RU 299: Doctors and Medicine in Literature
In this course we will use literary and film depictions of doctors and medical research as a focus for an in-depth discussion of the relationship between moral imagination, moral reasoning, and moral judgment and the role they can and should play in our lives as professionals, citizens, and people.
As we explore the treatments of doctors, medicine, and medical research in Russian and other literature, we will seek answers to the following questions:
- How do doctors and patients interact in real situations?
- How are these interactions shaped by the cultural and social situations in which they take place?
- How do changing beliefs about science and social class change such interactions?
- What are moral imagination, empathy, and judgment?
- Can reading literature really help us to develop them? How?
- What role should moral imagination play in social policy, and what role should moral empathy play in interpersonal relationships, including medical ones?
- How can moral judgment help us evaluate the moral intuitions we derive from life and our moral imagination?
- What is the role of character in medicine, science, and life?
- If medicine and science are not value-free, what values should guide them? Do these values differ from culture to culture