Between technocracy and democratic legitimation: A proposed compromise position for common morality public bioethics
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 31 (3):213 – 234 (2006)
In this article I explore the underlying political philosophy of public bioethics by comparing it to technocratic authority, particularly the technocratic authority claimed by economists in Mexico in the 1980s and 1990s. I find that public bioethics - at least in the dominant forms - is implicitly designed for and tries to use technocratic authority. I examine how this type of bioethics emerged and has continued. I finish by arguing that, as claims to technocratic authority go, bioethics is in an incredibly weak position, which partly explains why it has never gained the degree of public legitimacy that other technocracies have gained. I conclude by arguing for a "technocracy-lite" orientation for public bioethics.
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