USL Offers New Philosophy Course This Fall


Note: the following is from an article which appeared in the July 16, 1999 issue of The Vermillion, p. 5. It was written by LaTonia D. Cretian.

This fall USL will offer a new philosophy class, Philosophy 111, entitled Contemporary Moral Dilemmas.

The class, by new USL instructor Keith Korcz, will deal with the morality of such issues as the legalization of hallucinogenic drugs, the death penalty, abortion, animal rights, and other such controversial topics.

"We deal with such topics as: Is homosexuality morally permitted? Is abortion morally permitted? Is taking psychoactive drugs morally permitted? Is the death penalty morally permitted? Do animals have rights or not?" Korcz explained.

Korcz has been a philosophy instructor at USL for a little over a year. He earned his doctorate at Ohio State University. Prior to his move at USL, Korcz taught at Cal. State Fresno. According to Korcz, Contemporary Moral Dilemmas may be a new course at USL, but it is quite common, and popular at that, at many other universities.

"The course is offered at every other university I have been at. I found it odd that this university did not offer it. In fact, one of the reasons I was hired was to construct and design this course for USL," said Korcz.

"I think there are a couple of reasons for wanting to take this course. One is the kind of issues that we deal with and the way we deal with them. They are issues that people have to deal with all the time," said Korcz. "Huge numbers of women get pregnant and have to decide whether or not to have an abortion. We are all effect the lives of animals directly or indirectly. We are all citizens of this country, and we have a say as to whether the death penalty should be applied or not."
"Another thing that students will get out of this course is some new perspectives on both sides of the issues and hopefully a more thoughtful way of dealing with them, rather than merely having a kind of strong emotional reaction that hasn't really been researched or thought out."

This course is designed for freshmen. It is organized by topic and takes a lecture/group discussion approach. According to Korcz, the course does not seek to change students' opinions about morality, but provides them with facts, statistics and philosophical theories in order to help students make educated decisions concerning the morality of the issues discussed in the course.
"The course isn't really out to change people's opinion, but rather it's out to illustrate a different way of thinking about these kinds of issues," asserted Korcz.