Phil 340: Bioethics
Suppose you have a pill that you can either use to save a 20-year-old person, or five 70-year-old people from death. Who should you save? Is Jack Kevorkian, who assisted in the suicides of many terminally ill patients, a murderer or a courageous and humane person who saved his patients from painful deaths? Would it be morally right to genetically engineer our children? Is a future where we freely alter our cognitive lives through highly developed medication a scary or a desirable prospect? Can it ever be right to clone a human being? Should we carry out risky trials on individuals if the drugs we develop will benefit many people? Should pharmaceutical companies be spending their resources on research for drugs that will save the lives of the global poor, or should they spend their resources on drugs that will make them more money?
In this course, we will seek answers to these difficult and urgent questions. Along the way, we will look at ethical theories such as utilitarianism, deontology, and virtue ethics. You will not only develop a deep understanding of these ethical questions, but also learn how to construct and critically evaluate arguments.
The course is currently scheduled for Monday 12.40 to 14.40, and Wednesday 12.40 to 13.40. However, the schedule can be revised to accommodate the students’ needs.
You can email firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more about and express interest in this course.