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Essential Objectives

Course Syllabus

Revision Date: 11-May-24

Summer 2024 | PHI-1040-VO01 - Introduction to Ethics

Online Class

Online courses take place 100% online via Canvas, without required in-person or Zoom meetings.

Location: Online
Credits: 3 (45 hours)
Day/Times: Meets online
Semester Dates: 05-21-2024 to 08-12-2024
Last day to drop without a grade: 06-10-2024 - Refund Policy
Last day to withdraw (W grade): 07-08-2024 - Refund Policy
This course has started, please contact the offering academic center about registration


David White
View Faculty Credentials
View Faculty Statement
Hiring Coordinator for this course: Collin Lee

General Education Requirements

This section meets the following CCV General Education Requirement(s) for the current catalog year:
VSCS Humanistic Perspectives
  1. Many degree programs have specific general education recommendations. In order to avoid taking unnecessary classes, please consult with additional resources like your program evaluation, your academic program catalog year page, and your academic advisor.
  2. Courses may only be used to meet one General Education Requirement.

Course Description

This course examines personal and professional issues from an ethical point of view, emphasizing how we decide what is right and wrong in our daily lives. Issues might include: civil rights, health care, political concerns, business decisions, war, and the environment.

Essential Objectives

1. Explain the basic concepts of classical and contemporary theories in ethics as they pertain to right and wrong, the individual and society, objectivity and subjectivity, happiness and suffering, free will, and fate.
2. Discuss the ideas of selected theorists, the methods they used to develop their ideas, and the cultural factors which influenced their theories.
3. Identify and describe the major influences in our society which shape our values.
4. Apply ethical theories of decision making and critical thinking skills to problems of social justice and propose just solutions.
5. Apply the basic concepts of classical and contemporary theories in ethics to the field of business and professional ethics.
6. Develop an ethical framework for defining and addressing issues in one's own life.
7. Describe his or her own decision-making process.

Required Technology

More information on general computer and internet recommendations is available on the CCV IT Support page. https://support.ccv.edu/general/computer-recommendations/

Please see CCV's Digital Equity Statement (pg. 45) to learn more about CCV's commitment to supporting all students access the technology they need to successfully finish their courses.

Required Textbooks and Resources

This course uses one or more textbooks/books/simulations.

Summer 2024 textbook details will be available on 2023-11-06. On that date a link will be available below that will take you to eCampus, CCV's bookstore. The information provided there will be specific to this class. Please see this page for more information regarding the purchase of textbooks/books.

PHI-1040-VO01 Link to Textbooks for this course in eCampus.

The last day to use a Financial Aid Advance to purchase textbooks/books is the 3rd Tuesday of the semester. See your financial aid counselor at your academic center if you have any questions.



• Weekly Discussion Assignments

• Weekly Diary Assignments

• Midterm and Final paper assignments

Evaluation Criteria

Evaluation Criteria:

I will be grading your work based on a point system. This will consider your responses to my weekly Discussion and Diary questions, and your mid-term and final papers. The total point breakdown looks like this:

Responses to weekly Discussion questions: 24 points

Responses to weekly Diary questions: 24 points

Mid-term paper: 26 points

Final paper: 26 points

Grading Criteria

CCV Letter Grades as outlined in the Evaluation System Policy are assigned according to the following chart:

A Less than 9893
A-Less than 9390
B+Less than 9088
B Less than 8883
B-Less than 8380
C+Less than 8078
C Less than 7873
C-Less than 7370
D+Less than 7068
D Less than 6863
D-Less than 6360
FLess than 60 
NPLess than 600

Weekly Schedule

Week/ModuleTopic  Readings  Assignments


Weekly Topics

I’ve divided the class into two units. The first unit will last 6 weeks (May 20 – June 30).

The second unit will last 6 weeks (July 1 – August 11). Your mid-term is due by midnight Sunday, June 30 and your final paper is due by midnight Sunday, August 11. Your central goal in this class is to demonstrate in the weekly Discussion & Diary assignments, and your midterm & final papers a clear knowledge of the Essential Objectives.

Unit 1:

Week 1: Introducing Ourselves & Morals and Values

Week 2: Moral Relativism

Week 3: Autonomy, Moral Agency, and Self-Identity

Week 4: Making Moral Judgments

Week 5: Psychology and Morality

Week 6: Egoism

Your midterm paper is due at the end of Week 6

Week 7: Consequentialism: Act Utilitarianism

Week 8: Consequentialism: Rule Utilitarianism

Week 9: Deontology

Week 10: Natural Law Theory

Week 11: Social Contracts and Rights

Week 12: Virtue Ethics

Your final paper is due at the end of Week 12


Attendance Policy

Regular attendance and participation in classes are essential for success in and are completion requirements for courses at CCV. A student's failure to meet attendance requirements as specified in course descriptions will normally result in a non-satisfactory grade.

  • In general, missing more than 20% of a course due to absences, lateness or early departures may jeopardize a student's ability to earn a satisfactory final grade.
  • Attending an on-ground or synchronous course means a student appeared in the live classroom for at least a meaningful portion of a given class meeting. Attending an online course means a student posted a discussion forum response, completed a quiz or attempted some other academically required activity. Simply viewing a course item or module does not count as attendance.
  • Meeting the minimum attendance requirement for a course does not mean a student has satisfied the academic requirements for participation, which require students to go above and beyond simply attending a portion of the class. Faculty members will individually determine what constitutes participation in each course they teach and explain in their course descriptions how participation factors into a student's final grade.

Participation Expectations


For this class, our academic week will start on Monday and run through the following Sunday. Each week you will have reading in your text book, Ethical Choices: An Introduction to Moral Philosophy with Cases, by Richard Burnor and Yvonne Raley, and answer a weekly Discussion and Diary question related to our reading. Typically, you’ll begin by posting a response to a question I pose. You’ll read the responses posted by your classmates in the next phase and respond to at least one of their posts.

Missing & Late Work Policy

Attendance Policy:

Regular participation in the online Discussion and Diary forums and timely submission of your mid-term and final papers are completion requirements for courses at CCV. Please be aware that missing more than three (3) Discussion or Diary assignments will result in a non-satisfactory grade. If you anticipate that life circumstances may cause you to miss an upcoming assignment, please communicate with me immediately so we may consider alternative means for you to complete the necessary assignments.

Faculty Contact Information:

Email Address: david.white@ccv.edu

Note: Never hesitate in contacting me if you have any questions. You can reach me at my e-mail address above or by telephone at (802) 839-9896. Please know that I will be sure to respond within 24 hours, and that you can expect to receive a return call from me between 6 – 9 p.m. weeknights and 1 – 9 p.m. weekends. As I check my e-mail throughout the day, that’s the best option for the swiftest response.

Accessibility Services for Students with Disabilities:

CCV strives to mitigate barriers to course access for students with documented disabilities. To request accommodations, please
  1. Provide disability documentation to the Accessibility Coordinator at your academic center. https://ccv.edu/discover-resources/students-with-disabilities/
  2. Request an appointment to meet with accessibility coordinator to discuss your request and create an accommodation plan.
  3. Once created, students will share the accommodation plan with faculty. Please note, faculty cannot make disability accommodations outside of this process.

Academic Integrity

CCV has a commitment to honesty and excellence in academic work and expects the same from all students. Academic dishonesty, or cheating, can occur whenever you present -as your own work- something that you did not do. You can also be guilty of cheating if you help someone else cheat. Being unaware of what constitutes academic dishonesty (such as knowing what plagiarism is) does not absolve a student of the responsibility to be honest in his/her academic work. Academic dishonesty is taken very seriously and may lead to dismissal from the College.