Monday, March 12
1. Peter Singer, “Famine, Affluence and Morality” (1972), available here: http://www.utilitarian.net/singer/by/1972—-.htm
2. Singer, “The Singer Solution to World Poverty” (New York Times Magazine, 1999): http://www.utilitarian.net/singer/by/19990905.htm
- Singer, “What Should a Billionaire Give, and What Should You?” The New York Times Magazine, December 17, 2006.
- Here’s a talk by Singer in 2016 about his article, “Famine, Affluence and Morality”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zbgFbZmldeY
- There’s a nice interview with Singer on the issue of affluence and global poverty issues in the Philosophy Bites podcast, here (15 minutes): http://philosophybites.com/2010/08/peter-singer-on-the-life-you-can-save-1.html
Wed. March 14
Finish Singer, start Nussbaum.
Nussbaum, Martha. “Capabilities and Human Rights.” Fordham Law Review 66.2 (1997): 273-300
- Read Section I through section III (pp. 279-292); the rest of this article is optional. You can access this article for free, here: http://ir.lawnet.fordham.edu/flr/vol66/iss2/2/
- A BBC podcast interview with Martha Nussbaum on the capabilities approach: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b012r6vg
- An interview with Nussbaum on the capabilities approach (2011): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AoD-cjduM40
- A part of a documentary called The Examined Life (2008), with Martha Nussbaum explaining her capabilities approach: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cbcGbflpFzI
Discussion meetings March 14 and 16
There will be student-led discussions in discussion meetings this week.
Monday, March 19
Peer feedback on draft of essay 2 this week. See the instructions for essay 2 for how to complete it (will be posted under “assignments” when ready).
Finish Nussbaum, start trolley problem.
Watch video lectures on this material before class.
- Judith Jarvis Thomson, “The Trolley Problem,” The Yale Law Journal 94:6 (May 1985). You only need to read up through section VIII, stopping on p. 1412 (the rest is optional).
- You can access this article on the UBC Library Course Reserves page for this course (requires CWL)
Overview of the trolley problem, from BBC: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bOpf6KcWYyw
After watching the video above, please participate in these two polls (optional; this doesn’t keep track of who has done so or not, but it could be interesting to see the results!)
Do you think it's permissible for the bystander to flip the switch and move the trolley onto the track with one person instead of five?
- Yes (80%, 4 Votes)
- No (20%, 1 Votes)
Total Voters: 5
Do you think it's morally permissible for the bystander to push the large person onto the tracks, thereby killing one instead of five?
- Yes (60%, 3 Votes)
- No (40%, 2 Votes)
Total Voters: 5
Below there are two video lectures on the trolley problem and on Thomson’s article, that I have made. You will need to watch them before class on Wed., March 14.
Wednesday March 21
Please watch this last video lecture on the trolley problem, and be sure to read Thomson’s article before class if you haven’t already!