• Phil 3340: Biomedical Ethics

    Phil 3340: Biomedical Ethics

    Course Description: Biomedical ethics is composed of two separate fields:  bioethics and medical ethics.  Bioethics is the study of the ethics of life (and death), and includes familiar topics such as abortion, cloning, stem cell research, allocation of scarce medical resources, and euthanasia.  We shall spend approximately the first two-third of the course on these issues.  For the last third of the course, we shall discuss topics in medical ethics, which is concerned with “micro” issues such as the moral underpinnings of doctor-patient relationships as well as “macro” issues such as the structures of medical institutions or the duties that societies have to provide health care for those in need.  No previous coursework in philosophy is required for this course and fundamental concepts in moral philosophy (e.g., consequentialism and deontology) will be explained as they become relevant.  This is a course on theoretical (as opposed to clinical) bioethics.

    On-Campus Course Syllabus (Fall 2005, Spring 2006)

    Online Course Syllabus (Fall 2008, Summer 2009, Spring 2010, Summer 2010, Fall 2010, Summer 2011, Fall 2011, Spring 2012, Summer 2012, Summer 2013, Fall 2013, Spring 2014, Summer 2014, Summer 2015, Fall 2015, Spring 2016, Summer 2016, Fall 2016, Spring 2017, Summer 2017, Fall 2017)

    @ University of Michigan [Phil 160, Moral Principles and Problems/Phil 356, Issues in Bioethics].  Course Syllabus (Fall 2010)

    @ University of Alaska [Phil 302, Biomedical Ethics].  Online Course Syllabus (Fall 2014, Spring 2015, Fall 2015, Spring 2016, Fall 2016)

  • PHIL 518: Professional Ethics

    PHIL 518:  Professional Ethics

    Course Description:   This course explores what distinguishes professionals, both conceptually and ethically.  After these general investigations, it focuses on ethical dimensions and dilemmas for five professions in particular:  accounting and finance, engineering, journalism, law, and medicine.

    @ Central Michigan University.  Course Syllabus (Spring 2016, Summer 2016, Fall 2016)

  • PHIL 6310:  Neuroscience and Law

    PHIL 6310:  Neuroscience and Law

    Course Description:  Recent developments in neuroscience portend a range of interesting questions for the law. Most fundamentally, neuroscience challenges traditional doctrines of moral and legal responsibility. Concepts like competence and addiction are cast in new lights, as are developmental axes, like the adolescent brain. Free will and determinism loom large here, and legal doctrines need to respond to a new empirical scene. Mind reading and lie detection move from the realm of the science fiction into, maybe, the realm of the possible. But hazards loom large as neuroscientific information is often misunderstood, or even faces barriers in terms of evidentiary admissibility. In the future, brain-machine interfaces and artificial intelligence may revolutionize what it even means to be human. This seminar offers an introduction into a wide array of topics; it draws from academic scholarship, as well as the limited—but growing—case law.

    Course Syllabus (Spring 2016)