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Dr. Johanna Luttrell, Civitas’ current Post-Doctoral Visiting Scholar in Political Philosophy, developed a course on the History of Ethics, which employs models in applied ethics from business practices, including several case studies about the morality of free markets.  In this course, students read three classical works in the history of Ethics: Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics, Kant’s Critique of Practical Reason, and John Stuart Mill’s Utilitarianism.  The students then use these three approaches to ethics, commonly known as virtue ethics, deontology, and utilitarianism, respectively, to interrogate issues in applied ethics, including business practices and economic questions.  Dr. Luttrell recruits professionals from the Houston community to come and discuss ethical dilemmas they have encountered in their own work experience. Students are then required to write a series of papers wherein they connect practical ethical dilemmas with the “canon” of ethical theory.

This class is in line with Civitas’ goal of uniting theory with practice in the hopes of making students better and more thoughtful citizens.  The course is an introductory philosophy class, cross-listed with the Honors College program in politics and ethics.

For more information on this course, please contact Dr. Luttrell at