PHI125 Matters of Life and Death

What is so bad about death? Is life always good? Is it always wrong for someone to take their own life? Would it be wrong to help someone die painlessly who was already dying of a painful illness? Is abortion ever, or always, morally permissible? Do animals have rights which we infringe by killing them or making them suffer? What, if anything, do we owe to the starving of the world? How, if at all, is killing in war-time morally different from other forms of killing? This course is designed to encourage students to think carefully and constructively about a range of life-and-death moral dilemmas, developing skills of analysis and critical reasoning. Topics discussed will include: death; suicide; euthanasia; abortion; animals; famine relief; and war. Arguments for and against various positions on these questions will be looked at; and some use will be made of moral theory to illuminate the issues.

20 credits


Chris Bennett