William Harvey , MA, PhD, LLB, Professor Emeritus, Department of Philosophy, University of Toronto spoke about “Naturalization in Clinical Ethics” at the Joint Centre for Bioethics on February 4, 2015.
Abstract: The “naturalization project” is considered to have begun with Quine’s naturalization of epistemology (1969) and the view that philosophy is continuous with science. Metaphysics had been naturalized in the work of Logical Positivists in the 1930s, more recently by physicalists or materialists and now in texts explicitly labelled naturalized metaphysics. Naturalized bioethics is the next step in the project. However, the seminar is not about the naturalization project as a whole. Our discussion will focus on the naturalization of clinical ethics because the primary subject matter of clinical ethics is clearly persons (patients, their family and clinicians). The reductionism in epistemology, metaphysics and value theory is exemplified in the biomedical model of medical reasoning. Hence, we are discussing the reductionism that grounds a naturalized clinical ethics and its attempts to account for concepts definitive of persons (e.g., mind, agency and normativity).
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