B1 Second Term TR 11:00-12:20 K. Houle
This course focuses on issues that arise in the philosophy of biology that concern the relationship between biology and human social life. It is taught as a special area within the philosophy of science, rather than as applied ethics, but the relationship between science and values will be central. Topics for discussion will include a subset of the following: applications of evolutionary theory to human social behavior, such as sociobiology, cultural evolution, and evolutionary psychology; the relationship between biology and social categories, such as gender or race; the Human Genome Project; the history of eugenics and current practices that may be considered as eugenic; and the role of social and non-social metaphors in describing biological phenomena. Current topical issues, such as the ethics of cloning technology or the treatment of intersexed children, may also be discussed. Course material will consist of a course packet of readings selected by the instructor. Assessment will be distributed between a range of forms, and will include at least three of the following: a short paper, a mid-term examination, a term paper, a final examination, and class attendance and participation.
Text: Custom course material available from the University Bookstore