Philosophy 395B Spring 2004
( CDE ) TTH 10.00 a.m. 1.00 p.m. Robinson 6
Professor: J. E. Mahon
Office: 24 Newcomb Hall
Office Hours: W 2.00 p.m.- 4.00 p.m. (and by appointment)
In this course we will examine a variety of topics in medical ethics, including personal identity and the value of human life, abortion, euthanasia and animal experimentation, through a close reading of Jeff McMahan's The Ethics of Killing: Problems at the Margins of Life (Oxford, 2002). Professor McMahan will then participate in the Medical Ethics Institute in the fifth week of term, where students will present and discuss a selection of medical ethics cases with him and a number of medical professionals.
Students will be asked questions on the day's reading and will be expected to contribute to the class discussions. Participation in class will count towards the grade for the course. Preparation for class will include a written assignment, and may include a presentation to the class. Students will also participate in the Medical Ethics Institute on May 21st and 22nd.
In order to help students develop their critical reading skills, and as a way of focusing class discussion, students will be asked to write an assignment for class. The assignment will take the form of an answer to a question about the reading. The minimum length of an assignment is two pages. These assignments will be collected, read and returned by me. Assignments will be given an individual grade. You will receive an overall grade for your assignments.
Students should expect to make at least one presentation to the class on a subject discussed in advance with me, of approximately five pages. This presentation may be a longer version of a class assignment, or a shorter, draft version of a paper.
This course aims to teach students how to write a philosophy paper. Both before and after papers, and at intervals during the course, students will be given instructions on how to write a philosophy paper. Students are also encouraged to discuss their papers with me in advance of writing them. Students will have to write THREE 8-page papers for this course. Papers should be typed (double-spaced). More details (about margins, the correct use of secondary sources, citations, and so forth) will be given when the first paper is assigned. Each paper will be awarded an individual grade. The due dates for papers are given in the Class Schedule below. Students who submit their papers after the due date may be penalized unless they have obtained prior permission from me.
BREAKDOWN OF COURSE GRADE
Three papers 75 %
Class assignments & participation 25 %
McMahan, Jeff, The Ethics of Killing: Problems at the Margins of Life (Oxford, 2002)
McMahan, Jeff, 'Animal Ethics', in Companion to Applied Ethics, eds., R. G. Frey and Christopher Wellman (Oxford: Blackwell, 2002)
––––––––––, 'Paradoxes about Pre-Natal Injury', unpublished paper
20 Chapter 1: Identity
22 (No class)
27 Chapter 1: Identity and Chapter 2: Death
29 Chapter 2: Death
4 Chapter 3: Killing + 'Animal Ethics' ****** FIRST PAPER DUE ******
6 Chapter 3: Killing
11 Chapter 4: Beginnings
13 Chapter 4: Beginnings
18 Chapter 4: Beginnings ****** SECOND PAPER DUE ******
20 'Paradoxes about Pre-Natal Injury'
21-22 Medical Ethics Institute
25 Chapter 5: Endings
27 Chapter 5: Endings
31-4th June ****** FINAL PAPER DUE ******