ID 247; Global Issues: Ethics, Rights, and Intolerance
St. Olaf Global Semester, 2003-04; Ed Langerak
Cross-cultural survey of the foundation and content of moral commitments, especially as they relate to human rights. Consideration of the debate about how the United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights applies to different cultures and whether it reveals a Western bias. Specific ethical issues include “just war” debates and the obligations of rich nations toward poor nations. Reflection on religious pluralism and reasons for toleration and intolerance. Discussion of relativism and whether one can combine personal commitment and integrity with open-minded respect toward religious and moral views that contradict one’s own.
Diana Eck, Encountering
God: A Spiritual Journey from
Mary Ann Glendon, A World Made New: Eleanor Roosevelt and the Universal Declaration of Human
Rights, Random House, 2001.
Martha Nussbaum, Women and Human Development: The Capabilities Approach,
University Press, 2000.
A midterm exam in
Tentative order of reading assignments:
1. Mary Midgley, “Trying Out One’s New Sword.”
2. Robert Hanvey, “An Attainable Global Perspective.”
A. Mary Ann Glendon, A World Made New, pp.xv-241 (can be read over the summer and book left home).
3. Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
4. Henry Rosemont, “Whose Democracy? Which Rights?”
5. David Little, et. al., “Human Rights and the World’s Religions.”
6. David Little, “The Nature and Basis of Human Rights.”
7. Michael Ignatieff, “Human Rights: The Midlife Crisis.”
8. Bhikhu Parekh, “Non-Ethnocentric Universalism.”
Will Kymlicka, “Three Forms of Group-Differentiated
10. Alan Wolfe, “Alien Nation.”
11. Susan Moller Okin, “’Mistresses of Their Own Destiny’: Group Rights, Gender, and Rights of Exit.”
12. Richard Rorty, “Ethics Without Principles.”
13. Thomas de Zengotita, “Common Ground.”
14. Sissela Bok, “Cultural Diversity and Common Values.”
B. Martha Nussbaum, Women and Human Development, pp. 70-101.
15. Ed Langerak, “Covenantal Fidelity and Western Ethics.”
16. Ed Langerak, “Duties to Others and Covenantal Ethics.”
17. Islamic, Hindu, Buddhist, and Confucian ethics, Encyclopedia of Ethics.
18. Packet on “just war” debate.
B. Martha Nussbaum, Women and Human Development, rest of book assigned except for pp.119-48 (rec).
19. Norani Othman, “Shari’a and the Citizenship Rights of Women in a Modern Islamic State.”
C. Diana Eck, Encountering God.
20. Bernard Adeney, Strange Virtues: Ethics in a Multicultural World, pp177-91.
21. John Locke, A Letter Concerning Toleration.
22. Ed Langerak, “Theism and Toleration.”
23. Ed Langerak, “Pluralism, Tolerance, and Disagreement.”
24. William Perry, Forms of Intellectual and Ethical Developments in the College Years.
25. Packet on international distributive justice.
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