Ethics in Policy and Practice

Professors: Boudreaux and Piquado
Units: 0.5
Required Course

Ethical norms, sometimes codified in law and other forms such as professional codes of conduct, permeate our political, professional, and personal lives. In this course, we will review ethical frameworks, identify and evaluate ethical considerations underlying key public policy issues, and analyze norms that apply to decision-making in professional and social contexts.

The goal of the course is to analyze ethical risks and consider our own ethical perspective so we are prepared to shape policy and make decisions that reflect our values and commitments. The course is divided into three components. First, we will evaluate prominent ethical theories to equip us with a background in ethical theory and help us identify our most fundamental ethical principles. Second, we will analyze the ethical values and principles that underlie policy issues such as health care, education, immigration, and warfare. Third, we will examine the ethics of professional practice and personal life. This will be a discussion-oriented course with several short reflective writing assignments.

Related Commentary and Multimedia

  • Benjamin Boudreaux discusses cyber attribution

    Accountability in Cyberspace: The Problem of Attribution

    Jan 14, 2019

    The attribution of a malicious cyber incident consists of identifying the responsible party behind the activity. In this video, professors Jair Aguirre, Ben Boudreaux, and John Davis recommend creating an independent, international cyber attribution consortium tasked with investigating and publicly attributing major cyber attacks.

  • Artificial eye looking through greenery

    Does the United States Face an AI Ethics Gap?

    Jan 11, 2019

    Benjamin Boudreaux

    The view that the United States is in an artificial intelligence (AI) arms race suggests an AI ethics gap. Prof. Benjamin Boudreaux says the U.S. may face a higher ethical hurdle than its adversaries when developing and deploying AI in military contexts. But, he adds, the gap could be a source of U.S. strength in building international partnerships.