Political Science | Ethics and Public Policy
Y379 | 27565 | Failer
Above section meets second eight weeks only
This class focuses on three important questions that lie 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? Throughout the course, we shall use
principles derived from ethical theory to evaluate concrete cases in
public policy, and concrete cases in public policy to test the
adequacy of ethical theory. Among the cases we examine might be:
President Trumanís decision to drop an atomic bomb on Hiroshima, Lt.
Col. Oliver Northís alleged deceptions in the Iran-Contra Affair,
affirmative action, public funding of abortions, civil commitment of
the mentally ill, and civil disobedience by public officials.
There will be short weekly assignments, two short essays, and
one longer seminar paper.