M.A in Liberal Studies and ethics at Hong Kong Baptist University (HKBU HUM) is the first and unique undergraduate programme in Hong Kong dedicated to giving broad liberal arts education. The programme aims to train students to think critically, to write logically, to speak confidently, and to nurture students’ ability to solve problems, to sympathize with humanity and to appreciate life, which are indeed essential for making a successful career as well as living a full life.

Course Description

 

Course Description

LSE 7010 Approaches to the Study of Values

In order to enable students to develop multiple interpretative perspectives on perennial and contemporary issues as well as to appreciate and respect diversity within modern society, the course will introduce different moral theories and principles in allowing students to achieve a comprehensive understanding of various approaches in resolving moral conflicts.

LSE 7120 Critical Thinking for Public Affairs

Critical thinking is important not only for individuals but also society. We need to think critically about our personal matters. But as citizens, we also have to think critically about issues in public affairs. The course aims to help students understand what critical thinking is and what conceptual tools and principles are involved in critical thinking.

LSE 7130 Social Justice

This course introduces basic concepts of social and political philosophy, including the justification of the state, the nature of social life, the relation between individuals and the collective, the ideas of liberty, right, good, etc. It focuses on major philosophical theories of distributive justice, especially the debates among Rawlsian liberalism, libertarianism and communitarianism. It will also explore the implications of these debates upon various concrete social issues, particularly under the Hong Kong context.

LSE 7140 Law, Liberty and Morality

Liberty is important for individuals as well as for society. Yet liberty should not become complete license, so it has to be regulated by both morality and law. This course will explore the dynamics between criminal law, liberty and morality by discussing the merits and demerits of four liberty-limiting: (1) harm to others; (2) offense to others; (3) harm to oneself; and (4) legal enforcement of morality even if there is no victim. Relevant real life case studies will be discussed.

LSE 7070 Public Health and the Common Good

Public health issues such as abortion, euthanasia and medical resources allocation are often hotly debated in the public sphere. The course aims to help student understand public health and the related issues from both a medical and an ethical point of view.

LSE 7080 Science, Technology and Environmental Ethics

This course deals with the ethical dilemma of modern application of science and technology. Science and technology have greatly enhanced the quality of human lives and productivity. Yet they do at the expense of the environment and other life forms including human future generations. The ethical problems of the effects of science and technology on the environment will be tackled from the perspectives of different moral theories.

LSE 7040 Values and Socio-cultural Issues in Hong Kong Today

This course seeks to employ theories in modern sociology and cultural studies to study important socio-cultural issues in contemporary Hong Kong. It begins with a historical introduction to formation of contemporary Hong Kong. The course will emphasize multiple perspectives on important socio-cultural issues related to public life in Hong Kong like identity, collective memory, disparity between the rich and the poor, consumerism, social movement, public affairs and political participation.

LSE 7050 Traditional Values and Moral Challenges in Modern China

This course begins with an introduction to the background of the economic reform and open-up of China since 1978, and then examines how the reform and open-up reshape the economic, political, and cultural life of the people. It ends with a critical analysis of the impact of modernization/globalization as well as the future development of China from the perspective of moral and ethical challenges in contemporary public life with special attention to the current economic and political policies and social stratifications.

LSE 7060 Globalization: Cultural and Ethical Issues

How do you make sense of people when they argue that they are “pro-“ or “anti-globalization”? Why are financial and environmental crises now increasingly experienced as global crises? How does globalization change politics locally and globally? How do they relate to national sovereignty? Why does increasing global interconnectedness between countries lead to greater inequality in countries? This course aims to help you answer these questions by examining different aspects of globalization.

LSE 7150 Human Rights in a Multicultural World

The course will help students reflect on the idea of human rights from the perspectives of major philosophical and religious traditions in the contemporary multicultural world. The contents will cover basic concepts of rights, the historical development of these ideas, and the perspectives of different philosophical traditions (such as liberalism, utilitarianism, and communitarianism), and world religions like Confucianism, Buddhism, and Christianity. Finally, the ethical foundation of rights, the balance between individual rights and good society, and conflicts between different kinds of human rights will be discussed.