PHIL 163.001 – Practical Ethics

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Instructor: Jeff Sebo. This course meets TR 2:00 – 3:15 p.m. in VN G311.

This course examines the impacts of contemporary food systems on humans, animals, and the environment, as well as the ethical questions that these impacts raise for food production, consumption, activism, and advocacy. We start with a survey of ethical theory. Do we have moral obligations to animals and the environment? Is morality a matter of intentions, consequences, relationships, or something else? We then discuss the welfare and environmental impacts of industrial food, local food, organic food, genetically modified food, and more. Finally, we consider the ethical questions these impacts raise in everyday life, including questions about individual, collective, and corporate responsibility; abolition vs. regulation; consumer vs. political activism; intersectional vs. single-issue activism; legal vs. illegal activism; and more.