SH16 Contemporary Ethics

Applied ethics addresses the moral permissibility of specific actions and practices. In this class, we will focus on contemporary issues in bioethics—a specific subdiscipline of applied ethics. We will explore how new and emerging developments in technology and medicine challenge our ideas of what it is to be human, to live well, and to fulfil our potential. In particular, we will consider the ethical ramifications of using biotechnology to enhance three dimensions of our lives: cognitive, moral and emotional.

We will discuss philosophical responses to questions such as the following:

  • Is it wrong to use "smart drugs" to improve cognitive performance? If so, why?
  • What is the relationship between enhancement and authenticity?
  • Are we obligated to pursue the development of moral enhancement?
  • How should we approach the use of biotechnology that aims to influence our interpersonal relationships?

Course lecturer: Dr Emma Gordon
Semester: 2
Lecture hour & venue: See Honours timetable

Teaching resources for this course will be made available on the Philosophy Moodle site.