PHIL 371 - Special Topics: Pandemic Ethics

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The COVID-19 pandemic has forced us to confront a number of difficult ethical challenges and questions. How should we balance individual freedoms with public health? How has the pandemic exposed or exacerbated existing inequalities? How should we prioritize the distribution of scarce medical resources? How should science inform public policy in a democracy? And what just kind of world should we aim to build once the crisis has passed?
In this course, we will use some of the tools of Philosophy to think through these questions, and to propose and assess competing answers. Guiding our discussions will be an even broader question: Are our pre-pandemic rules and principles for ethical decision-making in health, politics, economics, and justice up to the task, or do they need to be radically re-thought?
This course is open to any student in 2nd year or above and does not require any previous courses in Philosophy.
Instructor: Mathieu Doucet