Hot Topics: Philosophy & Ethics

Blog Posts (23)

November 17, 2015

What Should Clinicians and Bioethicists Tolerate?

by J.S. Blumenthal-Barby

Last week I attended a talk by German philosopher Rainer Forst on “Toleration and Democracy”. Professor Forst, a student of Habarmas, was named “the most important political philosopher of his generation” in 2012.…

November 10, 2015

Bioethics: The Revolution is Over

by Craig Klugman, Ph.D.

At the recent 17th Annual Meeting of the American Society for Bioethics & Humanities, the association honored Baruch Brody with the Lifetime Achievement Award.…

September 14, 2015

The Age of Contractualism in Bioethics?

by J.S. Blumenthal-Barby, Ph.D.

Various ethical theories underlie approaches to resolving bioethical dilemmas. Consequentialist theories hold that the moral evaluation of an action is based solely upon the goodness or badness of its consequences for all of the relevant parties.…

September 8, 2015

What are you doing for black philosophy?

by Keisha Ray, Ph.D.

“What are you doing for black philosophy?” This was the only line in a Facebook message that I received a few days ago from someone I did not know.…

July 16, 2015

On the Origins of Research Ethics: China and the West

by Craig Klugman, Ph.D

When I was a graduate student, I was fortunate to be one of five students chosen by the China Medical Board to attend an international bioethics conference between the U.S.…

June 15, 2015

Welcoming the Concept of Alief to Medical Ethics

Welcoming the Concept of Alief to Medical Ethics

 by J.S. Blumenthal-Barby, Ph.D.

Philosopher Tamar Gendler has introduced (circa 2008) a new concept in the philosophical literature that could be of interest to medical ethicists.…

May 11, 2015

The Impossibility of Regret: Implications for Medical Decision Making Disability Ethics

by J.S. Blumenthal-Barby, Ph.D.

In his recent book, “The View From Here: On Affirmation, Attachment and the Limits of Regret,” philosopher R.…

March 30, 2015

Head Transplants, Personal Identity, and Derek Parfit

by J.S. Blumenthal-Barby, Ph.D.

In a recent article in New Scientist (, Italian neurologist Sergio Canavero claims that the first human head transplant could occur as early as 2017.…

March 13, 2015

A Tribute to John Arras

by Steven Miles, MD

It is hard to believe that John Arras has died. John was one of the younger creators of modern bioethics.…

February 23, 2015

Lying, Bullshitting, and Atul Gawande

by J.S. Blumenthal-Barby, Ph.D.

Atul Gawande: “I came on board after she got diagnosed with that second cancer. And in my mind I was thinking ‘I wouldn’t offer this surgery because the lung cancer is going to take her life.’ And yet I didn’t feel I could say that to you.

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Published Articles (4)

American Journal of Bioethics: Volume 15 Issue 10 - Oct 2015

Do Patients Want to Participate in Decisions About Their Own Medical Care? John D. Lantos

American Journal of Bioethics: Volume 14 Issue 9 - Sep 2014

Addressing Dual Agency: Getting Specific About the Expectations of Professionalism Jon C. Tilburt

American Journal of Bioethics: Volume 14 Issue 4 - Apr 2014

Egalitarianism and Moral Bioenhancement Robert Sparrow

American Journal of Bioethics: Volume 14 Issue 2 - Feb 2014

Transferring Morality to Human–Nonhuman Chimeras Monika Piotrowska

News (10)

June 11, 2014 2:06 pm

Politics in Your DNA

How the realities of biology complicate the “personhood movement.”

April 1, 2014 5:18 pm

Spite Is Good. Spite Works.

The “Iliad” may be a giant of Western literature, yet its plot hinges on a human impulse normally thought petty: spite.

July 3, 2013 2:52 pm

Would A Human Head Transplant Be Ethical?

A couple professors sound off about the ethics of transplanting one human’s head onto another human’s body.

June 24, 2013 1:15 pm

Morality study finds conservatives show a ‘general insensitivity to consequences’

When it comes to topics like abortion or assisted suicide, there seems to be no common ground between conservatives and liberals.

June 20, 2013 1:39 pm

Edmund D. Pellegrino, preeminent bioethicist, dies at 92

Edmund D. Pellegrino, a physician and former Catholic University president who was a leading figure in bioethics, a field of inquiry that has pushed doctors, patients and society at large to confront essential quandaries of caring for the sick, died June 13 at his home in Bethesda.

May 23, 2013 2:25 pm

Ethicists' behavior not more moral, study finds

Do ethicists engage in better moral behavior than other professors? The answer is no.

February 22, 2013 12:17 pm

Are Babies Born Good? (Smithsonian Mag)

Arber Tasimi is a 23-year-old researcher at Yale University’s Infant Cognition Center, where he studies the moral inclinations of babies—how the littlest children understand right and wrong, before language and culture exert their deep influence.

April 20, 2012 12:14 pm

In honor of Holocaust Remembrance Day: the misuse and abuse of the Nazi analogy in modern bioethics (Scientific American)

What does invoking Nazism accomplish? I decided to pose the question to bioethicist Arthur Caplan, who has written a lot about the subject and who was kind enough to lend his insights to me last week. “Some use it as a kind of rhetorical attention grabber,” he said. “In bioethical debate, it is a discussion ender – it shuts off debate. It’s evil incarnate, end of story.”

October 18, 2009 12:00 am

Fake but Aristotelian?

October 14, 2009 12:00 am

The Swine Flu Vaccine:Option or Moral Duty?