Experimental Philosophical Bioethics and Normative Inference

Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 42 (3-4):91-111 (2021)
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Abstract

This paper explores an emerging sub-field of both empirical bioethics and experimental philosophy, which has been called “experimental philosophical bioethics” (bioxphi). As an empirical discipline, bioxphi adopts the methods of experimental moral psychology and cognitive science; it does so to make sense of the eliciting factors and underlying cognitive processes that shape people’s moral judgments, particularly about real-world matters of bioethical concern. Yet, as a normative discipline situated within the broader field of bioethics, it also aims to contribute to substantive ethical questions about what should be done in a given context. What are some of the ways in which this aim has been pursued? In this paper, we employ a case study approach to examine and critically evaluate four strategies from the recent literature by which scholars in bioxphi have leveraged empirical data in the service of normative arguments.

Author Profiles

Brian D. Earp
Oxford University
Ivar Hannikainen
Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio de Janeiro
Jonathan Lewis
University of Manchester
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