Area of Engagement: Ethics and Value Inquiry

Requirement Purpose

Engaged citizens think critically about the sources and meanings of their commitments to personal integrity, moral responsibility, and social justice. Engagement is typically seen as an activity; one is engaged when one is doing something within her or his community, society, nation, or world. What constitutes the right kinds of actions and engagement? If being engaged requires participation, must one’s participation be to further causes of personal integrity and social justice, or can one participate in the system by supporting causes and actions that only support his or her personal views or objectives? All of these questions are fundamentally questions about moral values and actions and how they relate to our responsibilities to ourselves and others. This means that being an engaged citizen, in part, requires an understanding of ethics and value systems. The purpose of the courses that fulfill the ethics and value inquiry requirement is to provide students with this understanding.

Required Course Characteristics

A course in this area will

  • have ethics and value inquiry as the primary focus
  • provide students with the opportunity to interact with others who represent a variety of moral, ethical, or religious perspectives, and to reflect on those interactions

Area of Engagement Learning Objectives

Through completion of an EV course, students should be able to

  • articulate and justify their moral values and actions in light of moral theories, logical principles, foundational texts, or traditions
  • assess the strengths and limitations of various moral values and actions
  • demonstrate an ability to make decisions about moral values and actions by incorporating and responding to a variety of other ethical, moral, or religious perspectives
  • identify and critically evaluate multiple approaches to ethical issues
  • articulate and critically assess values prevalent in contemporary society

EV Proposal Form