Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 35 (5):353-367 (2014)

Three arguments of Habermas against “liberal eugenics”—the arguments from consent, responsibility, and instrumentalization—are critically evaluated and explicated in the light of his discourse ethics and social theory. It is argued that these arguments move partly at a too deep level and are in part too individualistic and psychological to sufficiently counter the liberal position that he sets out to criticize. This is also due to limitations that prevent discourse ethics from connecting effectively to the moral and political domains, e.g., through a discussion of justice. In spite of these weaknesses, Habermas’s thesis is of major relevance and brings up neglected issues in the discussion about eugenic reproductive practices. This relevance has not been duly recognized in bioethics, largely because of the depth of his speculations of philosophical anthropology. It is argued that Habermas’s notion of the colonization of the lifeworld could provide the analytical tool needed to build that bridge to the moral and political domain
Keywords Habermas  Liberal eugenics  Discourse ethics  Colonization of lifeworld  Consent  Reproduction  Rationality
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DOI 10.1007/s11017-014-9308-2
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References found in this work BETA

Just Health Care.Norman Daniels - 1985 - Cambridge University Press.
The Future of Human Nature.Jurgen Habermas - 2004 - Philosophy 79 (309):483-486.

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Citations of this work BETA

Toward Critical Bioethics.Vilhjálmur Árnason - 2015 - Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics 24 (2):154-164.
Habermas and the Question of Bioethics.Hille Haker - 2019 - European Journal for Philosophy of Religion 11 (4):61-86.

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