Ambiguities and aporias in the concept of nature within the bioethical debate

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Abstract

Bioethics is one of the domains where the concept of nature is most intensely discussed. This fact is somewhat paradoxical, especially if we take into account that, upon its creation, bioethics has sought to remove philosophical aspects from the issues it has raised. To illustrate the centrality of the concept of nature in bioethics, it suffices to analyse the way the discussion has changed in recent decades: a) initially, it was obvious that all human beings are rational beings and that this fact endowed them with an exclusive status conferring certain rights. Based on this evidence, bioethics attempted to determine these rights and the duties arising from these in the domain of Biomedicine; b) presently, however, the way in which we should deal with rational beings, their rights and our obligations, seems evident. The discussion will now consider the subjects bearing this status: is this an exclusive status for human beings? Does it extend to them all?

The text deals with the concept of nature which was adopted in the early bioethical literature; it explores the way it determined this change in the focus of the debate and identifies some of its most significant implications.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)235-249
Number of pages15
JournalForum. Supplement to Acta Philosophica
Volume3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2017

Keywords

  • Nature
  • Bioethic

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