Germund Hesslow has argued that concepts of health and disease serve no important scientific, clinical, or ethical function. However, this conclusion depends upon the particular concept of disease he espouses; namely, on Boorse's functional notion. The fact/value split embodied in the functional notion of disease leads to a sharp split between the science of medicine and bioethics, making the philosophy of medicine irrelevant for both. By placing this disease concept in the broader context of medical history, I shall (...) show that it does capture an essential part of modern medical ideology. However, it is also a self-contradictory notion. By making explicit the value desiderata of medical nosologies, a reconfiguration of the relation between medicine, bioethics, and the philosophy of medicine is initiated. This, in turn, will involve a recovery of the caring dimensions of medicine, and thus a more humane practice. (shrink)
This book is for those interested in an extensive review of the field of bioethics. It is for philosophers who wish to understand the core conceptual issues in health care ethics, and for bioethicists who wish to better understand classical problems in philosophy that have a bearing on health care ethics. The Handbook of Bioethics: Taking Stock of the Field from a Philosophical Perspective: -presents a comprehensive survey of bioethics in one volume; -has 27 of the (...) most prominent scholars in the field take stock of the issues they helped define; -contains essays that outline areas where future research is needed; -identifies potential areas for fruitful collaboration between traditional philosophers and bioethicists; -is an ideal text for graduate or upper level undergraduate courses. (shrink)
Many people working in bioethics take pride in the subject’s embrace of a wide range of disciplines. This invites questions of what in particular is added by each. In this paper, I focus on the role of philosophy within the field: what, if anything, is its unique contribution to bioethics? I sketch out a claim that philosophy is central to bioethics because of its particular analytic abilities, and defend its place within bioethics from a (...) range of sceptical attacks. (shrink)
The advance of medical and biological science and technology has presented us with new ethical and legal issues. Is embryonic stem cell research morally justified and legally allowed? What moral status do embryos have? Who can be a morally appropriate user of In Vitro fertilization? Who can use donated sperm and/or egg? What is the scope of reproductive liberty?” What is the meaning of a family and that of reproduction? How far does our genetic intervention go?”Scientists, lawyers, and laymen are (...) waiting for clear answers from philosophers. Unfortunately, philosophers have not seemed to give satisfactory answers to them. We may have various reasons. One of main reasons, however, seems to me that the above philosophical questions have not been the main research topics for philosophers since philosophy gave up metaphysical and/or religious questions. Thus, I argue that biomedical ethical issues urge philosophers tochange the philosopher’s attitude of doing philosophy. Those issues make them consider and rethink our fundamental concepts of life, death, family, and values pursued by human beings. In addition, it is easy to find conflicting ethical and philosophical answers to the above questions. Thus, it is very hard to reach consensus on the above ethical issues. This makes philosophers consider how we make a group decision over ethical issues showing conflicting but reasonable ethical answers in a plural society. This requires philosophers, especially scholars of ethics, develop a new ethics and its relevant concepts. This ethics must be able to work in a plural society where reasonable comprehensive belief systems coexist. In these respects, I argue that bioethics has to struggle with a newchallenge to philosophy. (shrink)
This essay begins by distinguishing among the viewpoints of philosophy, theology, and religion; it then explores how each deals with ‘sin’ in the bioethical context. The conclusions are that the philosophical and theological viewpoints are intellectually defective in that they cripple our ability to deal with normative issues, and are in the end unable to integrate Christian concepts like ‘sin’ successfully into bioethics. Sin is predicated only of beings with free will, though only in Western Christianity must all (...) sins be committed with knowledge and voluntarily. Without the notions of free will, sin, and a narrative of redemption, bioethics remains unable to provide itself with an adequate normative framework. Bioethics, and morality in general, remain a morass precisely because there has been a failure to translate Christian morality into fully secular and scientistic terms. (shrink)
Philosophy should and can contribute to bioethics Content Type Journal Article DOI 10.1007/s11016-010-9476-2 Authors Vicki Langendyk, School of Medicine, University of Western Sydney, Locked Bag 1797, Penrith South DC, NSW 1797, Australia Journal Metascience Online ISSN 1467-9981 Print ISSN 0815-0796.
The question of whether the universe is expanding or contracting serves as a model for current questions facing the medical humanities. The medical humanities might aptly be described as a metamedical multiverse encompassing many separate universes of discourse, the most prominent of which is probably bioethics. Bioethics, however, is increasingly developing into a new interdisciplinary discipline, and threatens to engulf the other medical humanities, robbing them of their own distinctive contributions to metamedicine. The philosophy of medicine considered (...) as a distinct field of study has suffered as a result. Indeed, consensus on whether the philosophy of medicine even constitutes a legitimate field of study is lacking. This paper presents an argument for the importance of a broad conception of the philosophy of medicine and the central role it should play in organizing and interpreting the various fields of study that make up the metamedical multiverse. (shrink)
Why has autonomy been a leading idea in philosophical writing on bioethics, and why has trust been marginal? In this important book, Onora O'Neill suggests that the conceptions of individual autonomy so widely relied on in bioethics are philosophically and ethically inadequate, and that they undermine rather than support relations of trust. She shows how Kant's non-individualistic view of autonomy provides a stronger basis for an approach to medicine, science and biotechnology, and does not marginalize untrustworthiness, while also (...) explaining why trustworthy individuals and institutions are often undeservingly mistrusted. Her arguments are illustrated with issues raised by practices such as the use of genetic information by the police or insurers, research using human tissues, uses of new reproductive technologies, and media practices for reporting on medicine, science and technology. Autonomy and Trust in Bioethics will appeal to a wide range of readers in ethics, bioethics and related disciplines. (shrink)
News media accounts of issues in bioethics gain significance to the extent that the media influence public policy and inform personal decision making. The increasingly frequent appearance of bioethics in the news thus imposes responsibilities on journalists and their sources. These responsibilities are identified and discussed, as is (i) the concept of "newsworthiness" as applied to bioethics, (ii) the variable quality of bioethics reportage and (iii) journalists' reliance on ethicists to pass judgment. Because of the potential (...) social and other benefits of high quality reporting on ethical issues, it is argued that journalists and their bioethics sources should explore and accommodate more productive relationships. An optimal journalism-ethics relationship will be one characterized by "para-ethics," in which journalistic constraints are noted but also in which issues and arguments are presented without oversimplification and credible disagreement is given appropriate attention. (shrink)
Experimental philosophy (henceforth called X-Phi) represents a departure in methodology from standard twentieth-century philosophy; instead of privileging intuitions of professional philosophers to analyze philosophical concepts such as moral responsibility, knowledge, or intentional action, X-Phi catalogs and analyzes the intuitions of ordinary folk1 about scenarios designed to uncover the content of those concepts as found in standard usage. It formulates explanations of those intuitions that may reveal more complex and nuanced accounts of those same philosophical concepts. X-philosophers work to (...) understand the individual psychological processes that lead to ordinary intuitions and develop theories about how .. (shrink)
This volume explores Confucian views regarding the human body, health, virtue, suffering, suicide, euthanasia, `human drugs,' human experimentation, and justice in health care distribution. These views are rooted in Confucian metaphysical, cosmological, and moral convictions, which stand in contrast to modern Western liberal perspectives in a number of important ways. In the contemporary world, a wide variety of different moral traditions flourish; there is real moral diversity. Given this circumstance, difficult and even painful ethical conflicts often occur between the East (...) and the West with regard to the issues of life, birth, reproduction, and death. The essays in this volume analyze the ways in which Confucian bioethics can clarify important moral concepts, provide arguments, and offer ethical guidance. The volume should be of interest to both general readers coming afresh to the study of bioethics, ethics, and Confucianism, as well as for philosophers, ethicists, and other scholars already familiar with the subject. (shrink)
800x600 Normal 0 21 false false false RO X-NONE X-NONE MicrosoftInternetExplorer4 Review of Mihaela Frunză, Expertiza etică și bioetica. Studii de caz (Ethical Expertise and Bioethics. Case Studies). Cluj-Napoca, Limes Publishing House, 2010.
Bioethics claimed to offer a set of generally applicable, universally accepted guidelines that would simplify complex situations. In Thieves of Virtue, Tom Koch argues that bioethics has failed to deliver on its promises.
Various debates in bioethics have been focused on whether non-persons, such as marginal humans or non-human animals, deserve respectful treatment. It has been argued that, where we cannot agree on whether these individuals have moral status, we might agree that they have symbolic value and ascribe to them moral value in virtue of their symbolic signiﬁcance. In the paper I resist the suggestion that symbolic value is relevant to ethical disputes in which the respect for individuals with no intrinsic (...) moral value is in conﬂict with the interests of individuals with intrinsic moral value. I then turn to moral status and discuss the suitability of personhood as a criterion. There some desiderata for a criterion for moral status: it should be applicable on the basis of our current scientiﬁc knowledge; it should have a solid ethical justiﬁcation; and it should be in line with some of our moral intuitions and social practices. Although it highlights an important connection between the possession of some psychological properties and eligibility for moral status, the criterion of personhood does not meet the desiderata above. I suggest that all intentional systems should be credited with moral status in virtue of having preferences and interests that are relevant to their well-being. (shrink)
Working within the tradition of continental philosophy, this article argues in favour of a phenomenological understanding of language as a crucial component of bioethical inquiry. The authors challenge the ‘commonsense’ view of language, in which thinking appears as prior to speaking, and speech the straightforward vehicle of pre-existing thoughts. Drawing on Maurice Merleau-Ponty's (1908–1961) phenomenology of language, the authors claim that thinking takes place in and through the spoken word, in and through embodied language. This view resituates bioethics (...) as a matter of bodies that speak. It also refigures the meaning of ethical self-reflexion, and in so doing offers an alternative view on reflexivity and critique. Referring to the Kantian critical tradition and its reception by Hannah Arendt and Michel Foucault, we advance a position we call ‘critical ethical reflexivity’. We contend that Merleau-Ponty's phenomenology of language offers valuable insight into ethical reflexivity and subject formation. Moreover, his understanding of language may foster new qualitative empirical research in bioethics, lead to more nuanced methods for interpreting personal narratives, and promote critical self-reflexion as necessary for bioethical inquiry. (shrink)
Responsibility Without Understanding? How the Debate on the Ethics of Genetic Engineering Depends on Its Philosophy of Science. The main thesis in this paper is that bioethics has no own criteria to judge the chances and risks of genetic engineering. But if we distinguish (1) between different types of genetic, (2) between genetic engineering as a set of methods for experimentation and genetic engineering as an industrial technique and (3) reconstruct the metaphors and the terminology in general, which (...) are used by biologists describing their practice, it is possible to formulate such criteria. As the distinction between nature and culture is the result of human actions (not drawn by nature) and the communication about these actions and distinctions in a given cultural context, the criteria are the result of a discourse, in which not only biologists, but all members of a society argue about the reproduction and structuration of their society. (shrink)
Before asking what U.S. bioethics might learn from a more comprehensive and more nuanced understanding of Islamic religion, history, and culture, a prior question is, how should bioethics think about religion? Two sets of commonly held assumptions impede further progress and insight. The first involves what “religion” means and how one should study it. The second is a prominent philosophical view of the role of religion in a diverse, democratic society. To move beyond these assumptions, it helps to (...) view religion as lived experience as well as a body of doctrine and to see that religious differences and controversies should be welcomed in the public square of a diverse democratic society rather than merely tolerated. (shrink)
Even if somebody considers inappropriate any geographic adjective for Bioethics, nevertheless we think that there are some specific features of “Mediterranean” Bioethics that could distinguish it from a “Northern-European and Northern-American” one. First of all we must consider that medical ethics was born and grew in Mediterranean area. First by the thought of great Greek philosophers as Aristotle (that analyse what ethics is), then by Hippocrates, the “father” of medical ethics. The ethical pattern of Aristotle was based on (...) “virtues” and their practice. In this perspective we can already note a strong difference with actual North-European or American principialist ethics. But a second consideration concerns the role that great Mediterranean religions (Judaism, Christianity and Islam) had in the construction of the ethical thought especially on the matter of life and its respect. So, in our pluralistic and multicultural society is absolutely necessary to rescue an approach that considers both “lungs” of ethical thought (Mediterranean and Northern one) and highlights the role that Mediterranean Ethics still has in this way. (shrink)
Papers presented at a symposium on philosophy and medicine at the Institute for the Medical Humanities at the University of Texas Medical Branch in 1974 were published in the inaugural volume of this series.
Religious voices were important in the early days of the contemporary field of bioethics but have now become decidedly less prominent. This is unfortunate because religious elements are essential parts of the most foundational aspects of bioethics. The problem is that there is an incommensurability between religious language and languages of public discourse such as the “public reason” of John Rawls. To eliminate what is unique in religious language is to lose something essential. This paper examines the reasons (...) for the marginalization of religion in bioethics, shows the limitations of Rawls’s notion of public reason, and argues for a more robust role for theology in articulating a new language for public discourse in bioethics. (shrink)
Issues in reproductive ethics, such as the capacity of parents to ‘choose children’, present challenges to philosophical ideas of freedom, responsibility and harm. This book responds to these challenges by proposing a new framework for thinking about the ethics of reproduction that emphasizes the ways that social norms affect decisions about who is born. The book provides clear and thorough discussions of some of the dominant problems in reproductive ethics - human enhancement and the notion of the normal, reproductive liberty (...) and procreative beneficence, the principle of harm and discrimination against disability - while also proposing new ways of addressing these. The author draws upon the work of Michel Foucault, especially his discussions of biopolitics and norms, and later work on ethics, alongside feminist theorists of embodiment to argue for a new bioethics that is responsive to social norms, human vulnerability and the relational context of freedom and responsibility. This is done through compelling discussions of new technologies and practices, including the debate on liberal eugenics and human enhancement, the deliberate selection of disabilities, PGD and obstetric ultrasound. (shrink)
This book explores the epistemological and ethical issues at the foundations of environmental philosophy, emphasizing the conservation of biodiversity. Sahota Sarkar criticizes previous attempts to attribute intrinsic value to nature and defends an anthropocentric position on biodiversity conservation based on an untraditional concept of transformative value. Unlike other studies in the field of environmental philosophy, this book is as much concerned with epistemological issues as with environmental ethics. It covers a broad range of topics, including problems of explanation (...) and prediction in traditional ecology and how individual-based models and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) technology is transforming ecology. Introducing a brief history of conservation biology, Sarkar analyzes the new consensus framework for conservation planning through adaptive management. He concludes with a discussion of the future directions for theoretical research in conservation biology and environmental philosophy. (shrink)
Although the authors of modern scientific psychology agreed on precious little, Freud and Jung both insisted that any complete science of psychology requires some way to explain the intergenerational inheritance of character traits or personal habits of mind and action. Yet neither they nor their heirs in contemporary philosophy, psychology or cognitive science have been able to provide a plausible conceptual framework, much less a mechanism to account for the conservation of forms of personal agency across multiple lives. Is (...) there a role in contemporary philosophy and psychology for an intergenerational theory of human agency informed by the Buddhist theory of karma? This paper argues the affirmative case, offering both a current scientific reading of karma and a Buddhist scientific approach to the metaphysical and metapsychological problems caused by the divergence of modern science and religion in the West. The model of intergenerational agency I present here is based on a comparative study of ordinary language philosophy in ancient India and the contemporary West. Its premise is that most theories of moral development and psychological agency are limited by the insistence on a substantial or essential ground for the designation of a person or self. Ordinary language philosophy offers greater conceptual freedom because it accepts a distinctively human theory of self as a linguistic construction that refers to mind/body systems and elements in which there is no substantial or essential self. This conceptual freedom permits a model of human agency as an open system of linguistic reference that can be transmitted across generations in the course of language acquisition. Such a system is not merely discursive in that language serves to guide the social construction not just of discursive thinking but also of learned patterns of perception and action mastered together with language in the course of neuropsychological development. This model has implications for both Buddhist and Western worldview, popular and scientific, as well as for bioethics and the practice of psychotherapy. (shrink)
This book offers a rich variety of thoughtful explorations on the nature of the human person especially as related to health care, medicine, and mental health. Rarely are so many different viewpoints collected in one place about the intriguing puzzle that is the concept of person, human dignity, and the special place human beings hold in the goals of healing and the social structures of medical delivery. Ramifications of the theory of personhood are presented for bioethics, genetics, individuality, uniqueness, (...) international law, feminism, and human rights in health care. Intended for professionals in the fields of philosophy of medicine, law, and bioethics, this book will also appeal to psychologists and medical anthropologists. (shrink)