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New Ethics Minor: Appropriate for Any Major

New Ethics Minor: Appropriate for Any Major

Posted: May 14, 2012

In the ongoing battle of good versus evil, Batman, Superman, and all other superheroes can take a rest. Buffalo State’s Philosophy and Humanities Department is now offering a new ethics minor, which will empower students to “do good” in the paths that they pursue. 

“We all want to be good at our professions, whether we’re a doctor, a teacher, a lawyer, and so on,” said Jason Grinnell, assistant professor of philosophy and humanities. “When we ask what it means to be good, we’re engaging in a conversation about ethics.”

The ethics minor is designed to engage students in courses that will sharpen their critical thinking skills and examine their societal and personal beliefs. With 18 required credit hours, it’s a manageable complement to a wide range of majors.

The minor consists of three required courses and three elective courses.

Students who declare an ethics minor will take Introduction to Moral and Social Philosophy (PHI102), and will choose between History of Ethics (PHI310) and Contemporary Ethics (PHI314). The third required course is Ethics Bowl (PHI351), which includes participation in a debate-style event at which students present opinions about complex ethical issues, and respond to arguments from other students and judges.

For their elective credits, students will have their choice of several upper-level courses, including cross-curricular courses such as bioethics. Because ethics is universally relevant, Grinnell is hoping to develop more courses that combine the philosophy program with other fields of study.

“I’m convinced that everything we do stems from some conception of ethics,” Grinnell said. “Anyone that is interested in thinking about the ethical aspects of their chosen profession should consider a minor in ethics.”

For more information about the ethics minor, contact the Philosophy and Humanities Department.

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