Human Dignity in Bioethics brings together a collection of essays that rigorously examine the concept of human dignity from its metaphysical foundations to its polemical deployment in bioethical controversies. The volume falls into three parts, beginning with meta-level perspectives and moving to concrete applications.
Part 1 analyzes human dignity through a worldview lens, exploring the source and meaning of human dignity from naturalist, postmodernist, Protestant, and Catholic vantages, respectively, letting each side explain and defend its own conception. Part 2 moves from metaphysical moorings to key areas of macro-level influence: international politics, American law, and biological science. These chapters examine the legitimacy of the concept of dignity in documents by international political bodies, the role of dignity in American jurisprudence, and the implications—and challenges—for dignity posed by Darwinism. Part 3 shifts from macro-level topics to concrete applications by examining the rhetoric of human dignity in specific controversies: embryonic stem cell research, abortion, human-animal chimeras, euthanasia and palliative care, psychotropic drugs, and assisted reproductive technologies. Each chapter analyzes the rhetorical use of ‘human dignity’ by opposing camps, assessing the utility of the concept and whether a different concept or approach can be a more productive means of framing or guiding the debate.
Table of Contents
Setting the Stage 1. Human Dignity in the Throes? An Introduction to the Volume Stephen Dilley and Nathan J. Palpant 2. Human Exceptionalism and the Imago Dei: The tradition of Human Dignity David H. Calhoun Part 1: The Source and Meaning of Human Dignity in Worldview Context 3. A Catholic Perspective on Human Dignity Christopher Tollefsen 4. A Protestant Perspective on Human Dignity Paul Copan 5. Postmodern Perspectives on Human Dignity Mark Dietrich Tschaepe 6. Dignity for Skeptics: A Naturalistic View of Human Dignity Richard McClelland Part 2: The Politics, Law, and Science of Human Dignity 7. International Policy and a Universal Conception of Human Dignity Roberto Andorno 8. Human Dignity and the Law O. Carter Snead 9. Prospects for Human Dignity after Darwin David H. Calhoun Part 3: The Rhetoric of Human Dignity in Bioethics 10. Human Dignity and the New Reproductive Technologies Audrey R. Chapman 11. The Language of Human Dignity in the Abortion Debate Scott Rae 12. Human Dignity and the Debate over Early Human Embryos Nathan J. Palpant and Suzanne Holland 13. Human Dignity in End of Life Issues: From Palliative Care to Euthanasia Thomas R. McCormick 14. The Evolving Bioethical Landscape of Human-Animal Chimeras John Loike 15. Psychotropic Drugs and the Brain: A Neurological Perspective on Human Dignity William P. Cheshire Jr.
Stephen Dilley is Associate Professor of Philosophy at St. Edward’s University, USA.
Nathan J. Palpant is Senior Research Fellow at the University of Washington’s Institute, USA.