Skip to main content
Philosophy, Religion, and Classics
Philosophy, Religion, and Classics

Ethics Minor

Supreme Court building

The Ethics Minor is a philosophy-based minor that is administered by the Department of Philosophy, Religion and Classics. Since ethical issues are addressed across the curriculum, appropriate courses in other disciplines can also count toward the minor.

Ethical issues are important to many human activities, fields of inquiry, and professions.  Indeed, one of the Student Learning Outcomes of Butler University is that "students will make informed, rational and ethical choices." Knowledge of ethics will be beneficial to students as a complement to their major in many different areas, to their post-bachelor education (law, medicine, political science, etc.), to their careers (government, business, etc.), and, more broadly, to finding their way in life.

Students are advised to create a thematic unity in their course selection, in consultation with the program director or other faculty connected to the Ethics Minor. For advising, or more information, contact the Ethics minor director, Harry van der Linden (hvanderl@butler.edu).

Program Requirements

Foundational philosophy - covering basic moral theories and concepts (3 credit hours required):

  • TI-244PL, Ethics, the Good Life, and Society
  • PL360, Ethics

Normative philosophy (6 credit hours required; at least 3 credit hours on the 300-or 400-level):

  • TI241-PL, Classics of Social and Political Thought
  • TI242-PL, Marginalized in America
  • PL245, Classics of Social and Political Philosophy
  • PL344, Philosophy of Law
  • PL345, Contemporary Social and Political Philosophy
  • PL378, Philosophy of Feminism
  • PL364, Ethics and International Relations
  • PL380, Topics in Ethics
  • PL403, Independent Study with research paper in ethics
  • PL407, Internship in Ethics
  • PL410W, Seminar in Philosophy, Topics in Ethics

Applied ethics - showing how moral deliberation is pivotal to some specific profession or field of human activity (3 credit hours required):

  • TI240-PL, Ethics of War and Peace
  • PL363, Biomedical Ethics
  • PL380, Topics in Ethics (if topic is in applied ethics)
  • PL403, Independent Study with research paper in applied ethics
  • PL407, Internship in Ethics
  • LE264, Business Ethics
  • PX325, Ethical Issues in Health Care
  • BSHS360, Healthcare Ethics
  • ORG358, Communication and Social Responsibility
  • STR324W, Ethics and Case Problems in Strategic Communication
  • JR420, Mass Communication Ethics
  • CS485, Computer Ethics (1 credit hour)
  • DD401ME (DD401ECE), Engineering Ethics and Professionalism (1 credit hour)
  • DD404 BME, Ethics for Biomedical Engineers (1 credit hour)

Electives - to be selected from Philosophy courses with an ethics focus, any courses listed above, or any of the following (6 credit hours required):

  • CLA360, Topics in Classics: Law
  • GWS201, Intersections of Identity
  • GWS202, Resistance for Social Change
  • HST305, Topics in History: History of Human Rights
  • HST305, Topics in History: "I, too, Sing America": Civil Rights in the US
  • LE263, Legal Environment of Business
  • MRC463, Freedom of Speech and Democracy
  • PO354, Environmental Justice
  • RL387, Religious and Philosophical Explorations of the Problems of Evil

The program director may approve on a semester-by-semester basis additional courses as electives, including some courses in Political Science. 

No more than 6 credit hours of the Ethics Minor may be "double-counted" toward any other minor or any major.

Faculty

Harry van der Linden, Professor of Philosophy, Program Director

Katharina Dulckeit, Professor of Philosophy

Stuart Glennan, Professor of Philosophy

Tiberiu Popa, Associate Professor of Philosophy

Richard McGowan, Instructor - College of Business

Affiliated Faculty

Kwadwo Anokwa, Professor of Communication 

Brooke M. Beloso, Assistant Professor of Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies

Chris Bungard, Associate Professor of Classics

Vivian Deno, Associate Professor of History

Allison Harthcock, Associate Professor of Communication

Laurence A. Kennedy, Associate Professor of Pharmacy Practice

Jason Range, Executive Director - Butler Innovation Fund 

Priscilla Ryder, Assistant Professor of Pharmacy Practice

Paul Valliere, Professor of Religion

What are some activities outside the classroom?

Students are encouraged to participate in the annual Intercollegiate Ethics Bowl, attend ethics talks sponsored by the Ethics Minor or other programs, and attend the meetings of the Philosophy Club.  Students also have the option to do an internship with an ethical focus or to pursue an independent study with research in moral theory or applied ethics.