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Current Courses

Phil 380: Philosophy of Law

An analysis of the concept of law and how it differs from custom, religion, and morality. The course looks into issues of judicial reasoning, the assumptions that underlie the criminal justice system and the imposition of liability, and legal ethics.

Phil 580: Topics in Philosophy

An investigation into a topic of current or enduring interest in philosophy, which will be announced by the instructor when the course is scheduled. Graduate standing required.

Past Courses

IPRO 497-308 Stimulants for Enhancement Purposes: Exploring Societal and Ethical Issues

This IPRO project is about pharmacological neuroenhancement, which is the attempt of healthy individuals to use drugs in order to increase mental performance, i.e. attention, arousal or memory. It will investigate the medical, psychosocial and ethical aspects of the use of stimulants such as Ritalin or Adderall and other drugs for academic performance enhancement. Based on a survey (questionnaire and interview study) to be planned and undertaken at three universities in the Chicago area, it aims to obtain information on students’ views and experiences concerning pharmacological neuroenhancement. In addition, the group will develop educational materials for the Illinois Tech community to help students and faculty become more aware of some of the health, ethical and societal issues

Innovating & Redesigning Web & Social Media Access to the Ethics Code Collection at Illinois Tech

The Illinois Tech Center for the Study of Ethics in the Professions (CSEP) is planning a comprehensive redesign, enrichment, and marketing strategy to elevate its Ethics Code Collection (ECC) to greater global prominence and usefulness. The ECC is a unique resource, comprising a curated collection of over 4,000 ethics codes and guidelines across a range of disciplines for over 40 years. It will serve as a more dynamic global resource for informing ethical decision making in professional, entrepreneurial, scientific, and technological fields, and inform critical research into the advancement of ethical practices in a rapidly changing world. 

Educators have long recognized the importance of ethics codes in introducing students to concepts of professional responsibilities, and the ECC sees a large amount of use by professors and students from many different disciplines. Other users include entrepreneurs and practitioners looking for guidance in how to resolve professional ethical issues in their daily work, professional societies writing their own codes of ethics, and consumers interested in finding out more about the ethical guidelines of professionals. In the past 12 months, over 83,500 individuals passed through the ECC, with over 146,300 individual page views.

The current site faces a number of limitations. The existing keyword search is slow and cumbersome, and lacks the ability to sort search results. Users expect better performance from state-of-the-art digital collections. Users wishing to compare versions of ethics codes have to open up multiple browser windows, and do not have the ability to download site content in multiple formats. 

We propose a comprehensive user-centered approach to improve the digital ECC for greater service to the academy and the general public. This work will also involve new research on the current and future roles of ethics codes within society, business, and technological innovation. The project will develop enriched educational resources, and extend those resources to a broader audience of professionals, emerging professionals, and citizens across the globe.

This IPRO project will focus on analyzing and designing a contemporary CSEP web site that will be the front-of-mind resource among a wide array of professionals, and easily accessible to them in their pursuit of greater understanding and practical guidance. The following types of questions and others will be identified in order to guide the effort:

How do we best understand the user experience?

  1. How can we promulgate the archive as a resource that more fully benefits its existing users and a broader public?
  2. How do we solve the search functionality to incorporate proprietary and non-proprietary resources?
  3. How do we broaden the international accessibility of the resource with translation tools?

This course was offered in spring 2016, fall 2017 and spring 2017.

Phil 332: Political Philosophy

Examination of different conceptions of legitimate political authority; includes discussion of ideas of social justice, natural rights, sovereignty.

Phil 360: Ethics

A study of the fundamental issues of moral philosophy.

Phil 370: Engineering Ethics

A study of the problems of moral and social responsibility for the engineering profession, including such topics as safety, confidentiality, and government regulation.

Phil 373: Business Ethics

Ethical issues relating to individual and corporate responsibility, self and governmental regulation, investment, advertising, urban problems, the environment, preferential hiring.

Phil 380: Philosophical and Ethical Issues in Neuroscience

This course investigates the manifold implications of neuroscience on individuals and society. During the past decades, there has been a considerable increase in knowledge of the structure and functioning of the human brain which has led to the development and application of new brain-related technologies. The course will analyze the philosophical, ethical and societal aspects of these developments. It will introduce students to Benjamin Libet’s experiments and to the debate on free will and individual responsibility these experiments provoked. It will reflect on the relation between brain and mind and will consider the role memory and modifications in memory have on a person’s well-being and identity. It will explore ethical issues in pharmacological cognitive enhancement, i.e. in improving one’s mental performance with drugs, and reflect about hypothetical ways of moral enhancement. Furthermore, it will introduce the philosophical, ethical and societal issues of neuroimaging techniques in medical and non-medical contexts and reflect on possible (future) uses of neuroscientific analytic tools in court and in marketing. Another focus of the course is on philosophical and ethical issues around consciousness, disorders of consciousness and brain death.

Phil 371: Ethics in Architecture

A study of the moral problems architects must resolve in the practice of their profession, including problems of confidentiality, candor, esthetics, their and economy arising from the special responsibilities of architects to and public, client, employer, and colleagues.

Phil 377: Communication Law and Ethics

This course explores ethical and legal issues concerning communication in diverse contexts such as: the mass media -e.g. print, broadcast, and electronic government and politics; organizational hierarchies - e.g. public and private sector workplaces; academic life - e.g. the classroom, student, and faculty affairs; and interpersonal relations - e.g. love, friendship, marriage.