LSTD 4700 – Exploring Justice
Why is it cool?
Suppose you’re driving a trolley car speeding down the track at 60 miles an hour. Ahead, you see five workers standing on the track. You try to stop, but your brakes don’t work. You know if you hit them, they’ll all die. Then, you notice a side track off to the right. There’s a worker on that track, but he’s alone.
Do you forge ahead killing the five workers, or veer to the right and kill just one? Is it OK to kill one person in order to save the lives of five people?
Exploring Justice is cool because it focuses on moral dilemmas just like this, and examines why they exist. Adopting the popular book “What’s the Right Thing to Do?” by philosopher and Harvard professor Michael J. Sandel, the class challenges students to examine their own moral codes through discussion of the concept of justice.
In the class, students explore questions like, “How can we be just if we don’t know what it is we are measuring ourselves against?” and “Is there only one meaning for justice or are there multiple ones?”
“Philosophers have been arguing over these types of questions for millennia, since Aristotle,” said course instructor Nina Livesey. “It is my hope that students, especially those interested in criminal justice, will be attracted to a course that deals with the notion of justice itself.”
Talk to your advisor to see if this class might be right for you, or see what else is offered by the College of Professional and Continuing Studies.