since 1965  (really?)

The Greater Good

This course listing applies to a Fall 2016 course. To find current courses, check out the Find a Course page.

Fall 2016
Philosophy 198
2 Unit(s)

Human friendly URL (OBSOLETE)


About the Course:

Students will analyze the Effective Altruist (EA) decision framework of Altruism, Consequentialism, Maximization, and Egalitarianism (ACME), and apply the framework to real-world problems, such as cause selection, charity evaluation, and career decisions. They will use this as a jumping off point to develop and articulate their own code of practical ethics and make concrete plans based on it.

This is a 13 week class. We will meet once a week for two hours each session; readings or written exercises are assigned each week, to be completed before class.

Most class sections will be held in a discussion format, focused on a worksheet. Through the worksheets, students will apply the concepts discussed in class to relevant problems, and articulate how they personally relate to the class material. Some weeks, students will turn in a short personal response.

Some weeks, we will have a guest speaker present on a cause or concept related to their field of expertise. Occasionally, we will play a giving game: groups of 3-4 students are given an amount of money (generally $20-$50) and choose one of a few nonprofits to donate it to. There will be a final giving game at the end of the semester in which each student individually chooses where to allocate $50. We match further student contributions on top of the provided amount up to a certain threshold, including contributions by friends of the student and others not in the class.


The course syllabus can be found here.


**Though listed as upper division, lower-division students are welcome and encouraged to enroll in this course. The material will be accessible for students of all majors and backgrounds.

How to Enroll:

To apply for the course, fill out the application form located here. It should take around 15 minutes to complete.

Course Contact: mattcb AT

Faculty Sponsor: Niko Kolodny

Time & Location:

Section 1Matthew Borchardt
30229 DwinelleM 6p-8p9/12started

Uploaded Files:

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Course info last modified September 12, 2016. This page has been viewed 4680 times.

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