SOC 305: Ethics in Social Science

Course Description

This course will focus on how people create and sustain worldviews that determine their ethics. Students will investigate various classic theories and modern models of ethical practices and apply them to professional, research, government, non-profit, and private sectors. They will collaborate in debating the effectiveness of ethics in daily life and organizational behavior.  (3 credits)


  • ENG 101: English Composition 1
  • ENG 102: English Composition 2

Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs)

Students who successfully complete this course will be able to:

  1. Understand and explain classic ethical theories.
  2. Apply ethical theories to practical situations and case studies.
  3. Evaluate the effectiveness of ethical models and concepts.
  4. Identify cases wherein ethical theories can apply.
  5. Formulate solutions to ethical dilemmas.
  6. Analyze case studies of ethical responses of corporations, politicians, philanthropists, and individuals.
  7. Create an ethics document.
  8. Hypothesize best practices to conflicting worldviews and ethical outcomes between people and organizations.
  9. Explain ethical models through discussion and written form.
  10. Answer and discuss ethical questions.

Course Activities and Grading


Discussions (Weeks 1-8)


Writing Assignment (Week 1)


Writing Assignment (Week 2)


Midterm Exam (Week 4)


Writing Assignment (Week 6)


Honor Code (Week 5)


Final Exam (Week 8)




Required Textbooks

  • This course uses Open Educational Resources (OER). OER are openly licensed, educational resources that can be used for teaching, learning and research. OER may consist of a variety of resources such as textbooks, videos and software that are no cost for students.

Additional Resources

Course Schedule

WeekSLOsReadings and ExercisesAssignments



Topics: Morality, Conscience, and Culture: The never-ending quest for Love

  • Text name, I, 1-16
  • Questions in Interest in Moral Philosophy questions
  • Video The School of Life “What if we never find true love”
  • PowerPoint presentation, Cultural Worldview
  • Review Getting Started information
  • Review course syllabus
  • Read assigned chapters
  • Review the lecture material
  • Introduce yourself in discussion forum
  • Complete Discussion Board and respond to classmates



Topic: Being A Good Person: What makes someone a virtuous person

  • Read Textbook Page 248 – 263 Aristotle
  • Watch commentary
  • Video: School of Life “Aristotle”
  • Read Continuum of Beneficience article
  • Write Paper: Who are the heros?
  • Read assigned chapters
  • Review the lecture material
  • Participate in discussions
  • Complete Discussion board responses
  • Complete Writing Assignment



Topic: Free to be Me: How humans make life decisions

  • Text: Free Will and Determinism (p 60 – 126)
  • Read opening commentary
  • Video: The School of Life: Baruch Spinoza
  • Video: Hans Tokke YouTube: Convergence
  • Read assigned chapters
  • Review the videos
  • Participate in 2 discussions



Topic: Midterm Exam

  • Review material for midterm

  • Participate in discussions
  • Take midterm exam

Midterm Exam

Exam Covers Readings, Videos, Articles for first half of course

SLOs: 1-6



Topics: Honor Codes: rules and accountability for living

  • Text: selections p. 131 - 174
  • Video: HansTokkeYouTube: Compliance
  • Video: Candy Chang TEDTalk
  • Read lesson commentary
  • Review article: PANO Standards for Excellence
  • Review website: Sarbanes-Oxley Act
  • Read assigned chapters
  • Review the lecture material
  • Participate in two discussions
  • Respond to two discussions
  • Complete Writing Assignment: Honor Code


2,3,4,6, 9,10

Topics: Research Ethics and Scientific Inquiry

  • Research online: Bad Blood, Zimbardo, Stanford Prison, Autism research ethics topics
  • Video: Zimbardo, Stanford Prison Experiment, Autism videos,
  • Review Belmont Report and Animal Research
  • Read assigned chapters
  • Review the lecture material
  • Participate in discussion
  • Complete Writing Assignment



Topic: Business Ethics

  • Textbook: Introduction to Ethical Studies: An Open Source Reader Lee Archie John G. Archie 292 – 304
  • The Three Cs of Leadership
  • Video: Dirty Domino’s Pizza
  • Sarbanes-Oxley Act
  • Triple Bottom Line
  • Domino’s Code of Ethics
  • Domino’s Delivers During Crisis
  • PowerPoint presentation: Business Ethics
  • Read assigned textbook and website articles
  • Review the ppt lecture
  • Watch video
  • Participate in two discussions



Topic: Final Exam

  • Review all course material for final

  • Participate in discussions
  • Take Final Exam
  • Complete course evaluation

Final Exam (50 multiple choice questions)

Exam Covers Readings, Videos, Articles for whole course

SLOs: 1-8

COSC Accessibility Statement

Charter Oak State College encourages students with disabilities, including non-visible disabilities such as chronic diseases, learning disabilities, head injury, attention deficit/hyperactive disorder, or psychiatric disabilities, to discuss appropriate accommodations with the Office of Accessibility Services at

COSC Policies, Course Policies, Academic Support Services and Resources

Students are responsible for knowing all Charter Oak State College (COSC) institutional policies, course-specific policies, procedures, and available academic support services and resources. Please see COSC Policies for COSC institutional policies, and see also specific policies related to this course. See COSC Resources for information regarding available academic support services and resources.