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The Role of Philosophers in Bioethics

New publication from Joona Räsänen in the American Journal of Bioethics


Blumenthal-Barby et al. (forthcoming) present a nuanced and convincing case for the continued presence of moral and political philosophers in bioethics. We agree with the authors that philosophers should have a role in bioethical inquiry. However, we partly disagree on what that role should be. We assess the case taking our clues from a concern the authors mention – and another one that they do not directly address. The concern Blumenthal-Barby et al. discuss is that public decision makers and research funders may see philosophers as too relativistic, not giving authoritative answers to real-life ethical questions. The concern they do not directly address, although they probably should, is that the same decision makers and funders might also legitimately worry about philosophers not being relativistic enough, claiming universal appeal to theoretical solutions that are still contested.

Read the full article here: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/15265161.2022.2134485?scroll=top&needAccess=true&role=tab