In Elizabeth Victor & Laura K. Guidry-Grimes (eds.), Applying Nonideal Theory to Bioethics: Living and Dying in a Nonideal World. Springer. pp. 3-15 (2021)

Laura Guidry-Grimes
Georgetown University
Elizabeth Victor
William Paterson University of New Jersey
At its core, nonideal theory is an attempt not only to address issues of justice, but it also provides us a lens through which we can articulate our limitations as knowers and reasoners, the ways in which we are relational in our autonomy needs, and the ways in which we are deeply dependent upon institutions and social supports for our agency and identities. Bringing this lens into bioethics means shifting our orientation in our scholarship and our practice. This shift will have implications in how bioethical evaluations are taken up and played out in policies, institutional structures that inform the clinical encounter, and avenues for protection and redress for marginalized and vulnerable populations. It will also allow theorists and researchers to interrogate the status quo, revealing how many standard policies and practices are embedded in social and institutional arrangements that privilege the few or are built on exclusionary norms. The path forward, and the aim of this volume, is to extend the scholarship of nonideal approaches to bioethics. The volume is divided into two main parts. The first is focused on philosophically unpacking nonideal theory as an approach in bioethics. The second offers applications of nonideal theory in environmental ethics, healthcare ethics, public heath ethics, and genetic ethics. Our collective aim is to expand what has been considered nonideal bioethics. The history of nonideal theory has as its point of reference a turn away from Rawlsian justice, but the future of nonideal theory is ripe with possibilities.
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DOI 10.1007/978-3-030-72503-7_1
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