Spring 2022 | Mediterranean Exploration

PHIL 461 - Seminar in Philosophical Issues and Problems

Overview of Course

The course explores topics in the philosophy of death and dying. It involves students in: (1) engaging in philosophical discussions of death and dying, and (2) developing and justifying positions on issues concerning death and dying. The class considers some of the basic philosophical questions concerning death and dying, such as: What is the nature of death? What is the value of death? What are ethically permissible choices regarding death? How should one live in light of one’s view of death? Special to us as we voyage, are there unifying themes among views regarding death and how one should die in the global context? The class looks at how philosophers have answered these questions and how their answers might be relevant in how we live our lives. Readings include selections from both classical and contemporary secular and sacred texts taken from Western, Middle-Eastern, African, and Asian traditions. They are supplemented by case studies drawn from the countries we visit. In the course, students consider questions concerning death and dying in a global comparative context, and, in doing so, gain experience in thinking critically, reasoning carefully, and writing thoughtfully about death and dying.