Web Schedules

Fall 2023
Spring 2023
Summer 2023

One Credit Courses

Fall 2023
Spring 2023
Summer 2023

No Cost Textbook/Resources Courses

Fall 2023
Spring 2023
Summer 2023

Low Cost Textbook/Resources Courses

Fall 2023
Spring 2023
Summer 2023

Course Planning by Program


Essential Objectives

Course Syllabus

Revision Date: 05-Jan-23

Spring 2023 | PHI-1040-VO03 - 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: 01-24-2023 to 05-08-2023
Last day to drop without a grade: 02-12-2023 - Refund Policy
Last day to withdraw (W grade): 03-26-2023 - Refund Policy
This course has started, please contact the offering academic center about registration


Arik Mortenson
View Faculty Credentials

Hiring Coordinator for this course: Philip Crossman

General Education Requirements

This section meets the following VSC General Education Requirement(s) for Catalog Year 21-22 and later:
  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 only uses free Open Educational Resources (OER) and/or library materials. For details, see the Canvas Site for this class.


Course Requirements:

This course will allow students to develop the skills and vocabulary necessary to describe moral decision-making processes. Students will be asked to evaluate and discuss current ethical dilemmas in our world using classical and contemporary ethical theories. Students will be required to maintain an open mind. Open discussion will be the primary way that we will confront these issues in each class. Respectful participation in these discussions is required. Students will complete a weekly journal entry that details their personal reflection on each week’s assigned readings and discussion. The goal of this is to see a development of thought behind moral reasoning. Other assignments will be described below.

The instructor reserves the right to change the syllabus as needed, with advanced notice to students, in order to better achieve course goals.


This course will use open educational resources including this primary text:

Hendricks, C. & Matthews, G., eds. (2019). Introduction to philosophy: Ethics. Rebus Community. https://press.rebus.community/intro-to-phil-ethics/

Other articles and resources will be assigned via Canvas.

Evaluation Criteria


Weekly Course Discussions/Participation: Each week, students will participate in a discussion with their peers about the topic of the week. Students are required to make an initial post by Thursday of each week and respond to two peers by Sunday night at 11:55 PM. Weekly course discussions are not able to be made up if a student is unable to participate.

Journal Entries: Throughout the semester, students will submit a one page journal entry that should focus on their personal reaction to or struggle with our weekly reading assignments and class discussions. Journal entries are turned in weekly through Canvas. Has your attitude changed? How so? Have you ever looked at a moral question in a particular way before? Do you agree or disagree with a particular perspective? Did we focus on something that you never thought required a moral decision before?

Mid-term Response Paper: Using the moral theories and perspectives that have been discussed in class, students will complete a 3-4 page response paper based on an assigned article or prompt. This response paper provides students with an opportunity to apply the theoretical perspectives that have been studied to a particular dilemma.

Final Paper and Presentation:Instead of a final exam, you will be required to write a 5-6 page paper (12pt Times New Roman, 1 inch margins, double spaced.) This assignment will ask you to explore an ethical problem of our time, which must be pre-approved by the instructor). You should evaluate each problem using at least three different ethical theories that are covered throughout the course. A couple of weeks before the assignment is due, a portion of our class session will provide you with the opportunity to have a draft of your paper reviewed by a classmate.


  • Participation/Class Discussions: 30%
  • Journal Entries: 20%
  • Mid-term Response Paper: 20%
  • Final Project: 30%

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


Class Overview


Review Syllabus

What are ethics and morality?

How can ethics support someone in making better decisions?



Moral Relativism and Subjectivism

Universal Rights



Morality and Religion
Social Justice



Virtue Ethics



Ethical Egoism and Social Contract Theory






Deontology and Kantian Ethics



Mid-Term Response Paper



Feminism and the Ethics of Care



Moral Imagination - Exploring Generative Approaches to Moral Reasoning



Contemporary Issues in Ethics



Contemporary Issues in Ethics



Contemporary Issues in Ethics



Peer Review



Final Projects


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

Attendance is required for all classes. Attendance and participation grades will be calculated based on active participation within the discussion forums. Each week, you must meet the requirements in these forums to have your attendance counted. Not participating for three weeks for the term will result in not passing the course. Any absences will affect a student’s participation score. If you are struggling with keeping up with the class, please reach out to me to develop a plan. I’m happy to help, but communication is key!

Missing & Late Work Policy

Late Work Policy:

The purpose of our class discussions is to exchange ideas and engage in dialogue. Because of this, class discussions will not be accepted if they are late.

If you need to submit other kinds of assignments late, please reach out to the instructor to develop a plan. This communication should happen as early as possible to arrange for an alternative submission.

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.