In this course we will explore the ways in which feminist approaches to moral thinking have influenced both the methodology and the content of contemporary bioethics. The first portion of the course will address the emergence of the “Ethics of Care,” critically assessing its origins in feminist theory, its development within the context of the caring professions, and its potential as a general approach to bioethical reasoning. The second portion of the course will use feminist philosophy to inform our understanding of the ways in which gender structures the individual’s interactions with the health care system. To do this we will explore topics that might traditionally be considered “women’s issues” in healthcare, such as medicine and body image (e.g., cosmetic surgery, eating disorders), reproductive and genetic technologies, and research on women and their health care needs. In addition we’ll also look at feminist analyses of topics that traditionally have not been regarded as “gendered,” such as resource allocation and end of life issues.
Format: lecture; discussion
Grading: yes pass/fail option,
yes fifth course option
active participation in class discussions; periodic short papers (2-3 pages); midterm and final paper ( 5-7 and 7-10 pages, respectively); and one oral presentation
none, although previous coursework in WGSS is desirable
prospective and declared majors or concentrators in PHIL, WGSS, STS, and PHLH, especially those who need the course to satisfy major or concentration requirements
meets Contemporary Value Theory requirement only if registration is under PHIL
This course is cross-listed and the prefixes carry the following divisional credit:
Students will write periodic short papers (2-3 pages each), a midterm paper (5-7 pages) and a final paper (7-10 pages). Short papers focus on concepts, arguments, and writing skills needed in the midterm and final papers, in which students are expected to describe and evaluate arguments from assigned readings, and to present clear and effective arguments in support of their own ethical positions. Students receive feedback on all papers and have the opportunity to revise midterm and final papers.
AMST Critical and Cultural Theory Electives
JLST Interdepartmental Electives
PHIL Contemporary Value Theory Courses
PHLH Bioethics + Interpretations of Health