PHIL 1342 920
Here are two claims: (i) we are mortal, imperfectly biological creatures, and (ii) we are generally capable of leading our lives in accordance with our morals. If both claims seem plausible, then a question arises: how should we navigate the morally complicated challenges raised by biological phenomena like illness, disability, conception, birth, and death? This course aims to investigate some of these challenges, both theoretically and practically, using the tools of philosophy.It is not assumed that students who enroll in this course have any formal philosophical education. For this reason, the first few classes are devoted to introducing students to basic ethical theories (consequentialism, deontology, virtue ethics) and developing their foundational philosophical skills (formal logical reasoning, argument analysis, argument construction). The remaining days are spent examining major issues in bioethics organized by topic which include consent, privacy, abortion, disability, animal experimentation, mental health, biological ties, eugenics, euthanasia, and death. As we explore these issues, we will consider both the abstract questions they raise for our moral thinking and the practical challenges they present to our everyday living.
Subject Area Vocab