Overview Objective Materials grading Exam ELI Policies and Procedures Beginning the Course
PHI 220: 3 Credits


In this course you will have an opportunity to study philosophy by concentrating on some of the most critical and difficult questions which humans ask about themselves and their world: What is a good life? How can we justify the claims that we make about what is good, bad, right, wrong? What are we doing when we use such terms in the first place--what is the nature and function of ethical language? Finally, how can we apply our ethical reasoning to the perplexing problems of life in the late twentieth century? Considerable attention will be devoted to all of these questions as you work your way through the readings, video/audio programs, and required assignments of the course.

There are no formal prerequisites for this course, but it is presumed that the student will have college-level English language skills. This will be important since the instruction will be delivered through a combination of written and oral media (i.e., textbook, audio/video lectures, and audio/slide presentations).





At the completion of this course the student will be able to identify and critically evaluate the major ethical systems. The student will be able to use these theories to analyze contemporary moral issues. Specifically, the student will be able to:

Summarize and explain some of the views of some historically important moral philosophers (e.g., Plato, Aristotle, Kant, Nietzsche, Singer). (Relates to General Education objectives 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 1.4, 3.4 and 5.2).

List and explain the main concepts and theories of ethics (e.g., egoism, altruism, rights, duties, utilitarianism, Kantianism, virtue ethics). (objs 1.1-1.5, 2.2-2.6, 3.2-3.4).

Apply moral concepts and theories to case studies and contemporary moral issues. (objs 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 2.5, 3.2, 3.5).

Articulate in writing an understanding of connections between reason and feeling and between cultural and intellectual traditions. (objs 1.1-1.5, 2.2-2.6, 3.1-3.5).

Express conclusions with awareness of the degree to which these conclusions are supported by evidence. (objs 1.1-1.5, 2.2-2.6).

Present effectively in writing an extended argument on a topic of ethical importance. (objs 1.1-1.5, 2.1-2.6, 3.2-3.4, 4.1 4.4).

Major Topics to be Included Critical attention will be given to the following basic questions of ethics:

Are all standards of right and wrong conditioned solely by the cultural norms by which one lives? What other alternatives are there?

How can we determine what is right for us to do? What are the rules for determining moral rules?

What obligations do we have to others? What is the source of those obligations?

What has genuine value for the human person? Why do we value what we do?

What rights do we have as human beings? What is the basis of our entitlement to those rights?





Your course grade will be determined according to the following assignments and points:

Assignment Points
Paper 200
Quiz 1 25
Quiz 2 25
Quiz 3 25
Quiz 4 25
Discussion 1 75
Discussion 2 75
Discussion 3 75
Discussion 4 75
Exam 1 100
Exam 2 100
Exam 3 100
Exam 4 100
TOTAL 1000


Your final grade will be based on the following scale.

Grading Scale


900 - 1000 points


800 - 899 points


700 - 799 points


600 - 699 points


599 - 0 points

PLEASE NOTE THE FOLLOWING: The exams can be taken only once, If you do not withdraw and do not finish your course assignments, you will receive a grade based upon the work you have submitted. Usually, this grade is "F." If you do not complete the MANDATORY first assignment (Mandatory Quiz and "Introduce Yourself" discussion board, by the First Assignment Due Date, you will be dropped from the course. THERE IS NO EXTRA CREDIT PER ELI POLICY.



There are 4 exams in this course.

For Testing Center locations, hours of operation and policies, click here.

For information on taking exams outside of the metropolitan area, click here.


ELI Policies and Procedures

  This is an Extended Learning Institute (ELI) course. ELI courses differ from campus courses in several important ways, including enrollment dates, communication with faculty, assignment completion requirements, and exams. You must follow ELI's policies and procedures if you take this course. Read (or review) ELI's Policies and Procedures before you begin the course. If you have questions, call ELI at (703) 323-3347 or (888) 435-6822.

Beginning the Course


1. Use your web browser to connect to http://www.nvcc.edu/bbstart. Follow the directions to determine your email, Blackboard and VIVA account user names and passwords.
2. Access your email account and make sure you know how to use it; you will be required to use this account for all course-related email.
3. Log on to Blackboard at http://learn.vccs.edu.
4. Click on this course under "My Courses." Review the entire course to make sure you understand what will be required of you. Then start completing the assignments.

Please note that account generation takes approximately one week from the time of your paid registration. If you cannot log on after one week, contact the IT Help Desk. If you can log on to Blackboard, but your course isn't listed, please contact ELI or your instructor.