Uncertain Bioethics : Moral Risk and Human Dignity book cover
1st Edition

Uncertain Bioethics
Moral Risk and Human Dignity




ISBN 9781032090993
Published June 30, 2021 by Routledge
286 Pages

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Book Description



Bioethics is a field of inquiry and as such is fundamentally an epistemic discipline. Knowing how we make moral judgments can bring into relief why certain arguments on various bioethical issues appear plausible to one side and obviously false to the other. Uncertain Bioethics makes a significant and distinctive contribution to the bioethics literature by culling the insights from contemporary moral psychology to highlight the epistemic pitfalls and distorting influences on our apprehension of value. Stephen Napier also incorporates research from epistemology addressing pragmatic encroachment and the significance of peer disagreement to justify what he refers to as epistemic diffidence when one is considering harming or killing human beings. Napier extends these developments to the traditional bioethical notion of dignity and argues that beliefs subject to epistemic diffidence should not be acted upon. He proceeds to apply this framework to traditional and developing issues in bioethics including abortion, stem cell research, euthanasia, decision-making for patients in a minimally conscious state, and risky research on competent human subjects.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1. Introduction



Part I. Foundational Matters: The Perception of Value, Persons, and Human Worth



Chapter 2. Moral Inquiry and the Apprehension of Value



Chapter 3. Epistemic Justification, Peer Disagreement, and Practical Interest



Chapter 4. Persons and Human Beings



Chapter 5. Human Dignity



Part II. Dignity as the Beginning and End of Life



Chapter 6. Abortion



Chapter 7. Human Embryonic Destructive Stem Cell Research



Chapter 8. Euthanasia



Part III. Balancing Dignity and Autonomy



Chapter 9. Decision-Making for Patients with Suppressed Consciousness



Chapter 10. Decision-Making for Patients with Apparent Competency



Chapter 11. Risky Research on Competent Adults: Justice and Autonomy



Chapter 12: Conclusion

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Author(s)

Biography

Stephen Napier is an associate professor of philosophy at Villanova University. His previous publications include Virtue Epistemology: Motivation and Knowledge, and he edited Persons, Moral Worth, and Embryos. His interests include epistemology, bioethics, and the metaphysics of persons.

Reviews

"Stephen Napier argues with verve and subtlety for a cautious and restrained approach to acts of killing in bioethics; central to his argument is the difficulty of being sure that active interventions are permissible. This book intriguingly combines insights from a wide variety of different recent philosophical literatures to offer an important and interesting contribution to numerous current debates." Sophie-Grace Chappell is Professor of Philosophy at Open University, UK