Robert Trapp Course taught by: Robert Trapp

Although most, if not all Americans would say that human life is to be preserved and cherished, issues of life and death are among the disputes that divide us most deeply. Questions about abortion, capital punishment, and assisted suicide profoundly divide us. The divisions are so severe, that most Americans are unable to make other than the most simplistic arguments: “I’m pro-life,” “I’m pro-choice.”

In this colloquium, we will learn about methods of arguing about values and how those methods can be applied to matters of life and death. We will use these methods of argumentation to consider questions such as: How do argue about values? How can we use arguments to resolve arguments about competing values? We also will consider questions arising from some of the more sophisticated arguments about abortion, capital punishment, and abortion.