UGPH-GU 15: Introduction to Bioethics (4 credits)
This course provides a survey of contemporary issues in bioethics. Students will be introduced to a variety of ethical issues and questions arising in health care and the biological sciences, as well as with emerging technologies. Topics include the moral status of animals, personhood at the margins of life, abortion and infanticide, euthanasia and suicide, the nature of health and well-being, disability and mental illness, autonomy and addiction, paternalism and manipulation, genetic engineering and human enhancement, geoengineering and de-extinction, and the allocation of scarce medical resources.
UGPH-GU 25: Public Health Ethics (4 credits)
This course provides a survey of contemporary issues in Public Health Ethics. Students will be introduced to a variety of ethical issues and cases concerning public health, both globally and domestically. Much of the course will focus on how the pursuit and promotion of public health can come into conflict with individual autonomy, privacy, and social justice, and on how to think about the relation of health to human welfare more broadly. Topics include the nature of health
and well-being, the right to health care, obesity prevention, tobacco control, infectious disease control (such as Ebola and Zika), childhood vaccination efforts, breastfeeding promotion, public health messaging, health inequalities and marginalized populations, global public health and resource allocation, and global health justice.
Animal Studies (CAS):
ANST-UA 400: Ethics and Animals (4 credits)
This course examines the morality of our treatment of nonhuman animals. We start by asking about the nature of moral rights and duties. What are rights, and where do they come from? How do we resolve conflicts among rights? Do animals have rights? Next, what are obligations, and where do they come from? What makes right actions right? Do we have special obligations to members of our own family, nation, or species? Is there a moral difference between killing and letting die? Do we have group obligations as well as individual obligations? We then ask how these issues apply to our treatment of nonhuman animals. Are we justified in treating animals as property under the law? Are we justified in using animals for food, clothing, entertainment, research, or companionship? Finally, what are the ethics of animal advocacy?
Environmental Studies (CAS):
ENVST-UA 440: Food, Animals, and the Environment (4 credits)
Same as ANST-UA 440. Students study human interaction with both food and animals, as well as the environmental impacts and ethical issues that arise from such interaction. Focus is on the moral standing of animals, animals as food, and the environmental impacts of agriculture, transportation, and consumption. The course also surveys major thinkers in the field, including Michael Pollan, Peter Singer, Jim Mason, Wendell Berry, David Foster Wallace, Jonathan Safran Foer, and Martha Nussbaum. Students engage in collaborative research projects, and including field trips to local agricultural sites.
Global Public Health (GPH):
UGPH-GU TBD: Ethics and Research* (4 credits)
The course examines the scandals that launched the field of research ethics and consider the ethical principles that arose in reaction. A central issue concerns the nature and limits of informed consent. Topics include: what makes consent valid? What kind of understanding is required for consent to count as ‘informed’? How should we distinguish research and clinical care? What clinical responsibilities to researchers have in designing and conducting studies? What does it take to justify research when consent is impossible, as in the case of children or incapacitated patients? When, if ever, is it acceptable to use deception in research? What else is required, beyond informed consent, to justify research? In particular, what sorts of social goals should research promote, and what social harms must it avoid.
UGPH-GU TBD: Ethics and Reproduction* (4 credits)
This course surveys central issues in the ethics of human reproduction. Topics include the morality of abortion; whether we can harm people by bringing them into existence; moral issues raised by assisted reproduction; genetic selection and enhancement; the impact of our reproductive choices on future generations. The course will introduce students to philosophical conceptions of personal identity, fundamental moral notions (e.g., harm, interests, autonomy, respect), and the standards of bioethical debate.
UGPH-GU TBD: Ethics and Disability* (4 credits)
This course is a survey of ethical, political, and metaphysical issues relating to disability. Foundational issues addressed include: What is disability? Is disability inherently bad or instead neutral? How do disabled people describe their life, relationships, and experiences? Is it permissible to intentionally cause or prevent disability? What is the relationship between disability and well-being? Other topics include the ethics of genetic screening and selection, procreative responsibilities, disability and justice, the moral status of people with severe cognitive disabilities, and the ethics of care and dependency.
UGPH-GU TBD: Big Data Ethics and Internet Epistemology* (4 credits)
This course focuses on ethical and epistemological issues that arise given the ubiquity of the Internet and the ocean of information available both to us and about us. How, if at all, should so-called “Big Data” and associated technologies be regulated? What should governments, parents, and employers be able to learn about you based on your digital footprint? Questions concerning privacy, autonomy, informed consent, and the extent to which values should constrain technology will also be discussed. The second part of the course investigates questions concerning knowledge, understanding, objectivity, and trust in the Internet Age, including the prevalence of “fake news” and the negative impact of “information bubbles”.
UGPH-GU TBD: Justice and Health* (4 credits)
This course addresses questions of justice concerning health and health care. Topics include the nature, justification, and limits of the (purported) right to health care; the ethics of health care rationing and cost containment; competing theories of justice; the ethics of “nudging” in health care; inequality and exploitation; privatization; the nature and ethics of disability; and markets on the margins.
PHIL-UA 4: Life and Death (4 credits)
An introduction to philosophy through the study of issues bearing on life and death. Topics may include the definition and value of life; grounds for creating, preserving, and taking life; personal identity; ideas of death and immortality; abortion and euthanasia.
PHIL-UA 40: Ethics (4 credits)
Examines fundamental questions of moral philosophy: What are our most basic values, and which of them are specifically moral values? What are the ethical principles, if any, by which we should judge our actions, ourselves, and our lives? Prerequisite: one introductory course.
PHIL-UA 41: The Nature of Values (4 credits)
Examines the nature and grounds of judgments about moral and/or nonmoral values. Are such judgments true or false? Can they be more or less justified? Are the values of which they speak objective or subjective? Prerequisite: one introductory course.
PHIL-UA 50: Medical Ethics (4 credits)
Examines moral issues in medical practice and research. Topics include euthanasia and quality of life; deception, hope, and paternalism; malpractice and unpredictability; patient rights, virtues, and vices; animal, fetal, and clinical research; criteria for rationing medical care; ethical principles, professional codes, and case analysis (for example, Quinlan, Willowbrook, Baby Jane Doe).
PHIL-UA 53: Ethics and the Environment (4 credits)
This course introduces philosophical ethics through an engagement with environmental issues of population growth and resource use, sustainability, non-human animal welfare, biodiversity loss, environmental justice, and global climate change. No prior experience with philosophy is required. The two main goals of the course are to provide students with a more sophisticated conceptual vocabulary to make and evaluate ethical arguments across domains and to engage students’ ethical reasoning and reflection on environmental issues in particular.