York University
Faculty of Liberal and Professional Studies
School of Administrative Studies

Course Syllabus
Claudio Duran and Louise Ripley

AK/PHIL/ADMS4295 6.0
Philosophical and Ethical Issues in the Mass Media
Fall/Winter 2005-2006
I retired as of July 1, 2015 and will no longer be supporting this website
                                           -- Louise Ripley

Updated 07/01/15


We are not teaching this course together now due to our retirements
   -- Claudio and Louise

Calendar Description Examines different modes of argumentation in editorial content, news coverage and advertising, particularly ethical issues involved in the relation between arguments based in logic and those based in emotion. Other topics include rhetoric, persuasion, ideology and propaganda

For all students: 78 credits, or, for students with equivalent preparation, permission of one of the Professors

Course Directors

Claudio Duran
TEL 2069
Telephone 416-736-2100 x 30135
email  cduran@yorku.ca 
Course Consultation Hours TBA
Louise Ripley
Atkinson 268C
lripley@yorku.ca (not by telephone)
Course Consultation Hours TBA

Course Time and Location Wednesday Nights 7-10 pm, TBA
                                                    (Early Tutorial 6-7, Lecture 7-9, Late Tutorial 9-10)
Catalogue Number: AP/ADMS xxxxxx 
                                      AS/PHIL    xxxxxx

Organization of the Course This is the only truly imbricated course in the Faculty of Liberal and Professional Studies, taught by a Professor of Philosophy and a Professor of Business, both together in the classroom with you for the entire course, three hours a night, once a week for 26 weeks. You will be taking responsibility for your learning as you read the course materials and prepare to be active in in-class discussion and small group work.  To further aid in discussion, which is an integral part of the course, starting around the end of September we offer an early and late seminar led by both professors (you choose one). This is an on-campus course; only the course syllabus is here on the web. There is one textbook, and a Course Kit containing a number of other readings, which may be purchased at the York Bookstore.

Important Dates
Start Date
xxxxxx   End Date xxxxxx
Grade Components Date xxxxxx
Last Day to Drop Without a Grade xxxxxx
Last Day to Enrol Without Permission of One of the Professors xxxxxx
Academic Fees
   Information About Helping Finance Your University Education
Dates for Withdrawal and Return of Fees


Course Readings and Materials

Textbook Engel, S. Morris (2000) With Good Reason: An Introduction to Informal Fallacies. Sixth Edition. New York: St. Martin's Press.

The Golden Sheets - Notes on Formal Logic (to be handed out in class)

Course Kit of Readings (on sale in the Bookstore; check in both ADMS and PHIL)
The Course Kit contains the following articles and selections from texts:
Plato  Gorgias: Part I.
Engel, S. Morris (1987) The Chain of Logic Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey: Prentice Hall, Chapter 3: "Syllogistic Logic."
Mandino, Og (1968) The Greatest Salesman in the World. New York: Bantam Books, Chapter 13: The Scroll Marked VI, p. 78-82.
Ripley, M. Louise (1999) "The Creation of a Youth Culture: Distortion in a Dark Glass." Emerging Issues in Business and Technology Conference, Ethical Environmental and Social Responsibility Track, October 28-30, Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.
Hunt, Shelby D. (2003) Controversy in Marketing Theory: For Reason, Realism, Truth, and Objectivity. Armonk, New York: M.E. Sharpe, p. 10-17 and Figure 1-1: Philosophy of Science Time Chart, p. 6-7..
Twitchell, James B. (1996) Adcult USA: The Triumph of Advertising in American Culture. New York: Columbia University Press. Chapter 1: p. 1-52.
Gilbert, Michael A. (1997) Coalescent Argumentation. Mahwah, New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Publishers, Chapter 6: "Multi-Modal Argumentation" p. 75-88.
Gilbert, Michael A. (1994) "What Is An Emotional Argument, or Why Do Argument Theorists Quarrel With Their Mates?" in Gilbert, Michael A., Frans H. Van Eemeren, Rob Grootendorst, J. Anthony Blair, and Charles A. Willard (eds.) Analysis and Evaluation. Proceedings of the Third International Society for the Study of Argumentation Conference on Argumentation (University of Amsterdam, June 21-24), Volume II, p. 3-13.

Ridolfo, Christine (1998) "Multi-Modal Argumentation According to Michael Gilbert" (student paper: critique of Gilbert)

Coulis, Laura (2004) "The Unethical Use of Persuasive Argumentation in Newspapers Covering the War in Iraq" (student paper from this course the first time it was taught jointly)
Carozza, Linda (2002) Traditional Argumentation Broadened. Masters Thesis, University of Windsor: Chapter 3 "Visual Argumentation," pages 30-56; and Chapter 4 "Emotional Argumentation" pages 57-91.
Groarke, Leo (1996) "Logic, Art and Argument" in Informal Logic. Volume 18:Nos. 2 and 3, pages 105-129.
Ripley, M. Louise (2005) "Arguing For the Ethics of an Ad: An Application of Multi-Modal Argumentation Theory" in Hitchcock, David (ed.) (2005) The Uses of Argument: Proceedings of a Conference at McMaster University. Ontario Society for the Study of Argumentation.
Rotfeld, Herbert Jack (2001) Adventures in Misplaced Marketing. Westport, Connecticut: Quorum Books: Chapter: p. 1-13 and Chapter 10: p. 151-161.
Other than the Engel text (WGR), all articles/excerpts from texts are included in the Course Kit
Warning: Photocopying more than 10% of a textbook is illegal, and may involve penalties.
Do not duplicate textbooks or obtain these photocopies. 
Supplementary Reading Regular reading of a good daily newspaper and some of the popular business magazines

Topics and Readings

1 September 7 Introduction to the Course

Come this first day and we will talk about the course and explore how we will go about combining the study of Philosophy and Business. You don't need to have done any readings yet but you do need to come with an open mind. 

2 September 14 Plato  (read more about Plato )

Plato's Gorgias Part 1 (in Course Kit)
      Read the whole thing through first, pages 3-27
      Then read more carefully Chapters 1-4, kit pages 3-18
      (page numbers refer to the numbers in Gorgias, not course kit)
Duran's 7 chapter titles for Gorgias
Magazines: Start looking through magazines and collecting ads
      that interest you; you will need these for the papers you will write
3 September 21 Plato

We will start the late seminar tonight
Everyone come to class at 7:00; we will meet together for the lecture until 9:00. Then those who choose the late seminar can stay from 9-10. The early seminar will take up the same material next week, September 28, from 6-7. We're starting early due to so much response from you, wanting to talk more in class!

Plato's Gorgias Part 1 (in Course Kit)
      Read Chapters 5-7, kit pages 18-27
      Think through your own interpretation of the Socratic Method
                to discuss in class
Magazines: Look for ads that interest you, especially ones that might illustrate Plato's points

4 September 28 Formal Logic

Early Seminar, 6-7  to discuss Sept 21 material
Class 7-9
Late  Seminar, 9-10 to discuss Sept 28 material

Engel WGR  
      Preface, pages vii-x
      Sections 1-2, pages 2-9,
      Section 8, pages 39-43, 
      Section 5, pages 21-26
Magazines: Look for ads that interest you

p.  9-10, all
p. 51-52, all
Wednesday, October   5 Rosh Hashanah - No Classes
Wednesday, October 12 Yom Kippur - No Classes
5 October 19 Formal Logic

Engel The Chain of Logic, Chapter 3: "Syllogistic Logic" (in Course Kit, p. 26-35)
6 October 26 Formal Logic

Engel The Chain of Logic, Chapter 3: "Syllogistic Logic" (in Course Kit, p. 26-35)
Read all The Golden Sheets
Find the valid moods
p. 26: #29, 30, 31, 35, 37, 38
p. 29: 40, 42, 44, 46
Golden Sheets Set 1, p. 3 iii)
7 November 2 Formal Logic
Early Tutorial 6 - 8 pm
Late Tutorial 8 - 10 pm
(Louise away at a conference this week)

The Golden Sheets

Exercises-Golden Sheets
Set 1, page 4: all exercises
Set 2, page 3: exercises 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10
8 November 9 Informal Logic

Study in Chapter One: pages 35-38
Study in Chapter Three: pages 94-101

Exercises-Golden Sheets Set 2, page 3: Exercises 11,12,13,14,15,16,17,18
Set 2, page 4: Exercises 1,2,6,9,11,13

9 November 16 Informal Logic

Golden Sheets Set 2, Page 4
WGR: Study pages 99-130 and 143-156
Golden Sheets Set 2, Page 4: 3,4,5 (Use the poem now)

pages 38-39: exercises 58-64
Exercises on pages 130 and after:
pages 156 and after: 2,3,4,5,10,12,16

Voluntary Assignment:
Do as many as you want, but it is highly recommended that you do at least a few. It is the best way to learn, and you will need to know this for your papers later in the year.

10 November 23 Informal Logic

Golden Sheets Set 2, page 4
Read in WGR pages 158-174
Review in WGR pages 99-130 and 143-156

Golden Sheets Set 2, p. 4, Exercises 6, 7, 8 (Use Poem)
WGR: pages 130 and on: Exercises 22,35,37,43,47,49,56,61
(b) pages 174 and on: 17,18,23,24,28,31,35

11/12 November 30 A Review of the Term Using Ads

One Class,  6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

Details of Take-Home Mid-Term Exam to be handed out

Midterm Posted Here

  Last Day of Fall Classes
Christmas Break 

13 January 4 Re-Entry: A Review of the First Term

Early Tutorial 6:00 - 7:30 pm
Late Tutorial 7:30 - 9:00  pm

14 January 11 From Plato to Marketing

Early and Late Tutorial: Full Logical Analysis of Arguments
READINGS: Og Mandino
(in Course Kit)
WGR: p. 15-17
Do Exercise 7 on p. 10

Lecture: Shelby Hunt: From Plato to Marketing
Overheads on Shelby Hunt
Shelby Hunt (Course Kit) (Read more about Professor  Hunt)
      Natural Philosophy and the Rise of Science p. 10-17
Magazines: Begin looking for ads to use in your March 1 paper

Take-Home Mid-Term Exam Due Today

  15 January 18 Advertising
Early Tutorial 6:00 - 8:00 pm
Late   Tutorial 8:00 - 10:00  pm

READINGS (we will discuss these in detail in the tutorials)
James B. Twitchell, Plop, Plop, Fizz, Fizz (Course Kit p. 57-108)
Magazines: Gather ads to use in your March 1 paper

16 January 25 Michael Gilbert, Guest Speaker
Multi-Modal and Coalescent Argumentation
Class from 7 to 9 pm, no seminars
After 9 p.m.: Return of Take-Home Assignments
and discussion of
First Essay Instructions

Gilbert 1 "Multi-Modal Argumentation" (Course Kit) (Read more about Professor Gilbert)
Gilbert 2 "What is an Emotional Argument?" (Course Kit)
Rifolfo, "Multi-Modal Argumentation According to Michael Gilbert" (Course Kit) (all are on pages 109-127 of the course kit)
Magazines: Gather ads to use in your March 1 paper

Details of First Essay Assigned Today

Read about proper style in Essay Writing, and about the importance of both the Epistemological Showdown and the "i" statement" in good writing. We will be looking for all of these in your essay.

17 February 1 Propaganda and the Press

Laura Coulis "The Unethical Use of Persuasive Argumentation in Newspapers Covering the War in Iraq" (Course Kit)
Handout - Claudio Duran
Magazines: Gather ads to use in your March 1 paper

Copy of Claudio's Notes for this Lecture

Note: Friday February 3: last date to drop Fall/Winter course without receiving a grade
  18 February 8 Visual Argumentation
Guest Speaker: Linda Carozza
Class from 7 - 9
Early and Late Tutorials: Bring ads you are considering using for your paper; the tutorial is an ideal place to try them out

Carozza "Traditional Argumentation Broadened" (Course Kit, p. 160-186)
Groarke "Logic, Art and Argument" (Course Kit, p. 222-245))
Magazines: Gather ads to use in your March 1 paper and final paper

19 February 15


20 February 22 Advertising Ethics and MMA

Review: Gilbert "Multi-Modal Argumentation" (Course Kit)
Ripley "Arguing for the Ethics of an Ad" (Course Kit)
Magazines: Gather ads to use in your March 1 paper, and final paper
21 March 1 FIRST ESSAY DUE TONIGHT By 7:15 p.m.
First Essay Instructions

Details of Final Exam Substitute Essay Discussed Today

Read about proper style in Essay Writing, and about the importance of the Epistemological Showdown and the "i" statement" in good writing

Start this paper now; due to the short turn-around time we have for submitting grades, there can be NO EXTENSIONS
Posted on the Web on March 2 for those who were not in class tonight

22 March 8 Marketing Ethics

Herb Rotfeld on Adventures in Misplaced Marketing Chapters 1 and 9 (Course Kit)
Magazines: Continue to collect ads to use in your final paper

Claudio is ill; we will have class from 7 to 10, no tutorials
Bring your ads from your first essay and others you are considering for your final paper. We will use them to talk about how Rotfeld illustrates much of what Plato talked about in the

  23 March 15 Student-led Seminars

Early Tutorial 6-8, Late Tutorial 8-10
Free Consultation on Writing Your Final Essay
Bring your ads for your paper to this seminar to present and obtain help from Claudio and Louise and the class

Notes on Essay Writing from Louise's Talk

24 March 22 Student-led Seminars

Early Tutorial 6:30-8, Late Tutorial 8-9:30
Free Consultation on Writing Your Final Essay
Bring your ads for your paper to this seminar to present and obtain help from Claudio and Louise and the class

25 March 29 Last Day of Classes

Class today is 7 to 9:15 p.m.
Three Presentations

Wednesday April 5, 6:00 to 8:00 pm: Hand in final exam substitute essay at Claudio's office, 2069 TEL. We will both be there. 

Getting Started 
What You Will Need To Complete This Course
To be registered: unless you are registered in this section of this course, I cannot grade your work
Regular access to a Yorku.ca student (or York employee) email account: Click here to activate
   We use this for group work correspondence and it's how I contact you individually
Textbook and Course Kit: find these at the York University Bookstore
Willingness to keep up with the readings, to come to all learning experiences offered for your benefit, to join in the discussion, to know how to write a proper essay, and to start early looking for the ads that will form the basis of your written work.
Time to spend during the entire course year on the Final Exam Substitute Essay
Contact addresses for possible help:

Academic Integrity:  http://www.yorku.ca/academicintegrity/students/index.htm
Administrative Questions: akcde@yorku.ca or your home faculty
Awards:  http://sfs.yorku.ca/aid/index.htm
Computer Help: helpdesk@yorku.ca
Computer PC Help: http://www.helpwithpcs.com/ or http://www.pcguide.com/
Computers better than you own: York computer labs

Computers, Getting connected: Communications Policy Page
Grade Reappraisal:  http://www.yorku.ca/laps/students/reappraisal.html
Internet Basics: http://www.learnthenet.com/english/index.html
Petitions :  http://www.yorku.ca/laps/council/students/petitions.html
Professor, reaching us: lripley@yorku.ca or cduran@yorku.ca
Uploading Assignments at eServices Office: disted@yorku.ca or 416-736-5831
Web page use on Louise's site:
Idiot's Guide to This Web Site
Writing:  http://www.yorku.ca/laps/writ/writing_centre.html

Course Purpose/Learning Objectives In addition to basic learning objectives that are common to all courses we both teach, in this imbricated course, the only one of its kind,  we want you to make the stretch to combine the two seemingly disparate disciplines of Philosophy and Business. 

Expanded Course Description We start with Plato and his concepts of argument and persuasion, move through Formal and Informal Logic, look at the work of a modern day Marketing scholar who bases his study of Marketing theory in Philosophy as it came down to us through Plato, Socrates, and Aristotle, examine advertising as it is seen by an advertiser and by scholars in Philosophy, and wrap up the course with chapters from Rotfeld's book, Adventures in Misplaced Marketing, which, in its argument that marketing when abused often results in outcomes not in the best interests of society, brings us full-circle back to Plato's work in examining the ethics of persuading the masses, where we started in the fall.  

Claudio and Louise started talking about this course more than twenty years ago when we both had offices on the sixth floor of Atkinson College, Claudio already established in Philosophy and Louise as a new Administrative Studies professor unable to find office space with the rest of the ADMS Department. Claudio holds his terminal degree in Philosophy but one of his major research interests has always been advertising. Louise holds her terminal degree in Marketing but one of her major research interests has always been the influence of Philosophy in helping us understand questions of ethics in business. 

We both particularly love teaching here because it combines the liberal arts and professional studies. For many years Claudio had taught this course alone. A number of years ago, he started teaching it as a course cross-listed between Philosophy and Administrative Studies with students from both disciplines, and with Louise making guest appearances to talk about Marketing. But it was always our dream to teach it together. When the College changed its name to the Joseph E. Faculty of Liberal and Professional Studies, they came up with a term for what we had been envisioning all those years: an imbricated course; that is, a course taught jointly by professors from both the liberal arts and the professions, and drawing on both disciplines to help better understand particular phenomena common to Business and Philosophy. This is the Faculty's first and only true imbricated course and we are excited about teaching it together again and sharing our excitement with you.

Evaluation Summary and Description of Assignments
Effective writing is one of the most important skills you can acquire in a university course, and one that you will use in your education, your career and your life; so too is the skill of following instructions. All assignments require you to write well and to submit work properly. Read carefully the full instructions on this web site on Writing Well for a Better Grade, on References, and on Format For Submitting Work Properly, and check out the Writing Programmes. Do not assume that because you have written papers before you have mastered the art; writing is something we continually work on to improve. Read also the Appendix on Writing in Engel's book With Good Reason. You will need to have read this to prepare your final paper. 

Assignment Type
(All Individual Work)
% of Grade Due Date
(7:00 pm, in the classroom)
In-Class Quiz
Cancelled due to Religious Holiday Schedule
10% Replaced by Hand-In Assignments Exercises
Take-Home Midterm Exam 25% Due January 11 Questions/Exercises based on material from formal and informal logic and a brief glimpse into ethics in advertising
Take-Home Essay 25% Details Assigned January 25
Due March 1
8-10 page essay based on the study of argumentation in the second term
Final Essay 40% Details Assigned March 1
Due April 5
20-25 page final essay based on the study of argumentation in advertising

NOTE: A student's final course grade is not necessarily confined to a compilation of marks earned on individual course components. Final course grades may be adjusted to conform to Programme or Faculty grades distribution profiles. The average mark in this course is usually B/B+.

If you would like either a review of or a look at an Introductory Marketing course, click here to see the materials I use to teach it on the Internet

Grading, Assignment Submission, Lateness Penalties and Missed Tests

Grading The grading scheme for the course conforms to the 9-point grading system used in undergraduate programmes at York. For a full description of York grading system see the York University Undergraduate Calendar. Students may take a limited number of courses for degree credit on an ungraded (pass/fail) basis. For full information on this option see Alternative Grading Option and scroll down to "Grading." 

Assignment Submission To be submitted in the classroom

Lateness Penalty/Missed Tests: Talk to your professors

About Your Professors

We are team-teaching this course again this year. Both of us plan to be in the classroom with you each evening, for the duration of the course. 

Claudio Duran is a Senior Scholar at York, an Associate Professor of Philosophy and Social Science in the School of Analytic Studies and Information Technology, and the School of Social Sciences at the Faculty of Liberal and Professional Studies. He has taught since July 1974. He has a Philosophy degree from the University of Chile (equivalent to an M.A.) and undertook post-graduate studies in Aesthetics and Art History at the University of London, England. His area of research and main teaching is interdisciplinary, and concentrates on ideology, propaganda, and argumentation in the mass media. He has several publications in this area.

Louise Ripley is a Professor of Marketing and in Women's Studies and Environmental Studies, with a PhD in Management Studies (major in Marketing) from University of Toronto, an MBA in Finance from Loyola University of Chicago, and a Bachelor's degree from Shimer, one of the world's finest (and smallest) liberal arts undergraduate schools. She worked in Finance and Marketing Research in Chicago and has taught at York for over twenty years. Most of her research is in the area of multi-modal argumentation as applied to Advertising. She presented a paper on the topic to the Ontario Society for the Study of Argumentation in Hamilton in May 2005. Click to find more about her professionally and personally on Louise's web site


Academic Honesty and Integrity York students are required to maintain high standards of academic integrity and are subject to the Senate Policy on Academic Honesty. By staying in this course, you agree to abide by these rules. Students should also review materials on the Academic Integrity Website.

I expect that all work submitted by individuals or groups is the work of only that individual or group, for only this course, not having been done for any other course in any way, by the current members or any one else. You are welcome to talk with anyone you like while preparing for any part of this course, but what you put together and hand in must be your own work and original to this course. Violation of these premises is grounds for prosecution under the rules of the Faculty and the University. 

Read here York's new booklet, "Beware! Says Who? Avoiding Plagiarism"

Accommodation Procedures:

Deferred Standing
Talk to your professors about this.

Students with Special Needs
York University is committed to making reasonable accommodations and adaptations in order to make equitable the educational experience of students with special needs and to promote their full integration into the campus community. If you require special accommodations, alert the Course Director as soon as possible. Failure to notify the course director of your needs in a timely manner may jeopardize the opportunity to arrange for academic accommodation. Visit the Counselling Centre for more information.

Ethics Review Process York students are subject to the York University Policy for the Ethics Review Process for Research Involving Human Participants. In particular, students proposing to undertake research which involves human subjects such as interviewing the director of a company or government agency or having people complete a questionnaire, are required to submit an Application for Ethical Approval of Research Involving Human Participants at least one month before you plan to begin the research. If you are in doubt as to whether this requirement applies to you, contact your Course Director immediately.

Grade Component Deadline
The course assignment structure and grading scheme (i.e. kinds and weights of assignments, essays, exams, etc.) must be announced and be available in writing to students within the first two weeks of classes. Please see Important Dates.

Graded Feedback Rule
Under normal circumstances, students should receive some graded feedback worth at least 15% per cent of the final grade for Fall, Winter or Summer term, and 30% for full-year courses in the Fall/Winter term prior to the final date for withdrawal from a course without receiving a grade, with the following exceptions:

  • graduate or upper level undergraduate courses where course work typically, or at the instructor's discretion, consists of a single piece of work and/or is based predominantly or solely on student presentations;
  • practicum courses;
  • ungraded courses;
  • courses in Faculties where the drop date occurs within the first three weeks of classes;
  • courses which run on a compressed schedule, e.g.: a course which accomplishes its academic credits of work at a rate of one credit hour per two calendar weeks or faster.

Note: Under unusual and/or unforeseeable circumstances which disrupt the academic norm, instructors are expected to provide grading schemes and academic feedback in the spirit of these regulations as soon as possible. For more information, see the Graded Feedback Rule.

For reappraisal procedures and information, see http://www.yorku.ca/laps/students/reappraisal.html

Religious Observance Days York University is committed to respecting the religious beliefs and practices of all members of the community and making accommodations for observances of special significance to adherents. Should any of the dates specified in this syllabus for in-class test or examination, or for any scheduled lab, practicum, workshop or other assignment pose a conflict for you, contact the Course Director within the first three weeks of class and obviously before the date that is a problem; you cannot do this after-the-fact. To arrange an alternative date or time for an examination scheduled in the formal examination periods (December and April/May), students must complete an Online Examination Accommodation Form or pick one up from the Student Client Services in the Student Services Centre.

Student Conduct Students and instructors are expected to maintain a professional relationship characterized by courtesy and mutual respect and to refrain from actions disruptive to such a relationship. It is the responsibility of the instructor to maintain an appropriate academic atmosphere in the classroom, and the responsibility of the student to cooperate in that endeavour. The instructor is the best person to decide, in the first instance, whether such an atmosphere is present in the class. Read the full Policy on Disruptive and/or Harassing Behaviour.

Twenty Percent (20%) Rule No examination or test worth more than 20% of the final grade will be given during the last two weeks of classes in a term, with the exception of classes which regularly meet Friday evenings or any time on Saturday or Sunday.

Questions? Try:
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email us: lripley@yorku.ca or cduran@yorku.ca  

AK/PHIL/ADMS4295 6.0 Philosophical and Ethical Issues in the Mass Media
York University, Toronto
M Louise Ripley, M.B.A., Ph.D.