Transparenz in der Biomedizin und die Frage nach der „Selbstgestaltung des Menschen“
Transparency in Biomedicine and the Issue of “Human Self-design”
Contemporary bioethics is challenged by modern biotechnological possibilities of “self- design”. If human traits, so far conceived as unchangeable, can be modified, it is necessary to redraw moral demarcation lines reasonably. Whereas most studies in ethics investigate the prohibition or permission of certain biotech- niques (e. g. Neuro-Enhancement), the following paper focuses on empirical presuppositions of the debate. Biomedical information, especially about risks and adverse effects, has strong impacts on the outcome of ethical considerations. In biomedical research, however, “negative results” are often withheld or kept secret, thus leading to unreliable information. Considering the dramatic consequences for users of biotechnologies, “transparency” is introduced as an important regulating factor for interaction between experts and the public. With its criteria of trueness, completeness, comprehensibility and appropriateness, transparency demands the accessibility and dissemination of relevant information.
„Wie Du mir so ich Dir“
Moralische Anerkennung als intersubjektiver Prozess //
Moral Recognition as an Intersubjective Process
Human beings live in a social world. They communicate, develop ideas, or more generally, they share meaning. Whenever they do so, a special relationship between these subjects is established: intersubjectivity. Following approaches from Husserl to Habermas, intersubjective relations are grounded within the lifeworld (“Lebenswelt”). Moral terms, a subclass of shared meanings, therefore, are also grounded in the “Lebenswelt”. Understanding, e. g., the moral term “person” as part of the “Lebenswelt” elucidates some of the theoretical problems connected with this concept. “Person” entails two aspects, a basic and a gradual one, which are here proposed to be grounded in different levels of the “Lebenswelt”. As a consequence, they entail different forms of approval and address different parts of our social interactions. However, we need both aspects to engage in society. The assignment to different levels of the “Lebenswelt” thus demonstrates how the two aspects of the term “Person” complement each other.
Daniel C. Henrich
Wieso soll ich?
Zum Begriff der praktischen Rationalität im Spätwerk von Philippa Foot
“Why Should I?” On the Concept of Practical Rationality in Philippa Foot’s Late Work: The following article deals with the concept of rationality in Philippa Foot’s late ethical naturalism. The main question is whether Foot succeeds in reconstructing the validity of unconditional “should” or, as Foot calls it, final “should”-statements, based on the assumptions of her ethical naturalism and the corresponding concept of rationality. In the first part I shall introduce Foot’s “natural goodness”-naturalism with particular reference to Michael Thompson’s “natural history account”. The second part considers her concept of rationality. In the first step it will be argued that, for Foot, our actions are rational only if they are motivated by the recognition of particular considerations. These considerations must be focused on the promotion of human well-being or flourishing if they are to be called right reasons. In the second step I argue that it is now possible to explain what it means when Foot claims that the requirements of practical rationality constitute a final “should”. My main objection, which will be developed in the third part, is that Foot’s account of practical rationality cannot explain what moral obligation means. Moreover, her naturalistic account fails to explain what a non-hypothetical moral requirement could be, because the final “should” necessarily implies a concept of obligation. To explain this claim I also refer to John McDowell’s argumentation in Two Sorts of Naturalism.
Menschsein als moralischer Maßstab der biotechnologischen Menschengestaltung
On Being Human as Moral Criterium for Human Self-design: The paper starts with the intuition that we are morally constrained in designing human beings by the means of biomedical techniques even if the biotechnical actions do not conflict with the moral respect for other persons. From the perspective of moral theories that are based on the idea of cooperation and respect among persons, such an intuition seems to pass beyond what can count as morally legitimate. However, there are reasons to question the moral theories which exclude this intuition from the space of morality. One way to follow this line of argument is to examine the action-theoretical presuppositions of cooperation-based accounts. Since they rely on a dualistic conception of human action, I spell out a non-dualistic alternative that follows Ryle’s notion of “intelligent capacities”. The paper illustrates how this re-arrangement on the action-theoretical level leads to a conception of morality that, to a certain extent, comprises the considered moral intuition.
Katrin Esther Lörch-Merkle
Zur materialen Wertethik Nicolai Hartmanns im Zeitalter des Human Enhancements
On Nicolai Hartmann’s Material Ethics of Value in the Age of Human Enhancement: Due to the accelerating progress of the new biotechnologies, one can state a growing desideratum in society as a whole towards a value-based orientation. The apparently boundless opportunities of self-design by means of human enhancement techniques evoke incertitude about our self-image as human persons. Based on the consideration that the reflection of judicial and social framework conditions alone is no adequate foundation for an assessment of human enhancement, one can infer that there is a need to re-negotiate the nature of the human person, including the underpinning values. The present paper seeks to show that Nicolai Hartmann’s material ethics of value, with its conception of personality and comprehensive analysis of values (specifically autonomy and fairness), can deliver a precious contribution to contemporary bioethical issues, particularly with regard to assessing the fields and methods of human enhancement.
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