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Moral Inquiry & Catholic Intellectual Traditions: Moral Inquiry (3 credits)

Moral Inquiry

The main goal of courses in Moral Inquiry is to provide students with the ability to understand the varying or conflicting solutions that, in a global world, have been proposed to fundamental moral and ethical questions. Students are introduced to different philosophical, political, or religious beliefs or to various cultural traditions and practices in order to explore such questions, and they are equipped to assess for themselves claims about moral and ethical issues. Students are challenged to examine their own assumptions and values, to make explicit their own implicit judgments, and to understand and tolerate differing moral and ethical claims. They are also encouraged to assume the responsibility they bear as educated individuals to refine and communicate their own moral stance.

Moral Inquiry Learning Outcomes

Key Outcomes:

  • Complexity. Develop the ability—through systematic study of philosophical, religious, or political traditions, particular historical periods, or different cultures—to examine and interpret complex moral and ethical issues from multiple and even conflicting perspectives.
  • Self-conscious location. Develop awareness of one’s own perspectives, values, and beliefs, and of their role in understanding moral and ethical issues. Engage in critical examination of one’s own perspectives and values in light of new knowledge.
  • Theoretical integration. Develop the ability to examine a variety of ethical norms and to apply them to a range of moral and ethical situations and issues.
  • Coherence. Develop the ability to communicate judgments about moral and ethical issues or situations logically, clearly, and carefully.
  • Critical reading and analysis. Develop the ability to contextualize and to critically analyze primary texts and secondary sources and to use electronic resources critically.
  • Argument and expression. Develop the ability to articulate clear, well-supported, and persuasive arguments, both verbal and written; and to formulate prose that reflects knowledge of essential content and command of analytical and writing skills.

Evidence of Student Learning

Students demonstrate academic competence in this area through active contributions to class discussions, oral presentations, short written assignments, examinations, and substantial written assignments incorporating primary texts and secondary sources. Empathic engagement may also be demonstrated through an experiential learning component that shows the ability and willingness to take embodied action related to a moral or ethical issue.

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