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PHIL 4220  NEUROETHICS (3 credits)

Neuroscience is a burgeoning field that yields new insights into the workings of the human mind and brain. Work in basic neuroscience also yields technological innovations - brain scans, smart pills, brain modification techniques, etc. - that have profound ethical and social implications. In this upper level philosophy course, we will primarily examine the social, legal, medical, and ethical implications of current and emerging neuroscience technologies and research practices. The emerging field of "neuroethics" examines the ethical ramifications of neuroscience using the concepts of normative and applied ethics. The course will discuss the ethics of neuroscientific technologies - e.g., the use of neuroimaging in the clinical and legal contexts - using the major ethical theories (utilitarianism, virtue ethics, deontological ethics) and principles central to biomedical ethics (autonomy, beneficence, justice, non-maleficence, competence, and informed consent).

Prerequisite(s)/Corequisite(s): Prior Philosophy coursework, particularly PHIL 2300, or prior coursework in Neuroscience, is recommended but not required. Sophomore standing or above.