Philosophical Acts of Wonder in Bioethics

Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 49 (3):221-232 (2024)
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Two sources of possible disagreement in bioethics may be associated with pessimism about what bioethics can achieve. First, pluralism implies that bioethics engages with interlocutors who hold divergent moral beliefs. Pessimists might believe that these disagreements significantly limit the extent to which bioethics can provide normatively robust guidance in relevant areas. Second, the interdisciplinary nature of bioethics suggests that interlocutors may hold divergent views on the nature of bioethics itself—particularly its practicality. Pessimists may suppose that interdisciplinary disagreements could frustrate the goals of bioethics. In this article, I explore how wonder may alleviate the concerns of the first group of pessimists regarding problems associated with pluralism, provided that we are willing to accept some interdisciplinary frustrations. Then, I invite readers of this issue of The Journal of Medicine & Philosophy to test these intuitions by considering the role of wonder in these articles.



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Alexander Zhang
Saint Louis University

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The Line-drawing Problem in Disease Definition.Wendy A. Rogers & Mary Jean Walker - 2017 - Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 42 (4):405-423.
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The Organism as a Whole in an Analysis of Death.Andrew P. Huang & James L. Bernat - 2019 - Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 44 (6):712-731.

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