Present Moral Problems

When I was deciding what to write for my college essay senior year, my mom told me to think about certain traits that defined me, and then consider experiences which exemplified one of those traits. I told her to explain, and she said that she always thought of me as a “philosophical kid,” because from a very young age I was always asking “why?” This led me to write my college essay about my particular stance on religion, which I took on as a young kid.

Considering this, I guess I should not be surprised that I love my philosophy class so much. Present Moral Problems, taught by Brian Talbot, is one of the most interesting and thought provoking classes I’ve taken so far at WashU. I had never taken a philosophy class before, so I was not sure what to expect, but I am so glad my suite mate from last year convinced me to enroll.

In this class, we talk about current controversial issues in ethics. So far we have covered topics including the morality of chemically inducing love for one’s child, and whether or not there is ever a moral obligation to die. For our midterm papers, we get to create our own argument for one of the topics we have been informed of, and convince people of our moral stance. It is definitely a challenging endeavor, but I enjoy talking it through with my classmates, family, and friends.

Professor Talbot makes the conversations very intriguing, and I never find myself bored while listening to his quirky back-and-forth style with the students. He is very approachable, honest, and funny, and outlines the class in a way that is straightforward. I am never left wondering what the homework is, or what is expected of an assignment. He does not have the most traditional teaching style, but it works very well for instructing the class of around 30 students. Because of Present Moral Problems, I am taking another philosophy class next semester and I am super excited for it.