Monday, April 23, 2012
Coming to MTSU, Spring '13
PHILOSOPHY 3345, Bioethics
Description. This course explores ethical issues arising from the practice of medical therapeutics (conventional and “alternative”), from the development of new biomedical technologies, and more largely from reflections on life’s meaning and prospects.
The course aims at clarifying relevant bioethical and medical issues and debates, representing various perspectives in application to present and future human possibilities and concerns (for example: genetic engineering and biochemical “enhancement,” longevity and life extension, end-of-life decisions, health care access, nanotechnology, cloning, stem cell research, mood and performance-enhancing pharmaceutical use, animal research, and reproductive technologies).
“Bio” means simply life, but questions about life’s goals, about appropriate means for attaining them, and about the professions devoted to sustaining life, give rise to the most complex and enduring ethical problems.
Objectives. The course compares many approaches to the urgent human preoccupation with life and its many challenges (biological, environmental, social, technological) , in order to articulate the appropriate uses of emerging technologies, therapies, pharmacological interventions etc., in ameliorating and possibly altering the human condition.
Other objectives include exploring the future of life (human, nonhuman, and possibly post-human) and reflecting constructively on what it can mean to be human in an age of rapidly advancing technologies and bioengineering.
The course’s ultimate objective is to provide students with critical resources and tools they can apply in making crucial life-choices.