Public Philosophy and Ethics

Korea University

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Public Philosophy and Ethics

  • Host University

    Korea University

  • Location

    Seoul, South Korea

  • Area of Study

    Ethics, Philosophy, Public Policy Studies

  • Language Level

    Taught In English

  • Course Level Recommendations


    ISA offers course level recommendations in an effort to facilitate the determination of course levels by credential evaluators.We advice each institution to have their own credentials evaluator make the final decision regrading course levels.

    Hours & Credits

  • Credits

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
  • Overview

    Course Objectives:
    This course overviews some important normative and ethical theories and approaches in public philosophy and ethics. It will cover readings from classical theorists such as Aristotle, John Locke, and John Stuart Mill to contemporary theorists including John Rawls, Michael Sandel, and Michael Walzer. In particular, this course not only examines various philosophical understandings in public affairs and social justice, but also relates philosophical reflection to practical issues and policies of current society.

    Required Textbook:
    Michael Sandel (ed.), Justice: A Reader (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007).

    Topics and Readings:


    1st Memo Due
    Chapter II - Utilitarianism
    Jeremy Bentham, Principles of Moral and Legislation
    John Stuart Mill, Utilitarianism, ch. 2

    2nd Memo Due
    Chapter III - Libertarianism
    Robert Nozick, Anarchy, State, and Utopia
    Robert Nozick, Anarchy, State, and Utopia

    3rd Memo Due
    Chapter IV - Locke: Property Rights
    John Locke, Second Treatise of Government, chaps. 1-9
    John Locke, Second Treatise of Government, chaps. 1-9

    Markets and Morals
    Group Presentation (topic: military service) Group A
    Group Presentation (topic: surrogate motherhood) Group B
    [Reference: Chapter V]

    4th Memo Due
    Chapter VI - Kant: Freedom as Autonomy
    Immanuel Kant, Groundwork for the Metaphysics of Morals, pp. 158-166, 172-177.
    Immanuel Kant, Groundwork for the Metaphysics of Morals, pp. 158-166, 172-177

    5th Memo Due
    Chapter VII - Rawls: Justice as Fairness
    John Rawls, A Theory of Justice, pp. 203-209 & 214-221.
    John Rawls, A Theory of Justice, pp. 203-209 & 214-221.

    6th Memo Due
    Chapter VIII - Distributive Justice: Equality, Entitlement, and Merit
    John Rawls, A Theory of Justice
    Robert Nozick, Anarchy, State, and Utopia

    Midterm Take?Home Exam Due

    Equal Opportunity?
    Group Presentation (topic: affirmative action at the Michigan Law School) Group C
    Group Presentation (topic: vouchers that Made Milwaukee famous) Group D
    [Reference: articles to be distributed]

    7th Memo Due
    Chapter X - Aristotle: Justice and Virtue
    Aristotle, The Politics, pp. 278-284 & 287-295
    Aristotle, The Politics, pp. 278-284 & 287-295

    Ability, Disability, and Discrimination
    Group Presentation (topic: cheerleaders) Group E
    Group Presentation (topic: golf carts) Group F
    [Reference: Chapter XI]

    8th Memo Due
    Chapter XII - Justice, Community, and Membership
    Alasdair MacIntyre, After Virtue
    Michael Sandel, Democracy?s Discontent

    9th Memo Due
    Chapter XIII - Moral Argument and Liberal Toleration
    John Rawls, Political Liberalism, pp. 343-349 & 352-355
    Michael Sandel, ?Political Liberalism,? pp. 359-364

    Morality and Law
    Group Presentation (case: making marriage gay) Group G
    Group Presentation (case: federal funding for stem cell research) Group H
    [Reference: articles to be distributed]

    Final Take?Home Exam Due

Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

Credits earned vary according to the policies of the students' home institutions. According to ISA policy and possible visa requirements, students must maintain full-time enrollment status, as determined by their home institutions, for the duration of the program.

Please reference fall and spring course lists as not all courses are taught during both semesters.

Availability of courses is based on enrollment numbers. All students should seek pre-approval for alternate courses in the event of last minute class cancellations

Please note that some courses with locals have recommended prerequisite courses. It is the student's responsibility to consult any recommended prerequisites prior to enrolling in their course.