Instructor: Ben Bagley. This course meets on Monday and Wednesday evenings from 6:00 – 7:15.
The idea of choice is fundamental in bioethics, as in ethics generally. Modern technology has drastically increased the range of choices we can make about our bodies: to an unprecedented degree, we can determine whether and how to extend or end lives, keep or abort fetuses, and modify bodies, minds, and genes. But is the ability to make choices like these always a good thing? What if they are made under pressure, or in light of insufficient information? How do individual choices shape the context in which future choices are made? Are there some choices, like the decision to die or to alter basic aspects of human nature, that we shouldn’t be able to make at all? To come to grips with such questions, we’ll use topics including (though not limited to) euthanasia, organ transplantation, informed consent and autonomy, and human modification and enhancement as occasions for investigating basic philosophical questions about the nature and value of autonomy and choice, their place in a flourishing human life, and their relation to the social context in which they occur.
This course is offered through the Friday Center for Continuing Education. For more information, please visit:http://www.fridaycenter.unc.edu/cp/cs/courses.htm.
Ben Bagley’s webpage