Courses in this area will enable students to explore how values inform the behavior of individuals and societies and govern the way humans relate to each other on a daily basis. The study of values and ethics enable us to understand the implications of our thoughts and actions and to take responsibility for them. As members of specific societies, we are not only shaped by cultural values but also, through critical and responsible reflection, we transform these cultural values. Studying these values in both their unity and diversity can provide insight into the way our personal and social worlds are shaped in various historical and social contexts. The study of values and ethics also advances respect for knowledge and its problems. In each phase of the process of knowledge construction, the values of the inquirers inform the ideas, methods, and practices that generate knowledge.
Exploration of ethical perspectives will enable students to:
- Recognize the value-laden character of knowledge, including knowledge about the world, the environment, race and ethnicity, language and gender.
- Advance their understanding of the values that underlie the criteria used by scholars in identifying and formulating problems, in constructing methods and models, and in articulating and choosing theories.