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The Ethics of Campus Conflicts

Lewis Vaughn

Publication Date - 23 December 2021

ISBN: 9780197550113

256 pages
6 1/2 x 9 1/4 inches

In Stock

A timely and relevant guide to navigating today's most compelling "on campus" moral issues.


The Ethics of Campus Conflicts is a Contemporary Moral Problems textbook that focuses on controversial issues relevant to college camputses. It is a hybrid of running text elucidated by passages from relevant readings-readings taken from books and essays by commentators who ahve studied, and sometimes been party to, the campus controversies featured in the book


  • Emphasizes the habits of mind that are prerequisites for making sense of today's campus controversies
  • Developing these dispositions by showing students how to deliberately and carefully apply moral reasoning to the tough questions that they confront
  • Fosters havits of mind such as metacognition, overview perspective, openness, intellectual humility, reasonable skepticism, and responsibility.

About the Author(s)

Lewis Vaughn is the author or coauthor of several bestsetting philosophy textbooks, including ioethics, Fourth Edition (2019); The Power of Critical Thinking, Sixth Edition (2018); Philosophy Here and Now, Third Edition (2018); Writing Philosophy, Second Edition (2018); and Living Philosophy, Second Edition (2017), and Doing Ethics, Fifth Edition (Norton, 2019).

Table of Contents

    Chapter 1: Moral Reasoning on Campus
    Ethics and the moral life
    Normative dominance
    Box: Morality and the law
    Moral relativism
    Ethics and religion
    Argument fundamentals
    Deductive arguments
    Box: Valid and invalid argument forms
    Inductive arguments
    Enumerative induction
    Analogical induction
    Inference to the best explanation
    Box: Three mental obstacles to critical thinking
    Moral arguments
    Box: Common fallacies in moral reasoning
    Moral theories
    Evaluating moral theories
    Two important theories
    Traditional utilitarianism
    Kantian ethics
    Box: Beware of motivated reasoning
    Moral principles
    Respect for persons
    Key terms

    Chapter 2: Free Speech, Equality, and Harm
    Perceptions of Campus Speech
    What students believe
    Campus realities
    Why Free Speech Matters
    The right of free speech is not absolute
    Free speech in recent U.S. history
    Protected and Unprotected Speech
    True threats
    Punishable incitement
    Fighting words
    Viewpoint-neutral regulations
    Speech and harm
    Psychological harms
    Dignitary harms
    Speech equals violence?
    Box: Free Speech and Civility
    Free Speech and Inclusion
    Cancel Culture
    Box: Counterspeech: What Works, What Doesn't
    Argument Analysis
    Key terms
    Readings discussed: Louis D. Brandeis, Susan Benesch, Nadine Strossen, Ulrich Baer, Lee C. Bollinger, Greg Lukianoff, Jonathan Haidt, Sigal R. Ben-Porath, Jeremy Waldron, Maxime Lepoutre, the AAUP, PEN America, the ACLU, Erwin Chemerinsky, Howard Gillman, Pamela Paresky, Justice Louis Brandeis, University of Chicago, Dangerous Speech Project, Susan Benesch, Richard Delgado, Jean Stefancic, Harper's Magazine letter, Michelle Goldberg, Thomas Chatterton Williams, Jonathan Zimmerman.

    Chapter 3: Hate Speech and Speech Codes
    Punishing Speech
    Speech codes: overbreadth and vagueness
    The University of Michigan code
    The University of Wisconsin code
    The University of the Virgin Islands code
    Box: Two Views of Speech Laws
    For Speech Codes
    Matsuda's proposed speech code
    Problems of vagueness
    Existing laws against speech harms
    Box: How Hate Speech Laws Are Used in Europe
    How effective are speech laws?
    Argument Analysis
    Key terms
    Readings discussed: Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Nadine Strossen, Erwin Chemerinsky, Howard Gillman, Mari J. Matsuda, University of Michigan, University of Wisconsin, University of the Virgin Islands, Azhar Majeed, Glenn Greenwald, Richard Stengel, Conor Friedersdorf.

    Chapter 4: Academic Freedom
    Why academic freedom?
    The role of professors
    Past assaults on academic freedom
    Faculty Freedom
    What academic freedom does and doesn't do
    The Steven Salaita case
    The Joy Karega case
    The Charles Negy case
    The AAUP position
    Classroom Freedom
    Indoctrination vs. education
    Trigger warnings
    Safe spaces
    Freedom of expression vs. freedom from expression
    Silencing students
    Censorship and safe spaces
    The ache for home
    No Platforming
    The appeal to equality
    The risks of censorship
    Obama's admonition
    No platforming and academic freedom
    Argument Analysis
    Key terms
    Readings discussed: Jennifer Lackey, John Stuart Mill, John Dewey, Michael P. Lynch, Jennifer Saul, Michele Moody-Adams, Mary Kate McGowan, Jonathan Zimmerman, Ann Franke, Benjamin Daniels, Catherine Baiocchi, Cary Nelson, Sigal R. Ben-Porath, Colleen Flaherty, Divya Kumar, Michael Levenson, Joy Karega, Steven Salaita, Charles Negy, Inside Higher Ed, Tampa Bay Times, New York Times, Michele Moody-Adams, Michael S. Roth, Ruth Simmons, Robert Mark Simpson, Amia Srinivasan, Barack Obama

    Chapter 5: Race, Racism, and Justice
    Race and Racism
    Defining racism
    The nonexistence of biological race
    Scientific racism
    Why is racism morally wrong?
    Racism Past and Present
    American slavery
    The KKK and Jim Crow
    Essential concepts of slavery
    Racial inequalities
    Whites who say they “don't see color”
    Structural racism
    Box: Removing Confederate Monuments
    Racial inequalities in wealth
    Racial inequalities in education
    Box: White Privilege and Its Problems
    Racial inequalities in the criminal justice system
    Racism or Not?
    Racist statements and motivations
    Unacknowledged racism
    Degrees of racism
    Box: Responding to Microaggressions
    Argument Analysis
    Key terms
    Readings discussed: Randall Kennedy, Lawrence Blum, Maria Golash-Boza, Naomi Zack, American Anthropological Association, Michaels James, Hasan Kwame Jeffries, Eduardo Bonilla-Silva, Shannon Sullivan, Radley Balko, Conor Friedersdorf, Michele Moody-Adams, Kevin, Nadal

    Chapter 6: The Ethics of Protest
    The Right to Protest
    Protest and the First Amendment
    Protests on Campus
    Civil Disobedience
    Conscientious Objection
    Classic Civil Disobedience
    MLK's Exposition
    Nonviolence and Violence
    Peter Suber's Defense of Civil Disobedience
    Box: Is It Protected Speech or Civil Disobedience?
    Uncivil Disobedience
    Disrupting lives
    Defining Uncivil Disobedience
    Philosophers against Personalized Protest
    Candice Delmas: When Disobedience Should Be Uncivil
    Box: Should Students Be Punished for Disrupting Speech?
    Argument Analysis
    Key terms
    Readings discussed: American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), Martin Luther King, Jr., Kimberley Brownlee, Peter Suber, Martha C. Nussbaum, Charles Watson, Sarah Holtman, Candice Delmas

    Chapter 7: The Ethics of Belief Online
    Clifford's Principle
    A Duty to Base Beliefs on Evidence
    The Hazards of the Infosphere
    Fake News
    Reasonable Skepticism
    Reading Laterally
    Reading Critically
    Using Google and Wikipedia
    Box: Your Brain on Social Media
    The Ethics of Sharing Misinformation
    Sharing Misinformation about the Pandemic
    Gradations of Blame
    Deliberate Deceivers, Self-Deceivers, and Bullshitters
    Box: Trustworthy Fact-Checkers
    Morally Responsible Arguing
    How to Argue Productively Online
    Box: How to Win Every Argument
    Argument Analysis
    Key terms
    Readings discussed: W.K. Clifford, Sabrina Tavernise, Guy Harrison, Walter Sinnott-Armstrong

    Appendix A: For Further Reading
    Appendix B: Answers to Exercises
    Appendix C: Writing Argumentative Essays