Ajob Empirical Bioethics 11 (1):34-36 (2020)

Jonathan Lewis
Dublin City University
Recent developments in experimental philosophy (‘x-phi’) suggest that there is a new way in which the empirical and normative dimensions of bioethics can be brought into successful dialogue with one another. It revolves around conceptual analysis – though not the kind of conceptual analysis one might perform in an armchair. Following Édouard Machery, this is Conceptual Analysis Rebooted. In short, morally-pertinent medical concepts like ‘treatment’, ‘euthanasia’ and ‘sanctity of life’ can each have several meanings that underwrite inferences with different moral implications. X-phi shows us that an experimental approach to conceptual analysis can make explicit the implicit structures that underpin our thinking about such concepts. By presenting concrete examples, I aim to offer a glimpse of an empirically-grounded, practically-normative 'bioxphi' that demystifies and distinguishes medical concepts, assesses the normative inferences these concepts dispose us to draw and revises those inferences that are deficient.
Keywords experimental philosophy  experimental bioethics  conceptual analysis  psychology  medical concepts  empirical bioethics  philosophical bioethics
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