Phil. 133
"Ethics in Science"
Spring 2020

Procedures and Guidelines for Case Study Responses

Over the course of the term, you will explore 3 case studies. After reading the case, you will write an initial response (of approximately 300 words) defending a course of action for the protagonist, participate in a discussion about the case, and then answer some focused questions about the case (the case quiz). Two of the case study responses will be done in class.  The third will be done as an assignment outside of class, making use of Canvas for an online discussion of the case.

Here is the procedure you will be using for the case study responses:

Before class:


In class:

Bebeau's "Developing a Well-Reasoned Response to a Moral Problem in Scientific Research" gives a detailed discussion of the sorts of dimensions you'll want to consider in these cases.  In particular, you should keep the following advice in mind:

"When you develop your response, focus on the reasons the protagonist should or should not do something.  Do not just pronounce an act as ethical or unethical; tell why you think so.  In considering why an action is acceptable or unacceptable, it may be helpful to consider:

Note that each problem usually contains two or more issues; you should try to describe all of them." (p. 3)

The case study initial responses will be evaluated based on your clarity and thoroughness in explaining what you think the protagonist should do and the reasons you think this is the best ethical course of action.The case study quizzes will be evaluated based on your clarity and thoroughness in answering questions about:

Your initial case study responses will be worth a possible 5 points each. Your response to focused questions about the case after the discussion will be worth a possible 15 points each.

Note that the first case study response, on Case Study 1, will be done out of class.  For this case, the online discussion of the case will be REQUIRED.  The discussion will open on Friday, February 21 and will conclude by 11:59 pm on Friday, February 28.


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