Ethics in the Life Sciences (PHIL*3450) | College of Arts

Ethics in the Life Sciences (PHIL*3450)

Code and section: PHIL*3450*01

Term: Winter 2020

Instructor: Yussif Yakubu


Virtually every human activity impacts other living things in some way. This course examines ethical concerns arising from human interactions with other living things. We shall discuss ethical theory and how to access ethical arguments. We shall then apply the ethical reasoning to address issues such as: The relative moral standing of ecosystems and future human generations; Our duties to aid the hungry in developing countries; Obligations to animals used in research and to produce food; Public policies to adjudicate conflicting rights-claims among urban consumers, environmentalists, and farmers over the use of water and land; The moral justifiability of genetic engineering as a whole and the patenting of life forms in particular.


Course outline

The University of Guelph resides on the land of the Between the Lakes Treaty No. 3, the territory of the Mississaugas of the Credit. This land is part of the Dish with One Spoon, a covenant between Indigenous nations to live peaceably on the territories of the Great Lakes region. We recognize that today this gathering place is home to many First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples and acknowledging them reminds us of our collective responsibility to the land where we learn, live and work.