Bioethics/The ethics of Food Security
The purpose of this course is to examine central issues in the ethics of food security.
We will do that by exploring the most influential ethical schools and then by looking at some of the prevalent moral debates.
This theoretical background provides the philosophical tools necessary for our investigation and reflection on those challenging moral issues.
The syllabus below provides an outline of the course and a list of corresponding readings. Note that the syllabus is subject to change and supplementation, and that it is the responsibility of each participant to follow these changes.
Course Work: attendance and participation (30%), take-home exam 70%)
Course Requirements and Policies:
Preparation and participation – students are expected to have carefully read the assigned reading prior to the class meeting in which they are to be discussed, and are expected to participate in discussions regarding the materials. An essential part of this course is critical thought and discussion of philosophical issues – that is, doing philosophy, not just reading about it.
Note that a crucial part of participation involves respect other people in the class and for their views.
Take-home exam – the final exam for the course will be a take-home exam. Details about the format of the exam will be given at the beginning of the course.
Plagiarism – plagiarism or other forms of academic dishonesty will result in a failing grade for the course. Please see me if you have any questions about proper citation or incorporation of other texts into your work.
First Day – What is Ethics and Ethical Theories
Summary of Ethical Theories
Second Day - Hunger and Poverty
Peter Singer, “Famine, Affluence, and Morality”
Garrett Hardin, “Lifeboat Ethics: The Case Against Helping the Poor”
Third Day – Food Ethics - GMOs
Can Frankenfood Save the Planet? / Rauch
The Unholy Alliance / Ho
Fourth Day – Animal Rights – Eating and experimenting
A Utilitarian Defense of Animal Liberation/ Peter Singer
The Case for the Use of animals in Biomedical Research / Carl Cohen
Fifth Day – Sustainable Agriculture
How Sustainable Agriculture Can Address the Environmental and Human Health Harms of Industrial Agriculture / Horrigan, Lawrence and Walker