives:


            After completing this course, students in Social Science will:


A.     Be able to identify the 3 main phases of Imperial expansion over the course of the last 500 years and their impacts on global society, economics, and culture.

B.     Be able to compare and contrast 3 of the dominant social scientific theories that seek to explain global economic development.

C.     Be able to assess the validity of the various theories on economic development by applying the concepts to historical developments in specified regions of the globe.

D.     Be able to describe the social, cultural, economic, and political characteristics of contemporary “globalization”

E.      Be able to distinguish between the dominant theories regarding the impacts of contemporary globalization on the global economy and culture

F.      Be able to identify the dominant schools of thought on United States foreign policy

G.  Be able to identify and evaluate the efficacy of 2 dominant perspectives on

            environmentalism and globalization.

H.  Be able to adopt and/or construct and defend their own perspectives on

            economic development and environmental preservation.


After completing this class, students in philosophy will be able to do the following:

A.    Define the basic vocabulary needed to discuss ethical theories and be able to state the problems that ethical theories address.

B.    Explain and compare at least four conflicting ethical theories and the arguments that support these theories.

C.    Evaluate ethical theories by critically examining (both orally and through written work) the arguments that support the theories and by discussing what important considerations may be lacking in the theories studied.

D.    Apply ethical theories to concrete situations on the personal level, on the national level, and on the global level

E.     Use the ethical theory with which they agree to defend their own positions on contemporary moral issues both orally and in writing.

F.     Exhibit values related to teamwork and collaboration, fostered by the pedagogy of shared-inquiry and critical dialogue appropriate to the humanities and philosophy.


V.        Academic Integrity:


Students and employees at Oakton Community College are required to demonstrate academic integrity and follow Oakton’s Code of Academic Conduct. This code prohibits:


·        cheating,

·        plagiarism (turning in work not written by you, or lacking proper citation),

·        falsification and fabrication (lying or distorting the truth),

·        helping others to cheat,

·        unauthorized changes on official documents,

·        pretending to be someone else or having someone else pretend to be you,

·        making or accepting bribes, special favors, or threats, and

·        any other behavior that violates academic integrity.


There are serious consequences to violations of the academic integrity policy. Oakton’s policies and procedures provide students a fair hearing if a complaint is made against you.  If you are found to have violated the policy, the minimum penalty is failure on the assignment and, a disciplinary record will be established and kept on file in the office of the Vice President for Student Affairs for a period of 3 years.


Details of the Code of Academic Conduct can be found in the Student Handbook.




VI.                          Outline of Topics:


Social Science:


A.     History of Globalization and Development

B.     Economics and Debt

C.     Technology, Industrialization, and the Global Workplace

D.     Urbanization

E.       Energy and Environmentalism

F.      Migration and Labor



A.       Early modern philosophers on ethics, property, capitalism, and revolution…..Locke, Smith, Marx

B.       20th-century debates on distributive justice….Nozick, Rawls, Schweickart

C.       Philosophers on war and violence….Hobbes, Just War theory, Fanon, Gandhi

D.       Environmental ethics


See the attached reading list for more details and the class website for updates.



VII.      Methods of Instruction:


A.    Lectures and discussion

B.    Small group work

C.    Films

D.    Student presentations and debates

E.     Guest speakers

F.     Field trips and outside events at Oakton




VIII.     Course Practices Required:


Since this seminar depends on student attendance and participation, 20% of students’ final grade (200 points) will be based on your active engagement in the course. Students will receive 10 points each week (5 per class session) for attending and participating in class discussions. Everyone should come to class prepared to discuss the weekly reading assignments, to answer questions, and to state opinions about the topics under investigation. Each student is required to prepare 2 brief presentations about current global developments (news) to be shared with the class. We will schedule these at the beginning of the semester. Finally, each student is required to attend 4 events at Oakton or in the greater Chicago area that pertain to the material/topics covered in class. A one-page  (single-spaced, type-written) description of the event and content is due for each event. Make sure to get events approved by one of the instructors. Students who have missed points due to absences cab make these up by attending additional outside events (5 points each). However, students who miss more than 8 seminar sessions cannot pass the courses. If you have a serious problem that may interfere with your attendance, please talk to us as soon as possible. We will obviously be flexible about this requirement if you are hospitalized or face a major life emergency.  200 points.


Students are also required to complete 12 weekly quizzes that cover topics from both courses. The quizzes will include easy questions on the assigned reading and a map on which nations, regions, etc. will have to be identified.  Each quiz will also have one easy question on current events.  We will announce the countries that you will need to know in advance.  The quizzes will always be given on Tuesday and the 2 lowest grades will be dropped. Each quiz is worth 10 points. 100 points.


Two exams will be given during the semester. Each exam will cover material from both courses and each is worth 50 points.  We will hand out study guides that will help you prepare.  100 points.


Each student is also required to create a type-written journal to be kept in a folder that will be handed in to the instructors 5 times during the semester (roughly every three weeks). The journal entries should address specific topics and questions we will ask you to cover as well as your general reactions to the readings, topics, and other aspects of the seminar.  We will respond to these and return them to you within two weeks of receiving them.  Each journal collection is worth 80 points. Partial credit will be given for incomplete journals that do not contain entries that had been requested prior to submission.  Students who complete all journals and hand them in on time, will receive 10 bonus points. 400 points.


Finally, each student is required to participate in a group project that will culminate with class presentations at the end of the semester.  The projects will focus on one of the major themes covered in the course (global economic developments, foreign policy, environmental challenges, etc.). Each student will be asked to identify his/her area of interest early in the semester so we may form groups as soon as possible. Each group will be tasked with finding international organizations that are seeking to address/redress the problems in these areas through social media (Twitter, Facebook) and other media sources (internet, television, radio, magazines, newspapers, etc.) to follow these organizations during the course of the semester, explore that group or groups’ tactics and philosophical perspective(s), and to finally provide your own critique of the efficacy of that group’s approach.  You will therefore need to understand the nature of the issue/problem as well as your own philosophical position on the topic. Groups will gather their information and develop presentations (may be public) or other ways to relate their findings at the end of the semester. We will give you more information on how points will be awarded for this project.  200 points.



IX.       Instructional Materials:


            Social Science:


Cole, Juan (2009), Engaging the Muslim World

Harvey, David, (2005), A Brief History of Neoliberalism

Marks, Robert (2007), The Origins of the Modern World: A Global and Ecological Narrative From the Fifteenth to the Twenty-first Century
Other readings from the web


Cahn, Steven M. (2012), Classics of Political & Moral Philosophy

Schweickart, David (2011), After Capitalism, 2nd Edition
Shiva, Earth Democracy (tentative)
Other readings from the web



X.        Methods of Evaluating Student Progress:


            Attendance, Participation and Presentations:                         200 points

            In-class quizzes:                                                                        100 points

            Exams:                                                                                       100 points

            Journals:                                                                                    400 points

            Group Projects:                                                                         200 points


Total:                                                                                        1,000 points


            Grading Scale: A = 900 – 1,000, B = 800 – 899, C = 700 – 799, D =600 – 699.



XI.       Other Course Information:


A.     If you have a documented learning, psychological, or physical disability you may be entitled to reasonable academic accommodations or services.  To request accommodations or services, contact the ASSIST office in the Learning Center.  All students are expected to fulfill essential course requirements.  The College will not waive any essential skill or requirement of a course or degree program.


B.     Class policy on make-up exams, incomplete grade, late assignments, etc.  Students are expected to take exams with the class, and alternative arrangements can only be made with the instructors’ consent.  Incompletes may be given in compelling situations, but must be negotiated with the instructors.


C.     There are many support services at Oakton such as the Learning Center, Instructional Media Services, and the Library.  Support services are always available.  We may suggest specific help for learning disabled students, ESL students, or other students who need specialized help.


D.     We are committed to making reasonable reading assignments; anyone who does the work should do very well in class.  If you have any concerns, please see us right away.


E.      Discrimination
The Oakton Community College Catalog states:

      Oakton Community College does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, creed, religion, national origin, disability, age, sex, sexual orientation, or marital status in admission to and participation in its educational programs, activities and services, or employment practices.  The College does not tolerate sexual harassment or sexual assault by or of its students or employees.

In keeping with this policy of tolerance and non-discrimination, in this class all of us (including the instructors) should strive to listen and give careful consideration to all ideas expressed in class, especially those that are different from our own, without attacking or demeaning the people who have those views.  We should also strive to avoid using insulting terms or telling offensive jokes when talking to or about individuals or groups.


Instructor Information:


Holly Graff, hgraff@oakton.edu

Office…3614, (847) 376-7033
Office Hours: M,W 11:00am - 12:15pm (DP), T,R 2:00pm - 5:00pm (DP)


Richard Stacewicz, rstacewi@oakton.edu

Office…2842, (847) 635-1915
Office Hours: M,W 8:45am – 9:15am, 11:30am – 12:00pm (RHC), 
T,R 8:45am – 9:15am, 1:45pm – 2:30pm (DP)