Don't blame the 'bio' — blame the 'ethics': Varieties of (bio) ethics and the challenge of pluralism [Book Review]

Journal of Bioethical Inquiry 2 (1):10-17 (2005)
We tend to think that the difficulties in bioethics spring from the novel and alarming issues that arise due to discoveries in the new biosciences and biotechnologies. But many of the crucial difficulties in bioethics arise from the assumptions we make about ethics. This paper offers a brief overview of bioethics, and relates ethical ‘principlism’ to ‘ethical fundamentalism’. It then reviews some alternative approaches that have emerged during the second phase of bioethics, and argues for a neo-Aristotelian approach. Misconceptions about ethical principles and ethical reasoning not only distort our views of the business of bioethics, but they also prevent us from facing up to the formidable problems posed by ethical pluralism in so-called liberal societies.
Keywords Ethical theory  principal-based ethics  religion  moral development  cultural diversity
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DOI 10.1007/BF02448810
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