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Methods in Bioethics
The Way We Reason Now
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Main description:

This volume collects essays by the late bioethicist John D. Arras, best known for his many contributions to the methodology of bioethics. Always open-minded, Arras did not favor a single theory or view of method in bioethics, eschewing labels such as "casuist" or "pragmatist." He was conversant with the main philosophical methods that have dominated bioethics since the field's origin, including principlism, Gert's common morality, the "new casuistry", pragmatism, and others.
Rather than defending any particular theory or method, though, Arras rigorously investigated those methods - and how they both expand and limit our field of vision. He sought, in the tradition of Kierkegaard, to make life "harder" for bioethics, by uncovering challenges to the field's analytical methods.
His favorite mode of exploration and expression was the thoughtful essay. The essays collected here reveal him thinking through new problems and new possibilities, and they invariably yield fresh and valuable insights.


ISBN-13: 9780190665982
Publisher: Oxford University Press (OUP USA)
Publication date: November, 2017
Pages: 248
Weight: 571g
Availability: Not yet published
Subcategories: Epidemiology, Ethics, General Issues


Average Rating 

It was a delight to read Methods in Bioethics: The Way We Reason Now. John Arras's reflections on how to do bioethics are uncommonly wise and incisive. Readers will find themselves engaged with a first-class mind, with a scholar who read so widely and perceptively, and a person with a wonderfully wry and self-deprecating sense of humor. It is vintage John Arras all the way - a very fine vintage to be sure. Methods in Bioethics is a superb road map to the various ethical approaches that have contributed to the field of bioethics. The goal is not to determine which theory is correct - Arras is deeply skeptical about this possibility - but rather to understand the important, though partial, insights of each. It is the most sophisticated analysis of the history and significance of bioethics, and Arras's rapier wit and lively style make it the most engaging as well. With distinctive wit and ruthless analytical clarity, Arras offers an incisive critique of popular approaches to methodology in bioethics. This is clear-headed, analytical philosophy at its finest and anyone interested in methods of bioethics ignores this work at their peril."