Phil 164 Course Outline

(major sections are in reverse for easier access)


Experimentation with Animals

I. Introduction to Experimentation with Animals
II. Background on Moral Standing
       A. Singer’s “All Animals Are Equal”
              1. Moral Standing
              2. Sentience
       B. The Concept of Moral Standing
       C. Theories of Moral Standing
              1. Some Silly Theories
              2. Kantian Rationalism
              3. Benthamic Utilitarianism
III. Singer
       A. Singer’s “All Animals Are Equal” again
              1. Equality of Moral Standing
       B. An Argument Against Animal Experimentation
       C. An Objection to the Argument
              1. Modified Kantian Rationalism
              2. Singer’s First Reply: An Argument Against Modified Kantian Rationalism
              3. Singer’s Second Reply: A New Argument Against Animal Experimentation
IV. Cohen
       A. Speciesist Kantian Rationalism
       B. Against Speciesist Kantian Rationalism
              1. Singer’s Attack on Speciesism
              2. Arguments Against Speciesism



I. Introduction to Resource Allocation
II. The Survival Lottery
       A. Digression: The Case of the Runaway Trolley
       B. The Survival Lottery
       C. Benefits of the Survival Lottery
       D. Objections and Replies


I. Introduction to Euthanasia
       A. Definition and Historical Note
       B. Kinds of Euthanasia
       C. The Moral Questions Concerning Euthanasia
II. Suicide
       A. The Natural Law Argument Against Suicide
       B. The Non-Maleficence Argument Against Suicide
       C. The Playing God Argument Against Suicide
       D. suicide and self-interest
              1. self-interest
              2. theories of welfare
III. Gay-Williams’s Argument from Nature
       A. Extract
       B. Explain
       C. Evaluate
IV. The No-Moral-Difference Argument (inspired by Rachels)
       A. Present
       B. Explain
       C. Evaluate
V. Brock
       A. Brock’s Case for VAE
              1. Two Principles
              2. Brock’s Reasoning
       B. Two Kinds of Case against VAE
              1. Against the Morality of VAE
              2. Against the Legalization of VAE
                     a. Consequentialist Reasoning
                     b. Potential Good and Bad Consequences of Legalizing VAE



I. Introduction to Abortion
       A. The Fundamental Question
       B. Some Possible Answers
       C. One Traditional Way to Frame the Debate
       D. Digression: Prime Facie Duties
       E. Side Issues
              1. The Alleged Hazards of Abortion to the Pregnant Woman
              2. The Alleged Benefits of Abortion to the Fetus
              3. The Slippery Slope
              4. Overpopulation
       F. A Brief History of Abortion
II. Noonan
       A. Noonan’s Answer to FQA
       B. Noonan’s GMP: a Non-Maleficence Principle
       C. Noonan’s Main Argument
              1. Evaluating Noonan’s Non-Maleficence Principle
              2. A Principle about Killing and An Improved Version of Noonan’s Main Argument
              3. The Personhood Premise
                     a. Two Concepts of Personhood
                     b. Noonan’s Equivocation
III. Stott
       A. A Third Concept of Personhood
       B. Stott’s Argument for Fetal Personhood
              1. Other Views about Moral Personhood
                     a. Life
                     b. Psychological Personhood as Moral Personhood
                     c. Birth
                     d. Viability
                     e. Moral Sense

              2. Stott’s Principle
IV. Harthshorne
V. Marquis
VI. Thomson

Playing God

I. Introduction
       A. Some Passages
       B. Some Arguments
II. Some Interpretations of PGP and their Difficulties
       A. Introducing Innovations
       B. Doing Anything At All
       C. Messing About with Life and Death
       D. Making People Die Earlier

Course Introduction

I. First Day BS
       A. Speech about Stuttering
       B. Syllabus
       C. First Homework Assignment
II. What Is Medical Ethics?
       A. The Fundamental Project of Medical Ethics
       B. Some Medical Ethical Questions
       C. What Moral Questions Are Not
       D. The Method of Reflective Equilibrium
              1. Particular Moral Judgments
              2. General Moral Principles
              3. The Case of Baby Theresa
                     a. The Benefits Argument
                     b. The Playing God Principle
III. What Is Philosophy?
       A. Metaphysics
       B. Epistemology
       C. Ethics
              1. Normative Ethics
                     a. The Normative Ethics of Behavior
                            i. Sample Theories: 10C, GR, CR, HAU
                     b. Axiology / Value Theory
                            i. Sample Theory: Hedonism

                     c. Virtue/Vice Theory
              2. Metaethics
              3. Applied Ethics
       D. Logic
              1. Arguments
              2. Validity
              3. Soundness