Are philosophers sceptical of bioethics?

A junior bioethics scholar has vented her frustration about her job search in the blog. Dr Keisha Ray says that many philosophers do not even regards bioethics as a real discipline.

During the interview process … I have experienced the expected: Troublesome resistance from philosophers who do not see the value of bioethics and the value of students receiving a bioethics education. I have experienced the implication that bioethics is not philosophy or the very direct “well, your work is not really philosophy.” … Some of this discouragement even came in the form of the direct and frank phrase of “Why would you want to study bioethics? That’s not philosophy. Why don’t you pick a real philosophical specialization?”

She responds with an interesting description of the field to which many bioethicists would subscribe:

“As a branch of applied ethics, bioethics is the application of reasoning and critical thinking skills, ethical thought, and argumentative skills to aspects of life that are essential to who we are as individuals and to who we are as communities. Everyone at some point in his or her life has or will experience the topics that a good bioethics education makes us think, reason, and argue about. Bioethics is inescapable—it forces us to confront questions about what is the good life. And for those students who choose not to pursue a career in medicine or bioethics, the skills learned in a bioethics course are applicable to any career choice or to many of the circumstances that we find ourselves in during life’s obstacles.”

This article is published by Michael Cook and under a Creative Commons licence. You may republish it or translate it free of charge with attribution for non-commercial purposes following these guidelines. If you teach at a university we ask that your department make a donation. Commercial media must contact us for permission and fees. Some articles on this site are published under different terms.

comments powered by Disqus

 Search BioEdge

 Subscribe to BioEdge newsletter
rss Subscribe to BioEdge RSS feed

 Recent Posts
International surrogacy goes pear-shaped
2 Aug 2020
Belgium’s euthanasia law under fire in European Court of Human Rights  
2 Aug 2020
Of bikinis and vascular surgeons
2 Aug 2020
North Carolina has a bit part in the dark history of genocide 
2 Aug 2020
Should governments sweeten the vaccine pill with incentives?   
2 Aug 2020

Home | About Us | Contact Us | Privacy Policy | rss RSS | Archive | Bookmark and Share |

BioEdge - New Media Foundation Ltd © 2004 - 2019