We all make many ethical choices, small and large, every day. Should we give money to that homeless person? Should we shade the truth to protect someone else's feelings? Should we endanger ourselves by chasing that purse-snatcher? A first-year college composition course devoted to critical thinking and writing presents an ideal opportunity for students to reflect on what goes into making such decisions, and to refine their own understanding of what constitutes ethical action. The first reader to tap into this opportunity, Open Questions presents a wide variety of perspectives on profound ethical issues, along with a unique method of approaching those issues based on careful listening, analytic thinking, and persuasive writing.
CHRIS ANDERSON is professor of English and the composition coordinator at Oregon State University. Author of many scholarly articles and reviews and coauthor or editor of numerous books, including several textbooks for composition, he is also a much-published poet and writer of creative nonfiction, whose Edge Effects: Notes from an Oregon Forest was a finalist for the Oregon Book Award. His latest scholarly projects include the forthcoming Teaching as Believing: Faith in the University.
LEX RUNCIMAN is professor of English and former director of the writing center at Linfield College. He has written and lectured extensively on writing pedagogy, particularly writing across the curriculum. Coauthor or editor of several textbooks, he is the author of The St. Martin's Workbook (Bedford/St. Martin's, 2003). A poet and an editor of poetry anthologies, his latest collection of his own work is Out of Town.
Introduction What Would You Do? Three Scenarios
Questions and Answers
Ethical Thinking is Critical Thinking
Private and Public: Personal Convictions and Civic Rhetoric Randy Cohen, Downloading Music from the Internet Exchange between Randy Cohen and Siva Vaidhyanthan Ethical Systems: Five Examples
Critical Thinking: An Ethics of Learning
Listening and Analyzing: Logos, Pathos, Ethos Lindsy Van Gelder, Marriage as a Restricted Club Annotating Your Books, Keeping a Reading Journal
Participating in the Conversation
Contributing to Civic Rhetoric: Making Claims
Reconsidering in Light of New Information, New Understandings Community, Integrity, and Compromise: an Approach to Argument
1. Where Are You Coming From? What Would You Do? Speaking Up for a Friend Benjamin Saenz, Exile: El Paso Texas Sarah Vowell, Shooting Dad Elmaz Abinader, Profile of an Arab Daughter Langston Hughes, Theme for English B (poem) Maxine Hong Kingston, No Name Woman Peter Steiner, You can be anything you want to be -- no limits! (cartoon) Robert Coles, I Listen to My Parents and I Wonder What They Believe Barbara Kingsolver, Stone Soup Winona LaDuke, Voices from White Earth John Daniels, The Authentic Trail For Community Learning and Research
2. Are We Responsible for Others? What Would You Do? Considering an Intervention Henry Wechsler, Charles Deutsch, and George Dowdall, Too Many Colleges Are Still in Denial about Alcohol Abuse Bowen H. McCoy, The Parable of the Sadhu Stephen L. Carter, Welcoming the Stranger Cornel West, The Moral Obligations of Living in a Democratic Society Garrett Hardin, Lifeboat Ethics: The Case against Helping the Poor Esther Dyson, Cyberspace: If You Don't Love It, Leave It Joy Williams, Save the Whales, Screw the Shrimp The Earth Charter Joan Didion, On Morality William Stafford, Traveling Through the Dark (poem) For Community Learning and Research
3. Is Violence Necessary? What Would You Do? Mediating a Confrontation Andre Dubus, Giving Up the Gun Merrill Joan Gerber, I Don't Believe This Michael Levin, The Case for Torture The Dalai Lama, The Need for Discernment Terry Tempest Williams, Two Words Andrew Sullivan, The Pursuit of Happiness: Four Revolutionary Words Alex Gregory, If you still want to belong to an organization dedicated to killing Americans, there's always the tobacco lobby (cartoon) Kofi Annan, Nobel Prize Lecture Dan Baum, The Casualty Chris Hedges,Eros and Thanatos Jane Goodall, Compassion and Love For Community Learning and Research
4. Are We Our Bodies? What Would You Do? Judging Based on Appearance Authentic Elegance (advertisement) Jenefer Shute, life size (fiction) Scott Russell Sanders, Looking at Women Bernard Cooper, A Clack of Tiny Sparks: Remembrances of a Gay Boyhood Brent Staples, Just Walk on By: Black Men and Public Space Judith Ortiz Cofer, The Story of My Body Nancy Mairs, On Being a Cripple Lance Armstrong, It's Not About the Bike Ellen Goodman, Who Lives? Who Dies? Who Decides? Sally Tisdale, We Do Abortions Here Bill McKibben, Designer Genes For Community Learning and Research
5. Is Honesty the Best Policy? What Would You Do? A Case of Plagiarism James Frey, How Do You Think It Makes Your Mother Feel? Stephen Carter, The Best Student Ever Donald McCabe and Linda Trevino, Honesty and Honor Codes Bill Watterson, Today at school I tried to decide whether to cheat on my test or not (cartoon) Lawrence Hinman, Virtual Virtues: Reflections on Academic Integrity in the Age of the Internet Nora Ephron, The Boston Photographs Simson Garfinkel, Privacy Under Attack Malcolm Gladwell, Big and Bad Naomi Wolf, The Beauty Myth George Orwell, Politics and the English Language For Community Learning and Research
6. What Is This Worth? What Would You Do? Making a Questionable Bargain Alice Walker, Am I Blue? Barbara Ehrenreich, Serving in Florida Eric Schlosser, What We Eat Rebecca Mead, Eggs for Sale Toni Cade Bambara,The Lesson (short story) Milton Friedman, The Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits Robert Haas, Ethics: A Global Business Challenge Aldo Leopold, The Land Ethic Paul Hawken, A Teasing Irony For Community Learning and Research
7. Why Change Your Mind? What Would You Do? Rethinking a Decision Scott Adams, I teach my kids that these things are right and these things are wrong. (cartoon) Studs Terkel, C. P. Ellis Naomi Shahib Nye, Long Overdue Annie Dillard, Singing with the Fundamentalists David Denby, Passion at Yale Richard Rodriguez, The Achievement of Desire Adrienne Rich, Claiming an Education Helen Prejean, Executions Are Too Costly -- Morally Ruth Benedict, The Case for Moral Relativism Parker Palmer, The Community of Truth
8. What Would You Do? What Would You Do? Taking a Stand U.S. Department of Homeland Security,Get Ready Now. (pamphlet) Tracy Kidder, The Good Doctor Barbara Lazear Asher, On Compassion Peter Singer, The Singer Solution to World Poverty Rebecca Solnit, The Silence of the Lambswool Cardigans Wendell Berry, Out of Your Car, Off Your Horse Kathy Moore, The World Depends on This Martin Luther King Jr., Letter from Birmingham Jail From the Atlanta Journal Constitution, Why I Volunteer Brenda Ueland, Tell Me More For Community Learning and Research