PHIL 165: Bioethics

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This course has two related objectives.

First, this course aims to acquaint you with some of the questions and the philosophical responses to these questions that dominate contemporary thinking in the field of bioethics. You will be asked to think carefully and critically about the merits of competing responses to these questions. You will also learn to apply the theoretical tools that philosophers have developed to address these questions in analyzing particular cases. By the end of the term, you will be well-positioned to develop and argue for your own answers to these questions.

Second, but perhaps more importantly, this course aims to equip you with a certain set of skills can be usefully applied in a variety of different domains outside of philosophy. Both in your papers and in your discussion forum posts, you will practice employing abstract principles to analyze particular cases, effectively reconstructing arguments for a position or view from a piece of text, critically evaluating arguments, constructing persuasive arguments in defense of a position or view, and anticipating potential objections to a position or view.

This course has no prerequisites and is designed for students without prior exposure to philosophy.

Required Text:

  • Vaughn, Bioethics: Principles, Issues, and Cases, 2nd edition (2012), ISBN 978-0199796236

View a sample course syllabus.

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