Authors
Stephen Napier
Villanova University
Abstract
It is common in bioethical discussion to present thought experiments or cases in order to construct an argument. Some thought experiments are quite illuminating, and ethical theorizing will often appeal at some point to one’s intuitions. But there are cases in which thought experiments are useless or do not contribute to the argument. This article considers cases presented in the context of stem cell research that are destructive of human embryos. I argue that certain popular cases that are meant to motivate the view that such research is permissible either are dialectically useless or do not contribute to the argument. By dialectically useless, I mean that the cases analyzed here yield intuitions in people who are already committed to the permissibility of such research. I end with some reflections that challenge the reliability of our intuitions on applied ethics issues by suggesting that thought experiments in this field are dubious from the start. My argument should not be read to support moral skepticism but to urge that our inquiries on applied issues requires certain intellectual virtues.
Keywords Catholic Tradition  Contemporary Philosophy  History of Philosophy
Categories (categorize this paper)
ISBN(s) 0019-0365
DOI 10.5840/ipq201612653
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 62,363
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Stem Cell Research: An Ethical Evaluation of Policy Options.Nikolaus Knoepffler - 2004 - Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal 14 (1):55-74.
Stem Cell Research: Science, Ethics and the Popular Media.Karori Mbũgua - 2007 - Eubios Journal of Asian and International Bioethics 17 (1):5-10.
Moral Complicity in Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell Research.Mark T. Brown - 2009 - Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal 19 (1):pp. 1-22.
Advance Directives to Protect Embryos?K. Devolder - 2005 - Journal of Medical Ethics 31 (9):497-498.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2016-01-28

Total views
21 ( #512,018 of 2,445,396 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
5 ( #149,181 of 2,445,396 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes