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Ethics Minor

Research Associate Professor Aine Donovan

The Ethics Institute at Dartmouth coordinates the Ethics Minor, which is open to students from all majors who seek a coherent program of study in the field of applied and professional ethics. The minor is designed to enhance the formal ethics education of students interested in medicine, law, journalism, government or other professional areas. It also provides an opportunity for sustained study of specific ethical issues, such as ethics and the environment, or research ethics. An up-to-date list of Ethics Minor courses is available at:

Six courses are required for the Ethics Minor. These courses may not count toward a student’s major or another minor. Students must sign up for the minor no later than the third term prior to graduation. The Ethics Minor has three components (courses marked with an asterisk are pending faculty approval):

I. Prerequisite: Two courses conveying basic ethical theory. Options include:

* Government 6, Philosophy 8, 37 or 38, or Religion 11.

II. Three additional courses that form a coherent cluster or focus on an issue in or approach to applied and professional ethics. Courses currently available for the minor:

Anthropology 16: Secrecy and Lying in Politics (Identical to Public Policy 81.7)

Anthropology 17: The Anthropology of Illness

Anthropology 18: Introduction to Research Methods in Cultural Anthropology

Anthropology 45: Asian Medical Systems

Anthropology 50.8: The Cross-Cultural Study of Values: Universal and Particular

Anthropology 55: Anthropology of International Health

Anthropology 56: Introduction to Research Methods in Medical Anthropology

Biology 4: Genes and Society

Classical Studies 3: Reason and the Good Life: Socrates to Epictetus

College Course 3: Evidence and the Ethics of Argument

College Course 6: Mind and Brain: Philosophical Implications of Modern Neuroscience

Comparative Literature 10: Lying and Truth Telling in Literature

Education 29: Policy and Politics in American Education

Education 62: Adolescent Development

Engineering Sciences 5: Healthcare and Biotechnology in the 21st Century

Engineering Sciences 80: Ethics and Engineering

Environmental Studies 58: Environmental Justice Movements

Geography 13: Population, Culture, and Environment

Geography 16: Moral Economies of Development

Geography 25: Social Justice and the City

German 13: Beyond Good and Evil

Government 36: The Making of American Public Policy

Government 60: Topics in Political Theory or Public Law

Ethics and Public Policy (Identical to Public Policy 42)

Liberalism and Its Critics

Theorizing Free Speech

Democratic Theory

*Government 61: Jurisprudence

Government 63: Origins of Political Thought: Render unto God or unto Caesar?

Government 67: Civil Liberties Legal and Normative Approaches

Government 86.01: Multiculturalism

Government 86.10: Order and Justice: Greek Perspectives

Government 86.18: Contemporary Readings on Justice

History 94.2: Science, Technology and Culture in the Nuclear Age

International Studies 87.1: Essentials of Global Health Research

Philosophy 9: Topics in Applied Ethics: Reproductive Ethics

Philosophy 22: Feminism and Philosophy

Philosophy 24: Philosophy of Law

Philosophy 25: Philosophy of Medicine

Philosophy 50: Special Topics in Philosophy: The Ethics of Human Enhancement

Philosophy 80: Advanced Seminar

Free Speech and Conflict of Rights

Ethics and the Future of Computing

Free Will, Responsibility, and the Brain

Religion 19: Special Topics in Religion: Assisted Reproduction in the 21st Century

Religion 29: Kierkegaard and Existentialism

Russian 35: Dostoevsky and the Problem of Evil

Sociology 63: Trust in Society (formerly 26)

Among possible clusters are “Ethics in Biomedicine”; “Ethics and Society”; or “Ethics and Public Policy.” Other clusters are also possible. Students will identify an appropriate cluster in consultation with, and with the approval of the Director of the Minor.

Courses in the “Ethics in Biomedicine” cluster can include Anthropology 17, Anthropology 45, Anthropology 55, Anthropology 50.8, Biology 4, Engineering Sciences 5, College Course 6, Philosophy 25, Philosophy 50, and Religion 19.

Courses in the “Ethics and Society” cluster can include Anthropology 16, Anthropology 18, Anthropology 50.8, Education 62, Geography 25, and Sociology 63.

Courses in the “Ethics and Public Policy” cluster can include Biology 4, Engineering Sciences 5, Government 36, Government 60, Government 67, Government 86.18, and History 94.2.

III. A senior culminating project. This involves an independent study project with a faculty member offering a course or courses in the Ethics Minor (or other approved faculty member) on a topic related to the student’s course cluster. The culminating project will normally involve a substantial paper (20-25 pages in length) on a topic related to the student’s cluster courses.