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On method and resolution in philosophical bioethics

Coggon, John (2011) On method and resolution in philosophical bioethics Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics, 20, (2), pp. 159-163. (doi:10.1017/S0963180110000800). (PMID:21435290).

Record type: Article


A large tranche of contemporary bioethical inquiry is self-consciously focused on purpose and methodology. Bioethics is a field of disparate disciplines, and it is not always clear what role the philosopher plays in the wider scheme. Even when philosophical reflections can, in principle, find application in the real world (and often, in bioethics, there is too heady a degree of abstraction for this), there can be difficulty in finding sound resolution between the competing perspectives. Where fundamentals differ, we face apparent deadlock, with theorists seemingly able only to talk across each other. Perspectives on this vary. For example, some will argue that the philosopher’s role is purely reflective and need have no practical resonance whatsoever. Others may say that philosophers are not equipped to engage with empirical questions or, when they do, they do so on flawed understandings of “the real world”; bad science or science fiction replaces brute fact and emotional, social, and empirical reality. Some may seek to strike a balance by trying to engage the questions within a political framing, allowing both for normative and real-world concerns

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Published date: April 2011
Organisations: Southampton Law School


Local EPrints ID: 343831
ISSN: 0963-1801
PURE UUID: 5b48200c-0fb2-4ce4-99a0-5a23aa7e93ec

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Date deposited: 11 Oct 2012 13:26
Last modified: 18 Jul 2017 05:20

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Author: John Coggon

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