This short work examines what the HippocraticOath said to Greek physicians 2400 years ago and reflects on its relevance to medical ethics today. Drawing on the writings of ancient physicians, Greek playwrights, and modern scholars, each chapter explores one passage of the Oath and concludes with a modern case discussion. This book is for anyone who loves medicine and is concerned about the ethics and history of the profession.
As an example of Aristotle's genre of epideictic, or ceremonial rhetoric, the HippocraticOath has the capacity to persuade its self-addressing audience to appreciate the value of the medical profession by lending an element of stability to the shifting ethos of health care. However, the values it celebrates do not accurately capture communally shared norms about contemporary medical practice. Its multiple and sometimes conflicting versions, anachronistic references, and injunctions that resist translation into specific conduct diminish its longer-term persuasive (...) force. Only when expunged of these elements and reconstructed using values over which there is widespread agreement can the Oath succeed in moving its audience from core values located in past discussions to principled action in the future. (shrink)
The HippocraticOath, the Hippocratic tradition, and Hippocratic ethics are widely invoked in the popular medical culture as conveying a direction to medical practice and the medical profession. This study critically addresses these invocations of Hippocratic guideposts, noting that reliance on the Hippocratic ethos and the Oath requires establishingwhat the Oath meant to its author, its original community of reception, and generally for ancient medicine what relationships contemporary invocations of the Oath (...) and the tradition have to the original meaning of the Oath and its original reception what continuity exists and under what circumstances over the last two-and-a-half millenniums of medical-moral reflections what continuity there is in the meaning of professionalism from the time of Hippocrates to the 21st century, and what social factors in particular have transformed the medical profession in particular countries. This article argues that the resources for a better understanding of medical professionalism lie not in the HippocraticOath, tradition, or ethos in and of themselves. Rather, it must be found in a philosophy of medicine that explores the values internal to medicine, thus providing a medical-moral philosophy so as to be able to resist the deformation of medical professionalism by bioethics, biopolitics, and governmental regulation. The Oath, as well as Stephen H. Miles' recent monograph, The HippocraticOath and the Ethics of Medicine, are employed as heuristics, so as to throw into better light the extent to which the HippocraticOath, tradition, and ethics can provide guidance and direction, as well as to show the necessity of taking seriously the need for a substantive philosophy of medicine. (shrink)
Contrary to the common view, this paper suggests that the Hippocraticoath does not directly refer to the controversial subjects of euthanasia and abortion. We interpret the oath in the context of establishing trust in medicine through departure from Pantagruelism. Pantagruelism is coined after Rabelais' classic novel Gargantua and Pantagruel. His satire about a wonder herb, Pantagruelion, is actually a sophisticated model of anti-medicine in which absence of independent moral values and of properly conducted research fashion a (...) flagrant over-medicalization of human problems. Ultimately this undermines the therapeutic core of medicine itself. We contend that PAS is a case of such over-medicalization and that its institution creates medicophobia. This article does not express an opinion about euthanasia in general. Rather, we claim that physicians should learn from the oath and from Rabelais that they should keep their practice to medical care and not to exploit their expertise and social privileges for the sake of ulterior motives, even when their patients desire those goals. (shrink)
At least from the standpoint of contemporary cultural and ethical resources, physicians have argued eloquently and exhaustively both for and against physician-assisted suicide. If one avoids the temptation to ruthlessly simplify either position to immorality or error, then a strange dilemma arises. How is it that well educated and intelligent physicians, committed strongly and compassionately to the care of their patients, argue adamantly for opposing positions? Thus rather than simply rehashing old arguments, this essay attempts to rethink the nature of (...) human morality as both a source and a fracturing of human rationality – and with morality, the question of human nature in the context of violence, oppression, service, and obligation. This interpretation of moral life is laid out roughly along the lines of the Jewish philosopher Emmanuel Levinas, and further clarified through a discussion of the HippocraticOath. These resources are then brought to bear on the specific arguments and recommendations concerning physician-assisted suicide. (shrink)
Smith, Wesley J The growth in policies that force healthcare workers to participate in activities that are deemed both immoral and unprofessional as against the sanctity of human life has given rise to the need for bringing about conscience in health care. The need for fashioning proper conscience clauses and challenges faced in its implementation are highlighted.
The origins of professional ethical codes and oaths are explored. Their legitimacy and usefulness within the profession are questioned and an alternative ethical source is suggested. This source relies on a commonly shared, naturally knowable set of principles known as common morality.
It is widely presumed, at least among typical Western physicians and medical lay persons, that the Hippocratic and the Judeo-Christian traditions in medical ethics are closely connected or at least compatible. We examine the historical, metaethical, and normative relationships between them, and we find virtually no evidence of any historical links prior to the ninth century. In fact, important differences between them are found. The HippocraticOath appears to reflect the environment of a Greek mystery cult. (...) It includes a commitment to secrecy and a sense of community alien to Judeo-Christian tradition. Differences between the two traditions on the issues of killing and life prolongation, abortion, surgery, and normative ethical principles including truth-telling, autonomy, and justice are also explored. We conclude that important differences not only exist but also raise serious problems for persons identifying with both traditions. (shrink)
The trouble with business schools -- The great, but delicate experiment -- A hippocraticoath for business -- Six more arguments for the MBA oath -- The purpose of a manager -- Ethics and integrity -- No man is an island : stakeholders -- Ambition and good faith -- The letter and the spirit : law -- The sunlight of responsibility : transparency -- Personal and professional growth -- Sustainable prosperity : a partnership for living well -- (...) Accountability. (shrink)
Max Anderson and Peter Escher's The MBA Oath addresses the need for a set of ethical standards to provide guidance to MBA graduates as they go about their everyday professional business. Their oath is relevant to the concerns of others in business but clearly was inspired by the special problems they encountered in the classroom as members of the Harvard MBA class of 2009. The oath and the book itself evolved from the financial meltdown of 2008 for (...) which MBAs often felt that they were being held accountable. Our review begins with the oath itself. Then we turn to the rest of the book in which we have organized our comments around its strengths and weaknesses. (shrink)
The first code of professional ethics must: (1)be a code of ethics; (2) apply to members of a profession; (3) apply to allmembers of that profession; and (4) apply only to members of that profession. The value of these criteria depends on how we define “code”, “ethics”, and “profession”, terms the literature on professions has defined in many ways. This paper applies one set of definitions of “code”, “ethics”, and “profession” to a part of what we now know of the (...) history of professions, there by illustrating how the choice of definition can alter substantially both our answer to the question of which came first and (more importantly) our understanding of professional codes (and the professions that adopt them). Because most who write on codes of professional ethics seem to take for granted that physicians produced the first professional code, whether the HippocraticOath, Percival’s Medical Ethics, the 1847 Code of Ethicsof the American Medical Association (AMA), or some other document, I focus my discussion on these codes. (shrink)
A physician says, "I have an ethical obligation never to cause the death of a patient," another responds, "My ethical obligation is to relieve pain even if the patient dies." The current argument over the role of physicians in assisting patients to die constantly refers to the ethical duties of the profession. References to the HippocraticOath are often heard. Many modern problems, from assisted suicide to accessible health care, raise questions about the traditional ethics of medicine and (...) the medical profession. However, few know what the traditional ethics are and how they came into being. This book provides a brief tour of the complex story of medical ethics evolved over centuries in both Western and Eastern culture. It sets this story in the social and cultural contexts in which the work of healing was practiced and suggests that, behind the many different perceptions about the ethical duties of physicians, certain themes appear constantly, and may be relevant to modern debates. The book begins with the Hippocratic medicine of ancient Greece, moves through the Middle Ages, Renaissance and Enlightenment in Europe, and the long history of Indian and Chinese medicine, ending as the problems raised modern medical science and technology challenge the settled ethics of the long tradition. (shrink)
From the HippocraticOath on, deontological codes and other professional self-regulation mechanisms have been used to legitimize and identify professional groups. New technological challenges and, above all, changes in the socioeconomic environment require adaptable codes which can respond to new demands. We assume that ethical codes for professionals should not simply focus on regulative functions, but must also consider ideological and educative functions. Any adaptations should take into account both contents (values, norms and recommendations) and the drafting process (...) itself. (shrink)
It always struck me as interesting that a major tenet in the HippocraticOath, an oath that in various forms has been taken by many physicians around the world for almost 2,000 years, is simply, "Do no harm to your patients." The positive injunctions are few; but that negative injunction jumps right out at you. Why would it even be necessary to ask a future physician to promise something like that? It is as if Hippocrates understood that, (...) of all the power a physician has, much of it enormously positive and beneficial, one item needs most to be checked: the almost unprecedented capacity to harm a person, legally. (shrink)
The precautionary principle is frequently referred to in various momentous decisions affecting human health and the environment. It has been invoked in contexts as diverse as chemicals regulation, regulation of genetically modified organisms, and research into life-extending therapies. Precaution is not an unknown concept in medical contexts. One author even cites the HippocraticOath as a parallel to the precautionary principle. a.
I will apply dietetic measures for the benefit of the sick according to my ability and judgment. I will keep them from harm and injustice. The HippocraticOath formulates the ethical principle of medical beneficence and its negative formulation non-maleficence. It relates medical ethics to the traditional end of medicine, that is, to heal, or to make whole. First and foremost, the duty of the physician is to heal, and if this is not possible at least not to (...) harm. This ethical principle helped to establish the necessary trust between physician and patient in the pre-modern era when most of medicine was nothing more than a set of placebos (Shapiro 1960). Beginning in the seventeenth-century, Western .. (shrink)
Many enhancement technologies are distributed by healthcare professionals—by physicians—who are held to the HippocraticOath and the goals of medicine. While the ethics of enhancement has been widely discussed with regard to the social justice, humanism, morals and normative values of these interventions, their place in medicine has not attracted a great deal of attention. This paper investigates the potential for enhancement technologies to fulfil the goals of medicine, arguing that they play a role in promoting the health (...) of individuals, and thus, an unavoidable place in medicine. It also warns of potential dangers, suggesting a set of guidelines to initiate conversations regarding the role and responsibilities of physicians practising in an era of enhancement. (shrink)
Ethical guidelines for conducting clinical trials have historically been based on a perceived therapeutic obligation to treat and benefit the patient-participants. The origins of this ethical framework can be traced to the Hippocraticoath originally written to guide doctors in caring for their patients, where the overriding moral obligation of doctors is strictly to do what is best for the individual patient, irrespective of other social considerations. In contrast, although medicine focuses on the health of the person, public (...) health is concerned with the health of the entire population, and thus, public health ethics is founded on the societal responsibility to protect and promote the health of the population as a whole. From a public health perspective, research ethics should be guided by giving due consideration to the risks and benefits to society in addition to the individual research participants. On the basis of a duty to protect the population as a whole, a fiduciary obligation to realise the social value of the research and the moral responsibility to distribute the benefits and burdens of research fairly across society, how a public health perspective on research ethics results in fundamental re-assessments of the proper course of action for two salient topical issues in research ethics is shown: stopping trials early for reasons of efficacy and the conduct of research on less expensive yet less effective interventions. (shrink)
Background The aim of the study is to assess the knowledge, attitudes and practices among healthcare professionals in Barbados in relation to healthcare ethics and law in an attempt to assist in guiding their professional conduct and aid in curriculum development. Methods A self-administered structured questionnaire about knowledge of healthcare ethics, law and the role of an Ethics Committee in the healthcare system was devised, tested and distributed to all levels of staff at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Barbados (a (...) tertiary care teaching hospital) during April and May 2003. Results The paper analyses 159 responses from doctors and nurses comprising junior doctors, consultants, staff nurses and sisters-in-charge. The frequency with which the respondents encountered ethical or legal problems varied widely from 'daily' to 'yearly'. 52% of senior medical staff and 20% of senior nursing staff knew little of the law pertinent to their work. 11% of the doctors did not know the contents of the HippocraticOath whilst a quarter of nurses did not know the Nurses Code. Nuremberg Code and Helsinki Code were known only to a few individuals. 29% of doctors and 37% of nurses had no knowledge of an existing hospital ethics committee. Physicians had a stronger opinion than nurses regarding practice of ethics such as adherence to patients' wishes, confidentiality, paternalism, consent for procedures and treating violent/non-compliant patients (p = 0.01) Conclusion The study highlights the need to identify professionals in the workforce who appear to be indifferent to ethical and legal issues, to devise means to sensitize them to these issues and appropriately training them. (shrink)
Taking the critical turn is one of the main tools of the humanities and inculcates an intellectual discipline that prevents ossification of thinking about issues and of organizational policies in clinical ethics. The articles in this "Clinical Ethics" number of the Journal take the critical turn with respect to cherished ways of thinking in Western clinical ethics, life extension, the clinical determination of death, physicians' duty to treat even at personal risk, clinical ethics at the interface of research ethics, and (...) the pertinence of the HippocraticOath to clinical ethics. These articles challenge clinical ethicists to inculcate the intellectual discipline of the critical turn into everyday practice and continuous quality enhancement of clinical ethics. (shrink)
The widespread emergence of innumerable technologies within health care has complicated the choices facing caregivers and their patients. The escalation of knowledge and technical innovation has been accompanied by an erosion of moral and ethical consensus among health providers that is reflected in the abandonment of the HippocraticOath as the immutable bedrock of medical ethics. Ethical conflicts arise when the values of health professionals collide with the expressed wishes of patients or the dictates of regulatory bodies and (...) administrators. Increasing attempts by groups outside of the medical profession to limit freedom of conscience for health providers has raised concern and consternation among some health professionals. The personal and professional impact of health professionals surrendering freedom of conscience and participating in actions they deem malevolent or unethical has not been adequately studied and may not be inconsequential when considering the recognized impact of other circumstances of coerced complicity. We argue that the distinction between the two ways that freedom of conscience is exercised (avoiding a perceived evil and seeking a perceived good) provides a rational basis for a principled limitation of this fundamental freedom. (shrink)
This paper examines confidentiality and its nature and analyses the guidelines laid down by the HippocraticOath as well as the British and World Medical Associations for maintaining such confidentiality between doctor and patient. There are exceptions to practically any code of rules and this is true also for confidentiality. Some of these exceptions make it appear that very little is confidential. The three values implicit in confidentiality would seem to be privacy, confidence and secrecy. Each of these (...) values is discussed and developed in this paper. In conclusion, the question is suggested that maybe in the face of death, doctor and patient need to re-examine the pre-suppositions of privacy, confidence and secrecy on which the confidential relationship is based. (shrink)
While ancient in origin, the principle, "Do No Harm," continues to occupy a prominent place in many present-day medical ethics codes. Of all the versions of the principle two distinct varieties can be distinguished. These parallel two ethical traditions. This paper develops the contrast between the two versions, relates them to the two ongoing ethical traditions, and then uses insights from contemporary ethical theory to demonstrate the significance of one of the versions. Finally it suggests some contemporary applications for a (...) medical ethic and medical education. Keywords: HippocraticOath, harm, intention, agency CiteULike Connotea Del.icio.us What's this? (shrink)
From the HippocraticOath on, deontological codes and other professional self-regulation mechanisms have been used to legitimize and identify professional groups. New technological challenges and, above all, changes in the socioeconomic environment require adaptable codes which can respond to new demands.We assume that ethical codes for professionals should not simply focus on regulative functions, but must also consider ideological and educative functions. Any adaptations should take into account both contents (values, norms and recommendations) and the drafting process itself.In (...) this article we propose a process for developing a professional ethical code for an official professional association (Colegio Oficial de Ingenieros Industriales de Valencia (COIIV) starting from the philosophical assumptions of discursive ethics but adapting them to critical hermeneutics.Our proposal is based on the Integrity Approach rather than the Compliance Approach. A process aiming to achieve an effective ethical document that fulfils regulative and ideological functions requires a participative, dialogical and reflexive methodology. This process must respond to moral exigencies and demands for efficiency and professional effectiveness.In addition to the methodological proposal we present our experience of producing an ethical code for the industrial engineers’ association in Valencia (Spain) where this methodology was applied, and we evaluate the detected problems and future potential. (shrink)
From over 2000 years ago the ideal expressed in the HippocraticOath has encouraged doctors never knowingly to do harm: primum non nocere. Over 25 years ago the management writer Peter Drucker proposed it as the basis of a management ethic, ‘the right rule for the ethics managers need, the ethics of responsibility’. He argued then that the rule had wide scope encompassing for instance executive compensation, management rhetoric and the management of business impacts. In 2000 the United (...) Nations Global Compact embodied a Principle 7 enjoining ‘a precautionary approach to environmental challenges’ as defined in Principle 15 of the 1992 Rio Declaration. But what can such precautionary injunctions mean in practice? And what of conflicts with other values? Robin Attfield lays out the key questions he argues need to be asked about the Precautionary Principle if it is to be taken seriously and acted upon soundly. His focus is on the management of vulnerable resources - specifically planetary ecosystems - with whose management knowingly or otherwise we are all concerned. (shrink)
Burns, C. R. Introduction.--Antiquity: Margalith, D. The ideal doctor as depicted in ancient Hebrew writings. Edelstein, L. The Hippocraticoath. Edelstein, L. The professional ethics of the Greek physician. Michler, M. Medical ethics in Hippocratic bone surgery. Maas, P. L., Oliver, J. H. An ancient poem on the duties of a physician.--The medieval era: Levey, M. Medical deontology in ninth century Islam. Bar-Sela, A., Hoff, H. E. Isaac Israeli's fifty admonitions of the physicians. Rosner, F. The physician's (...) prayer attributed to Moses Maimonides. MacKinney, L. C. Medical ethics and etiquette in the early middle ages, the persistence of Hippocratic ideals. Welborn, M. C. The long tradition, a study in fourteenth-century medical deontology.--The modern period: Larkey, S. V. The Hippocraticoath in Elizabethan England. Pleadwell, F. L. Samuel Sorbiere and his Advice to a young physician. Clark, G. Bernard Mandeville, M.D., and eighteenth-century ethics. Burns, C. R. Thomas Percival, medical ethics or medical jurisprudence? Burns, C. R. Reciprocity in the development of Anglo-American medical ethics, 1765-1865. Williams, T. F. Cabot, Peabody, and the care of the patient. (shrink)
While there has been much discussion about the role of oaths in medical ethics, this discussion has previously centered on the content of various oaths. Little conceptual work has been done to clarify what an oath is, or to show how an oath differs from a promise or a code of ethics, or to explore what general role oath-taking by physicians might play in medical ethics. Oaths, like promises, are performative utterances. But oaths are generally characterized by (...) their greater moral weight compared with promises, their public character, their validation by transcendent appeal, the involvement of the personhood of the swearer, the prescription of consequences for failure to uphold their contents, the generality of the scope of their contents, the prolonged time frame of the commitment, the fact that their moral force remains binding in spite of failures on the part of those to whom the swearer makes the commitment, and the fact that interpersonal fidelity is the moral hallmark of the commitment of the swearer. Oaths are also distinct from codes. Codes are collections of specific moral rules. Codes are not performative utterances. They do not commit future intentions and do not involve the personhood of the one enjoined by the code. Recent attacks on oath-taking by physicians are discussed. Two arguments in favor of oath-taking are presented: one on the basis of the nature of medicine as a profession and the other on the basis of rule-utilitarian considerations. No attempt is made to define which oath a physician should swear. (shrink)
Summary The model underlying the hippocratic humoral theory, as well as the corresponding part of hippocratic aetiology is reconstructed in precise, structuralist terms. Stress is laid on the presentation of the model, historical and philological derivations are suppressed. The global net structure of humoral theory in which the different diseases are described as specializations of the basic model is worked out, and the particular metatheoretical features of âtherapeuticalâ theories, as contrasted to âdescriptiveâ theories, are exemplified and stated in (...) general. (shrink)
"I do solemnly swear" -- Economics in practice : what do economists do? -- Ethical challenges confronting the applied economist -- Historical perspective : "don't predict the interest rate!" -- Interpreting the silence : the economic case against professional economic ethics -- The economic case against professional economic ethics : a rebuttal -- The positive case for professional economic ethics -- Learning from others : ethical thought across the professions -- Economists as social engineers : an ethical evaluation of market (...) liberalization in the south and transition economies -- Global economic crisis and the crisis in economics -- On sleeping too well : in search of professional economic ethics -- Training the "ethical economist" -- The economist's oath. (shrink)
As a result of this case study, additional questions arise. These can be cast into at least three groups. The first concerns the development of critical empiricism in the ancient world: a topic of much interest in our own century, expecially with regard to the work of the logical empiricists. Many of the same arguments are present in the ancient world and were hotly debated from the Hippocratic writers through and beyond Galen. Some of the ways in which Galen (...) reacts to Hippocratic and Aristotelian influences may, in part, be explained by Galen's own posture as a so-called Dogmatist. Both the Empirics and the Methodists offered alternative viewpoints on the place, role, and limits of observation in biomedical research. Though I have written on this relationship in the Hippocratic writers and Aristotle,44 it remains to be discussed in detailed fashion just how critical empiricism acted in Galen's evaluation of biomedical problems (aporiai). Contrasts between Galen and his predecessors might further clarify this issue both as a historical question and as it affects the construction of biological theory.The second area explores the question of how one develops comprehensive theories. In this respect Galen follows Aristotle's methodology rather closely. Both look at what theories are available to them and then systematically review the problems raised, at the same time refuting what they find inadequate. This is an effective strategy, for it permits utilizing the best features of earlier work to fashion a new whole. Indeed, Galen himself seems to attribute his use of such a methodology to his “ecletic” medical and philosophical training. Both Aristotle and Galen endeavor to employ techniques of theory integration. That is, they use aspects of theories they have already espoused to deal with new problems. This suggests the emergence of formal, logical coherence as an element in theory evaluation. The obvious drawback is that it can cause mistakes in one area to be repeated and ingrained in other areas. Such errors, because they are at the very core of an explanatory framework, may take centuries to correct. Future studies may shed light on how theory integration acts both in a positive and in a negative way.Finally, this case study offers a glimpse of how science progresses. Even though the advances in medical technology were comparatively minor, there is a great deal more sophistication in the conception theoreis of Aristotle and Galen than was present in the Hippocratic writers. Some of this (in Galen's case) had to do with increased anatomic and physiological knowledge, but most, I believe, is due to the evolution of scientific knowledge. If further work were done specifically on this question, it might document more completely how scientific knowledge on a specific topic evolves. The mode of advancement is primarily through gradual refinement of the types of questions being asked by these ancient authors, and the ramifications of their answers.Ancient theories of conception offer a fine case study in the history and philosophy of how a theory begins the develops. I have tried to suggest some interrelationships among the more important theories, as they focused upon Aristotle's own conception theory. There has been renewed interest in such cases in recent years. It is my hope that future specialized studies will increase our knowledge of method and practice in these important case studies and thereby augment our understanding of the genesis and application of biological theories. (shrink)
Many readers will share the judgment that, having made an oath, there is something morally worse about consequently performing the immoral action, such as embezzling, that one swore not to do. Why would it be worse? To answer this question, I consider three moral-theoretic accounts of why it is “extra” wrong to violate oaths not to perform wrong actions, with special attention paid to those made in economic contexts. Specifically, I address what the moral theories of utilitarianism, Kantianism and (...) a new communitarian-relational principle entail for the wrongness of oath-breaking. I argue that the former two do not adequately capture why it is extra wrong to perform an immoral action that one swore not to do, but that the latter appeal to a morality of communal relationship offers a promising account. (shrink)
: This study investigates the changes in the body image that occurred in the crucial cultural transformations that took place at the outset of Western rational thought in the transition from Archaic age to Classical age Greece. It does so from the delimited perspective that is offered by the group of medical writings known as the Hippocratic Corpus (specifically works on prognostics, dietetics, and surgery) that were contemporary with the early Classical age, but it also suggests parallel changes occurring (...) in other cultural realms. The body images for that period are found to be diverse but yet all colored by the general transition from a ritual and praxis based experience of the world to one tempered by contemplative and dogmatic speculation. General observations are also made upon the use of the "body image" as a means of historical analysis in periods of cultural transformation. (shrink)
This article examines the ‘Oath of Allegiance’ of an international semisecret society, Young Europe. The society’s programme defined the struggle to create democratic republics throughout Europe in the first half of the 19th century. Its founding documents and charter in 1834 represented radical shifts in both the ideas and practice of European republicans on the principles of liberty and equality, and in the conceptualization of a trinity that linked republican patriotism to both nationalism and internationalism. The society also offered (...) new understandings of both fraternity and humanity. The doctrine combined the working of international and national organizations as the blueprint with which to construct republics. The emergence of Young Europe signified a change in both the ideological language and in the core values of republicans. It also represented a break in its organizational principles; in its conception of the nation and the nation’s role within the republic; and in the appreciation of the international role of republicans. (shrink)
Ethical oaths for bankers, economists and managers are increasingly seen as successful instruments to ensure more responsible behaviour. In this article, we reflect on the nature of ethical oaths. Based on John Austin's speech act theory and the work of Emmanuel Levinas, we introduce a performative concept of ethical oaths that is characterised by (1) the existential self-performative of the one I want to be, which is (2) demanded by the public context. Because ethical oaths are (3) structurally threatened by (...) the possibility of infelicity or failure, we stress (4) the behavioural aspect of ethical oaths in economics and business. We conclude that a performative concept of ethical oaths can contribute to more ethical behaviour in economics and business, because the performative involves action and behaviour. At the same time, it becomes clear that a radical new perspective on the nature, function and limitation of oaths is needed. (shrink)
Galenunayn ibn Isq (d. c. 873) is of crucial importance because it preserves large sections now lost in Greek, and because it helped to establish an Arabic clinical literature. The present contribution investigate the translation of this seminal work into Syriac and Arabic. It provides a first survey of the manuscript tradition, and explores how physicians in the medieval Muslim world drew on it both to teach medicine to students, and to develop a framework for their own clinical research.