Naturalized Bioethics: Toward Responsible Knowing and Practice

Naturalized Bioethics: Toward Responsible Knowing and Practice



Naturalized Bioethics represents a revolutionary change in how health care ethics is practiced. It calls for bioethicists to give up their dependence on utilitarianism and other ideal moral theories and instead to move toward a self-reflexive, socially inquisitive, politically critical, and inclusive ethics. Wary of idealizations that bypass social realities, the naturalism in ethics that is developed in this volume is empirically nourished and acutely aware that ethical theory is the practice of particular people in particular times, places, cultures, and professional environments. The essays in this collection examine the variety of embodied experiences of individual people. They situate the bioethicist within the clinical or research context, take seriously the web of relationships in which all human beings are nested, and explore a number of the many different kinds of power relations that inform health care encounters. Naturalized Bioethics aims to help bioethicists, doctors, nurses, allied health professionals, disability studies scholars, medical researchers, and other health professionals address the ethical issues surrounding health care.



Publication Date



Cambridge University Press


New York




Table of Contents

Part I. Responsible Knowing:

1. Moral bodies: epistemologies of embodiment / Jackie Leach Scully

2. Choosing surgical birth: desire and the nature of bioethical advice / Raymond DeVries, Lisa Kane Low, and Elizabeth Bogdan-Lovis

3. Holding on to Edmund: the relational work of identity Hilde / Lindemann

4. Caring, minimal autonomy, and the limits of liberalism / Agnieszka Jaworska

5. Narrative, complexity, and context: autonomy as an epistemic value / Naomi Scheman

6. Toward a naturalized narrative bioethics / Tod Chambers

Part II. Responsible Practice:

7. Motivating health: empathy and the normative activity of coping / Jodi Halpern and Margaret Olivia Little

8. Economies of hope in a period of transition: parents in the time leading up to their child's liver transplantation / Marre Knibbe and Marian Verkerk

9. Consent as a grant of autonomy: a care ethics reader of informed consent / Joan Tronto

10. Professional loving care and the bearable heaviness of being / Annelies van Heijst

11. Ideal theory bioethics and the exclusion of people with severe cognitive disabilities / Eva Feder Kittay

12. Epilogue: naturalized bioethics in practice / Marian Verkerk and Hilde Lindemann

Naturalized Bioethics: Toward Responsible Knowing and Practice