Davis A. Foulger, Ph. D.

Fall, 2005-Spring, 2006
and Fall 2001-Spring 2003

COM 380: Communication Ethics

Semester Syllabus - Fall, 2002

Tuesday/Thursday - 3:55PM-5:15PM

Dr. Foulger

GradesTexts and Course InformationLecture NotesFinal ExamTerm PaperGroup Project

Grading Criteria

Course BibliographyApproved Department Course Syllabus
DatePhilosophyAssignmentCourse Module

Sept. 3

(1 of 27)

Course overview

An ethics toolbox

Laws, Rules, and Ethics

No AssignmentFundamentals of Communication Ethics

Sept. 5

(2 of 27)

An introduction to Relationship Ethics

Anderson and Englehart, p. 1-22


Sept. 10

(3 of 27)

An introduction to Mass Media Ethics

Leslie, p. 1-23

Index Card Assignment due Tuesday: Find a current controversial headline (from news, newspaper, tabloid rag, etc). Document:

  • the headline
  • the source
  • what is it about
  • why is it controversial

Begin Group Project

Sept. 12

(4 of 27)

Organizing an Ethical Toolbox

Anderson and Englehart, p. 23-53


Sept. 17Monday Schedule. No class today.
Sept. 19

(5 of 27)

Ethics as Duty and Virtue

Religious Morality

Life Scripts and Family Values

Plato and the Absolute Good

Aristotle and Balance

Leslie, p. 25-33, p. 119-122

Anderson and Englehart, 29-30, 38-41

Sept. 24

(6 of 27)

Mill: High and Low Pleasures

Listening and Learning

Bacon: Controlling passions

Compassion and Relationships

Leslie, p. 42-45, 78-82

Anderson and Englehart, p. 34-38


Consumption of Messages
Sept. 26

(7 of 27)

Baudrilliard and the Hyperreal

Critical Thinking in an age of Presentation Overload

Leslie, p. 133-137

Group Project Status Review

Oct. 1

(8 of 27)

Kant and the promotion of virtue

Editing and social agendas

Schopenhaueur and compassion in pain

When no choice is a good.

Leslie, p. 72-78, 87-93

Anderson and Englehart, p. 31-33

Message Selection and Gatekeeping
Oct. 3

(9 of 27)

Rokeach and the balancing of valuesTBD, check online
Oct. 8


Spinoza and the rule of reason

Durkheim and ethical relativism


Leslie, p. 67-72, 94-94, and 161-185Message Creation
Oct. 10


Persig and the ethics of quality

Broadcasting: Time vs Quality

Leslie, p. 242-247 and 257-267

TBD, check online

Oct. 15


Group Presentations Group Presentations
Oct. 17


Group Presentations 
Oct. 22


Mid-Term Exam
Oct. 24


Aquinas and our obligations to others

Leslie, p. 40-42

Anderson and Englehart, p. 55-80

The Ethics of Enablement
Oct. 29


Machiavelli, means, and ends

Public Relations

Leslie, p. 47-53 and 197-221

Anderson and Englehart, p. 81-105

Oct. 31


Rand and our obligations to self

Books and Records

Leslie, p. 109-115 and 231-241

Anderson and Englehart, p. 106-125

Nov. 5


Hobbes and our obligations to others

An Ethics of Production Support

Leslie, p. 53-56

Anderson and Englehart, p. 33-34 and 126-162

Production Support
Nov. 7


Kohlberg and our support for moral development

Parenting and Family

Leslie, p. 115-119

Anderson and Englehart, p. 163-202

Nov. 12


Gilligan: An Ethics of Relationships

Work and Family

Anderson and Englehart, p. 41-43 and 203- 229

Nov. 14


Abulard and Intention

Film and Entertainment

Leslie, p. 37-40 and 268-272Translation of Content
Nov. 19


Rousseau and Conscience


Foucault and the Neutralization of Power

Conflicts of Interest

Leslie, p. 59-62 and 127-133

Nov. 21


Term Paper Work Day
Nov. 26


Term Paper Consulting DayI will be available to review drafts and talk about the structuring of papers and the use of references.

Nov. 28


Thanksgiving. No Class. Ski Season Arrives!

Dec. 3


Voltaire and the good of the greatest number

Sartre and the tyrrany of choice

Performance activism

Being a moral and ethical person when "all the worlds a stage".

Leslie, p. 56-59, 101-109

The Ethics of Performance
Dec. 5


Term Paper PresentationsTerm papers due on presentationTerm Paper Presentations
Dec. 10


Term Paper Presentations 
Dec. 12


Wrap Up

Leslie, p. 145-159, 309-311

Anderson and Englehart, p. 230-266

Dec. 18Final Exam 2:00pm