Teaching old dogs new tricks: The role of analogies in bioethical analysis and argumentation concerning new technologies [Book Review]
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 27 (5):397-413 (2006)
New medical technologies provide us with new possibilities in health care and health care research. Depending on their degree of novelty, they may as well present us with a whole range of unforeseen normative challenges. Partly, this is due to a lack of appropriate norms to perceive and handle new technologies. This article investigates our ways of establishing such norms. We argue that in this respect analogies have at least two normative functions: they inform both our understanding and our conduct. Furthermore, as these functions are intertwined and can blur moral debates, a functional investigation of analogies can be a fruitful part of ethical analysis. We argue that although analogies can be conservative; because they bring old concepts to bear upon new ones, there are at least three ways in which they can be creative. First, understandings of new technologies are quite different from the analogies that established them, and come to be analogies themselves. That is, the concepts may turn out to be quite different from the analogies that established them. Second, analogies transpose similarities from one area into another, where they previously had no bearing. Third, analogies tend to have a figurative function, bringing in something new and different from the content of the analogies. We use research-biobanking as a practical example in our investigations.
|Keywords||Analogies biobank research epistemological norms moral norms|
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References found in this work BETA
George Lakoff (1980/2003). Metaphors We Live By. University of Chicago Press.
Bruno Latour & Steven Woolgar (1986). Laboratory Life; The Construction of Scientific Facts. Princeton University Press.
Judith Jarvis Thomson (1990). The Realm of Rights. Harvard University Press.
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Citations of this work BETA
G. V. Ramesh Prasad (2015). How the Creative Use of Analogies Can Shape Medical Practice. Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice 21 (3):455-460.
Heidi Mertes & Guido Pennings (2011). The Force of Dissimilar Analogies in Bioethics. Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 32 (2):117-128.
Veronica Johansson, Martin Garwicz, Martin Kanje, Helena Röcklinsberg, Jens Schouenborg, Anders Tingström & Ulf Görman (2013). Beyond Blind Optimism and Unfounded Fears: Deep Brain Stimulation for Treatment Resistant Depression. Neuroethics 6 (3):457-471.
Jackie Scully, Erica Haimes, Anika Mitzkat, Rouven Porz & Christoph Rehmann-Sutter (2012). Donating Embryos to Stem Cell Research. Journal of Bioethical Inquiry 9 (1):19-28.
Bjørn Hofmann, Søren Holm & Jan Solbakk (2006). Response to Open Peer Commentaries on “Analogical Reasoning in Handling Emerging Technologies: The Case of Umbilical Cord Blood Biobanking”: Analogy is Like Air—Invisible and Indispensable. American Journal of Bioethics 6 (6):W13-W14.
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