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The Methods of Bioethics – An Essay in Meta-Bioethics - Oxford Scholarship Online
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The Methods of Bioethics: An Essay in Meta-Bioethics

John McMillan


Bioethics has made a mistake about its methods, and this has led not only to too much theorizing, but also fragmentation within bioethics. The unhelpful disputes between those who think bioethics needs to be more philosophical, more sociological, more clinical or more empirical, continue. While each of these claims will have some point, they obscure what should be common to all instances of bioethics. Moreover, they provide another phantom that can lead newcomers to bioethics down blind alleyways stalked by bristling sociologists and philosophers. The method common to all bioethics is bringing ... More

Keywords: Bioethics, methods, principles, moral reason, socratic, argument, distinctions, theories

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2018 Print ISBN-13: 9780199603756
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2018 DOI:10.1093/oso/9780199603756.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

John McMillan, author
Professor, University of Otago