Joseph G. Moore (Section 01)
(Offered as PHIL 464 and ENST 464.) Is our planet overpopulated? And if so, how many of us should live on it? Population raises tricky questions that are both empirical and broadly philosophical: How should we weigh the well-being of future individuals against the lives of those currently living? Should we aim for a future population whose average or whose total level of well-being is maximized—or should we apply some other standard? Even more fundamentally: are we right to think of human life as, on balance, a positive thing? And how might a policy based on answers to such questions be weighed against rights to reproductive choice, and against considerations of justice?
In this seminar, we will explore recent work in the emerging and fascinating field of population ethics. We will chart new areas for research, as well as for practical policy-making. Priority will be given to declared majors in either field, and then by year—senior, then junior, and so on.
Requisite: At least one course in either Environmental Studies or Philosophy. Limited to 15 students. Fall semester. Professor Moore.
If Overenrolled: Priority will be given to declared majors in either field, and then by year—senior, then junior, and so on.