Thinking Critically About Visuals: Identify some of the influences in your life that have inhibited your creative development, including the “myths” about creativity that are described in the article.
Thinking Passages: Jurors’ Reasoning Processes: Explain whether you believe that the research strategies lawyers are using to select the “right” jury for their cases are undermining the fairness of the justice system.
Thinking Passage: The Influence of New Media: The author acknowledges that “the Net is becoming a universal medium, the conduit for most of the information that flows through my eyes and ears and into my mind” and that this puts him at risk for being a “mere decoder of information” rather than a deep thinker
about information. Would you say that this is true for you as well? Why or why not?
Thinking Passage: Perception and Reality in the Sandy Hook Elementary School Shooting:
Dan Baum, in his article “The Price of Gun Control,” contends that in our efforts to curb violence in America we are making a mistake by focusing on guns. He states: “It’s true that America’s rate of violent crime remains higher than in most European countries. But to focus on guns is to dodge a painful truth. America is more violent than other countries because Americans are more violent than other people. . . . by obsessing over inanimate pieces of metal, we avoid looking at what brings us more often than others to commit violent acts.” Do you agree that “Americans are more violent than other people”? Should we be focusing on gun control in our efforts to curb violence? Why or why not?
Thinking Passages: Global Warming: What exactly is “global warming”? What is the role of greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide in creating global warming? What are some of the devastating effects scientists believe that global warming will result in? What are the reasons and evidence that have convinced scientists that global warming poses a potentially catastrophic threat to the future of the Earth?
Thinking Passages: The Evolving Concept of “Family”: The author of the first article, Kate Rice, quotes Alexis Walker: “Family is both a belief and a practice.” Professor Walker explains that her students tend to view a family in traditional terms, comprising a mom, a dad, and children. Yet when she asks students whether they come from a family like that, only a few put their hands up. How would you explain this discrepancy? Did you find the same split perspective in your response to the first question? Why or why not?
Thinking Passage: Using Metaphors: Explain what the author means when he says “we think with our bodies” and “abstract thought would be meaningless without bodily experience.” What examples does he provide to support these statements? Can you think of examples of your own that illustrate this insight?
Thinking Passages: Thinking and Acting Morally: How do you explain the fact that morally evil people can be highly educated in terms of ethics and religion? How do you account for the gap that sometimes occurs between knowledge of ethics and being an ethical person?
Thinking Passage: Legalizing Drugs: State whether or not you believe drugs should be legalized, and provide reasons to support your conclusion.
Thinking Passage: Treating Breast Cancer: Why have the US Preventive Services Task Force’s new guidelines for breast cancer screening cast doubt on previous, long-standing recommendations that women over the age of 40 get routine mammograms and that all women should perform regular breast self-exams? On what evidence did the Task Force base their guidelines?
In this radio program, at least one caller and one of the guests (Constance Lehman, the medical director of radiology and director of breast imaging at Seattle Cancer Care Alliance) criticize the Task Force’s new guidelines. What reasoning do they offer in their objections?
Select the one concept or theory that you believe will be the most important to you in the future. How will what you learned change the way you solve problems?
Assignment: Unit 01: Legal Reasoning
Q1. Joseph was taking the Economics 101 course with his friend, Allison. Joseph was struggling with the material, and he explained to Allison, “This just doesn’t make much sense to me. I know that once I get into my management major I can do it. I just have to get through this course because all the other courses I have been able to handle. Could you just let me see your answers for the online questions on the reading?” Explain what type of ethical dilemma Allison is facing in this situation.
Q2. Refer back to the Joseph and Allison situation, and add the following facts. Allison is nervous about allowing Joseph to have her answers. Joseph tells Allison, “Look, how many people on this campus do you think have helped people with their homework? It’s not a big deal. Nobody will know about it.” What tools is Joseph using to convince Allison?
Q3. Refer back to the Joseph and Allison situation, and suppose that Allison agrees to let Joseph have her answers. List who is affected by their actions.
Q4. Refer back to the Joseph and Allison situation, and add these facts. Allison allows Joseph to use her homework, and then Joseph says, “Allison, I am really going to need some help studying for the exam, and it would be better if we sat close during the exam so that when I get into hard areas, I can look over for some help. I will make sure no one sees me. Can you help me?” What is happening between Joseph and Allison?
Assignment: Unit 02: Legal Reasoning
Q1. Johnson Wheels, Inc. is a company that manufactures wheels for suitcases, skateboards, plastic tote carts, and other products that require small, flexible wheels. Because of new, durable plastic products from other companies, however, sales have been decreasing. The revenue Johnson reports has been down, and investors are nervous. As Johnson’s CFO is working on the annual financials, he has a discussion with his chief of audit about changing Johnson’s depreciation formulas. “With less depreciation, our numbers look better. I think we can increase the life of many of our production machines. Let’s recalculate adding two years and see what depreciation looks like.” The chief of audit is concerned about the change, saying, “Maybe it’s justified. You could argue either way.” Discuss the ethical issue here and what ethical schools of thought in business might apply.
Q2. While the CFO and chief of audit are dealing with the depreciation issue, Johnson’s head of production has a proposal for Johnson’s CEO: “I have a new plastic that we could switch to. The customers will like it because it has a wider range of colors, but it wears out more quickly, so we could sell more wheels.” Help the CEO analyze the ethical issues with this decision.
Q3. Johnson’s CFO went ahead with the depreciation adjustment. The following year, the CFO and the chief of audit were discussing Johnson’s still declining sales and revenues and their first quarter financials. The CFO proposes the following: “Look, we’re coming up on the spring season when the skateboard wheels peak. Why don’t we just ship the wheels early to our regular customer and we can have a second quarter peak instead of waiting for the third quarter.” The chief of audit responds, “Well, if the customer has not ordered the wheels, I am not sure we have a sale to book.” The CFO then explains, “We can make it part of a special promotion and make the credit terms favorable.” The chief of audit worries, “It feels like we are piecing together sales and revenues and not really meeting our numbers.” Help the chief of audit discuss his concerns with the CFO.
Q4. When the CFO and chief of audit meet to discuss the third-quarter earnings, the CFO tells the chief of audit, “Just make some top-entry adjustments so that our sales are just flat. We can see this through, and these are only temporary adjustments.” The chief of audit does not want to make the adjustments, but the CFO is his boss. The chief of audit thinks, “I have seen him fire people for raising questions. If I say no, he will just get someone else to do it and fire me anyway. He was named CFO of the year last year by Business Perspectives. He has a great track record, even before he came to Johnson. I can’t question him.” Discuss what is happening with the CFO and in this situation.
This is where you will post your biography on the first day of class. Take this opportunity to tell your classmates about yourself; your career goals, your likes, dislikes, your reason for taking the course, your favorite things, etc.
Make a list of what students gain through plagiarism. Make a list of the risks. Make a list of what students forgo when they engage in plagiarism.
Case 2.7. BP and the Deepwater Horizon Explosion: Safety First:
Evaluate the social responsibility positions of BP in light of the refinery explosion and the pipeline issue. What can companies learn from the BP experience?
Case 2.10. What Was Up with Wall Street? The Goldman Standard and Shades of Gray:
Evaluate each of the actions or practices, using ethical analysis models other than the question “Is it legal?”
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