Yale Alumni College Fall 2015 - Stephen Latham New Haven

“Telling Right from Wrong: Modern Ethical Theories”

Stephen Latham, Director, Interdisciplinary Center for Bioethics

Thursdays, October 8 – November 12, 4:00 - 5:30 pm

Location: Rose Alumni House, 232 York Street, New Haven, CT 06511

Course Description:

How do we determine what sorts of conduct are morally justified? This course will examine a few of the most prominent philosophical approaches to answering that question. Theories of ethics to be considered include utilitarianism and some of its variants; Kantianism; virtue theory; social contract theory; and some varieties of “anti-theory.” No philosophy background is assumed.


Stephen Latham is Director of Yale's Interdisciplinary Center for Bioethics. His two undergraduate lecture classes in bioethics draw hundreds of Yale College students annually. A graduate of Harvard College, Harvard Law School, and the UC Berkeley doctoral program in Jurisprudence, Latham is a former healthcare business and regulatory attorney, and served as Director of Ethics Standards at the American Medical Association before entering academics full-time. He has been a graduate fellow at Harvard's Safra Center on Ethics and a research fellow at the University of Edinburgh’s Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities. He is a former member of Connecticut’s Stem Cell Research Advisory Committee, and of the board of the American Society for Bioethics & Humanities (“ASBH”), from which he received a distinguished service award in 2010. He does clinical ethics consultation on the Pediatric Ethics Committee at Yale's Children's Hospital. His scores of publications on bioethics and health policy have appeared in leading medical and bioethics journals, in law reviews, and in numerous university-press books.