Resilience beyond reductionism: ethical and social dimensions of an emerging concept in the neurosciences

Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy 24 (1):55-63 (2020)
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Since a number of years, popular and scientific interest in resilience is rapidly increasing. More recently, also neuroscientific research in resilience and the associated neurobiological findings is gaining more attention. Some of these neuroscientific findings might open up new measures to foster personal resilience, ranging from magnetic stimulation to pharmaceutical interventions and awareness-based techniques. Therefore, bioethics should also take a closer look at resilience and resilience research, which are today philosophically under-theorized. In this paper, we analyze different conceptualizations of resilience and argue that especially one-sided understandings of resilience which dismiss social and cultural contexts of personal resilience do pose social and ethical problems. On a social level such unbalanced views on resilience could hide and thereby stabilize structural social injustices, and on an individual level it might even lead to an aggravation of stress-related mental health problems by overexerting the individual. Furthermore, some forms of fostering resilience could be a latent form of human enhancement and trigger similar criticisms.



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Practical Ethics.Peter Singer - 1979 - New York: Cambridge University Press. Edited by Susan J. Armstrong & Richard George Botzler.
Practical Ethics.Peter Singer - 1979 - Philosophy 56 (216):267-268.
The Case Against Perfection.Michael J. Sandel - 2004 - The Atlantic (April):1–11.

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