Political Science | The Moral Basis of American Law
Y396 | 3788 | Failer


This class focuses on three important questions that lay at the
intersection of ethics and public policy.  First, what morally
problematic means are justified in pursuing valuable political ends?
Second, what should the ends of public policy be?  Third, what are
the moral responsibilities of public officials when they try to
answer the first two questions?  Each week, we will look at different
problems both in ethics and in public policy.  Some of these problems
include the use of nuclear weapons, deception by public officials,
social experiments, commercial surrogacy, and religion in the public
schools.  We will begin by evaluating the ethical theory on its own
terms.  We will then apply the principles derived from ethical theory
to concrete cases in public policy.  Throughout the class will use
the ethical theory to help clarify our understanding of politics even
as we use our understanding of politics to test the adequacy of
ethical theory.