Students looking for information about flags should visit the UGS Flags page.
Please direct all questions about the flag proposal process to the Center for the Core Curriculum.
Department of Rhetoric and Writing
Please describe specifically how students will learn about what is involved in making real-life ethical choices.
This course uses the history of rhetoric, especially classical rhetorical theory, in order to consider three basic questions:
1) What are ethical ways to persuade people for or against going to war?
2) How can we make rhetoric a method of community deliberation and not just a set of strategies for gaining compliance?
3) What is the relationship between theory and practice? That is, between how scholars of rhetoric theorize ethical and unethical rhetorical practices and the ways that communities actually argue?
What are typical readings or other materials in the course or class related to Ethics and Leadership?
In addition to Aristotle’s Ethics, and various rhetorical theorists’ arguments about ethical rhetoric, students will read and consider real-life situations in which rhetoric was used ethically and unethically.
Describe typical assignments related to Ethics and Leadership.
Students will write two major papers. Below are some sample prompts:
1) It’s clear that Cleon expects that Diodotus will make an ethical argument against exterminating Mytilene, but Diodotus instead argues from expediency. Write an imaginary speech for that debate which is ethical in both method and content. Also write a rhetorical analysis of your speech in which you show how and why it was an ethical argument, and why it would have been effective.
2) In In Retrospect, Robert McNamara argues that he was part of making a series of unethical decisions about Vietnam—that is, decisions he would later evaluate as morally wrong—because they were premised on a misunderstanding of the fundamental situation. But, if McNamara had been able to see the Vietnam situation as he later did, could he have persuaded his fellow advisors? Write a speech he could have made to persuade them to see the conflict as about Vietnamese nationalism rather than a move in the Cold War. Also write a rhetorical analysis of your speech in which you show how and why it was an ethical argument, and why it would have been effective.
Please explain how at least one-third of the course grade is based on content related to Ethics and Leadership.
There are certain prompts that will be marked “practical ethics” questions; students must write at least one paper during the semester on such a prompt. In addition, at least one third of the short writing assignments will concern practical questions about ethical and unethical rhetoric.
Return to Proposal Tips: Ethics and Leadership.