Syllabus for Neuroethics

Neuroetik

A revised version of the syllabus is available.

  • 7.5 credits
  • Course code: 3FV381
  • Education cycle: Second cycle
  • Main field(s) of study and in-depth level: Public Health A1N

    Explanation of codes

    The code indicates the education cycle and in-depth level of the course in relation to other courses within the same main field of study according to the requirements for general degrees:

    First cycle
    G1N: has only upper-secondary level entry requirements
    G1F: has less than 60 credits in first-cycle course/s as entry requirements
    G1E: contains specially designed degree project for Higher Education Diploma
    G2F: has at least 60 credits in first-cycle course/s as entry requirements
    G2E: has at least 60 credits in first-cycle course/s as entry requirements, contains degree project for Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Science
    GXX: in-depth level of the course cannot be classified.

    Second cycle
    A1N: has only first-cycle course/s as entry requirements
    A1F: has second-cycle course/s as entry requirements
    A1E: contains degree project for Master of Arts/Master of Science (60 credits)
    A2E: contains degree project for Master of Arts/Master of Science (120 credits)
    AXX: in-depth level of the course cannot be classified.

  • Grading system: Fail (U), Pass (G)
  • Established: 2016-06-21
  • Established by: The Educational Board of Medicine
  • Applies from: week 01, 2019
  • Entry requirements: 120 credits
  • Responsible department: Department of Public Health and Caring Sciences

Learning outcomes

The goal of the course is to provide knowledge of neuroethical theories and concepts that apply to (a) ethical questions arising in connection with developments in neuroscience and neurotechnology, and (b) questions concerning how knowledge of the brain’s functional architecture and its evolution can deepen our understanding of the evolution of moral thinking and judgment.
After the completed course, we expect the student to be able to:

  • give an account of the relevance of neuroscience to understanding the development of moral judgment;
  • critically analyse different neuroethical approaches to central philosophical problems, such as whether the human being can have a free will, or moral responsibility;
  • give an account of some ethical problems that arise in connection with applications of neuroscientific or neurotechnological advances, e.g. new techniques to measure brain activities, new methods for cognitive enhancement, or new drug uses in psychopharmacology;
  • give an account of ethical problems that arise in clinical contexts, such as how to assess autonomy or decision-capacity in patients with neuro-degenerative disorders;
  • write an independent essay in which a coherent and constructive – i.e. not merely descriptive – argumentation is presented concerning some freely chosen neuroethical question.

Content

Different types of neuroethical issues will be discussed during the course. The course focuses both on applied neuroethics, i.e. ethical questions that arise from neuroscientific or neurotechnological advances; and on fundamental neuroethics, i.e. questions concerning how knowledge of the brain’s functional architecture and its evolution can deepen our understanding of human thought, including moral thought and judgment. The course also includes clinical perspectives, e.g. to what extent a patient with a neuro-degenerative disorder suffers from reduced capacity for decision-making, or reduced autonomy, or when a person with dementia can give an informed consent to participate in scientific studies.

Instruction

The teaching will be given in the form of web-based lectures. This is an entirely web-based course (distance education)

Assessment

Examination will be in the form of individual essays.

Other directives

This course replaces 3FV236 Neuroethics.

Syllabus Revisions

Reading list

The reading list is missing. For further information, please contact the responsible department.