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700.603.41
Introduction to Ethical Theory

Location:
East Baltimore
Term:
1st term
Department:
Berman Institute (Bioethics)
Credits:
3 credits
Academic Year:
2021 - 2022
Instruction Method:
Hybrid In-person and Synchronous Online
Class Times:
  • Wednesday,  3:30 - 6:20pm
Auditors Allowed:
Yes, with instructor consent
Grading Restriction:
Letter Grade or Pass/Fail
Course Instructor:
  • Travis N. Rieder
Contact:
Travis Rieder
Resources:
Prerequisite:

None

Description:

Explores the relationship between philosophical ethical theory and the practical world of bioethics. Examines the classical accounts of moral obligation and virtue in the context of a variety of contemporary bioethical problems. Presents the distinction between individual bioethics and collective bioethics, with the goal of determining how the theoretical grounding for these fields differ. Answers both methodological and substantive motivating questions: First, how does theory contribute to bioethical investigations? Second, does reflection on ethical theory tell us what to do concerning particular, bioethical problems?

Learning Objectives:

Upon successfully completing this course, students will be able to:

  1. Identify and articulate the theoretical underpinnings of particular moral claims
  2. Apply various theoretical tools to particular, concrete cases
  3. Identify the weaknesses of moral positions as a result of those positions' theoretical assumptions
  4. Defend a methodological position concerning the value and use of theory in bioethics
  5. Defend a substantive position concerning the correct moral theory
Methods of Assessment:

This course is evaluated as follows:

  • 10% Participation
  • 30% Weekly Argument Reconstructions
  • 20% Midterm Paper
  • 40% Final Exam

Enrollment Restriction:

Enrollment priority given to MBE students

Instructor Consent:

Consent required for some students

Consent Note:

Consent required for undergraduate students and any student outside MBE, Bioethics Certificate program and Berman Postdocs

For consent, contact:

trieder@jhu.edu

Special Comments:

Please note: this is the virtual section of a course that is also offered onsite. Students committed to the modality for which they register.