PHIL 4120 - Professional Ethics


This course introduces students to ethical issues common to the professions. The term "profession" is a label for a class of occupations, exemplified by the traditional model of the lawyer or physician. We will think about characteristics of these occupations that distinguish them as a class and how these characteristics are related to a variety of ethical problems.

Upon successful completion of the course students will be able to:

  1. Recognize and apply reasoning skills within ethical contexts;
  2. Discuss the professions as a class of occupations and identify characteristics shared by the occupations that give rise to certain ethical issue;
  3. Discuss several ethical issues common to the professions, including the nature of the professional/client relationship, lies/deception for the clients good, the role of privacy, confidentiality and trust, the place of loyalty, the nature and value of integrity, and various social justice issues;
  4. Discuss in both oral and written discourse different ethical issues professionals face.
  • Module 1: Thinking Critically about Ethics
  • Module 2: Professions and Professionalism
  • Module 3: Professional/Client Relationship: Duties and Rights
  • Module 4: Truth and Lies
  • Module 5: Privacy, Confidentiality, Secrecy
  • Module 6: Integrity
  • Module 7: Video Presentation and Peer Feedback
  • Module 8: Justice, Social Welfare, and Other Issues

Credit Hours

Organizational Leadership


  • None

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