Welcome to PHL 210 - Moral Philosophy!

I hope you're looking forward to this class as much as I am.  If there is anything you want me to know about you or your interests that could help you learn more in this course, please let me know.

During class, please identify yourselves by your first names (or the name you use instead of your first name) when speaking.  If you don't want to hear the version of your name that is on the roster, please let me know as soon as possible. Please correct me if I mispronounce your name, or if you arrive after I take attendance. 

The syllabus and the Canvas course modules should have information you need about the course. When you can't access Canvas, you may find the syllabus and other course materials at my Le Moyne College website..   If you have any questions or concerns about the materials or the class, please drop by my office hours (or email me for a zoom link) M  TH F – 1:10-1:55pm  during office hours  (and any time we've set up an appointment).

Here is my contact information and some background.

As I mentioned, there's the M TH F  1:10-1:55pm  office hours and appointments through zoom.  You can leave a voice mail message at 315-445-4489  (you should receive a reply within a few days) or email me at kagan@lemoyne.edu - You should receive a reply within a day or so (not including weekends).

Some of my background that is relevant to the class:

I tend to read closely (perhaps too closely!).   This is a result of growing up during a time when we would listen to records over and over again in search of hidden meanings (sometimes we would slow them down or play them backwards).  When I got to college I studied philosophy with teachers who insisted on close reading.   At the same time, I  took psychology classes for fun (so many that I accidentally qualified for a double major) where I was taught to interpret people's behavior and works (depending on my teachers who worked from different paradigms) as suggesting past conditioning histories, unconscious motivations, and cognitive strategies.  Then I went to rabbinic school where I learned contemporary methods of seeing texts as evidence of historical and religious forces that produced them as well as traditional methods of reading sacred texts as many leveled revelations of an all-knowing revealer.  Then, I went back to Washington University in St. Louis  for seven more years of close reading while working on my  Ph.D.in philosophy.  (For examples of some things to think about while reading, see 5 things to wonder about while you read and  4 Questions to ask yourself as you read in the module for Week 0.)

I am not a visual thinker, although I may often sound like one since I grew up with and have spent most of my life with artistic people.  I tend to think of things in terms of how they feel or sound.  This may well be related to my prosopagnosia/prosopamnesia.  Recognizing people is challenging for me and when I do recognize people it is usually by how they sound and how they move (and by how they sound when they move) and by context.  I often have trouble recognizing family members when I see them at a crowded place or in a different context.  When I was a child at the department store with my mother, if we got separated and I did not remember what she was wearing, I was in serious trouble.