Experimental Philosophical Bioethics

(2020). Experimental Philosophical Bioethics. AJOB Empirical Bioethics, 11(1), 30-33.

7 Pages Posted: 8 Feb 2021

See all articles by Brian Earp

Brian Earp

University of Oxford

Joanna Demaree-Cotton

Yale University

Michael Dunn

University of Oxford

Vilius Dranseika

Independent

Jim Everett

University of Oxford

Adam Feltz

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Gail Geller

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Ivar Hannikainen

Department of Philosophy I

Lynn A. Jansen

Oregon Health and Science University

Joshua Knobe

Yale University

Julia Kolak

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Stephen Latham

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Adam Lerner

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Joshua May

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Mark Mercurio

Yale University - School of Medicine

Emilian Mihailov

University of Bucharest

David Rodríguez-Arias

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Blanca Rodríguez López

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Julian Savulescu

University of Oxford - Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics

Mark Sheehan

Ethox Centre; University of Oxford - Wellcome Centre for Ethics and Humanities

Nina Strohminger

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Jeremy Sugarman

Independent; Johns Hopkins University

Kathryn Tabb

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Kevin Tobia

Georgetown University Law Center; Georgetown University - Department of Philosophy

Date Written: February 25, 2020

Abstract

There is a rich tradition in bioethics of gathering empirical data to inform, supplement, or test the implications of normative ethical analysis. To this end, bioethicists have drawn on diverse methods, including qualitative interviews, focus groups, ethnographic studies, and opinion surveys to advance understanding of key issues in bioethics. In so doing, they have developed strong ties with neighboring disciplines such as anthropology, history, law, and sociology. Collectively, these lines of research have flourished in the broader field of “empirical bioethics” for more than 30 years.

More recently, philosophers from outside the field of bioethics have similarly employed empirical methods — drawn primarily from psychology, the cognitive sciences, economics, and related disciplines — to advance theoretical debates. This approach, which has come to be called experimental philosophy (or x-phi), relies primarily on controlled experiments to interrogate the concepts, intuitions, reasoning, implicit mental processes, and empirical assumptions about the mind that play a role in traditional philosophical arguments. Within the moral domain, for example, experimental philosophy has begun to contribute to long-standing debates about the nature of moral judgment and reasoning; the sources of our moral emotions and biases; the qualities of a good person or a good life; and the psychological basis of moral theory itself.

We believe that experimental philosophical bioethics — or “bioxphi” — can similarly contribute to bioethical scholarship and debate. Here, we introduce this emerging discipline, explain how it is distinct from empirical bioethics more broadly construed, and attempt to characterize how it might advance theory and practice in this area.

Suggested Citation

Earp, Brian and Demaree-Cotton, Joanna and Dunn, Michael and Dranseika, Vilius and Everett, Jim and Feltz, Adam and Geller, Gail and Hannikainen, Ivar and Jansen, Lynn A. and Knobe, Joshua and Kolak, Julia and Latham, Stephen and Lerner, Adam and May, Joshua and Mercurio, Mark and Mihailov, Emilian and Rodríguez-Arias, David and Rodríguez López, Blanca and Savulescu, Julian and Sheehan, Mark and Strohminger, Nina and Sugarman, Jeremy and Tabb, Kathryn and Tobia, Kevin, Experimental Philosophical Bioethics (February 25, 2020). (2020). Experimental Philosophical Bioethics. AJOB Empirical Bioethics, 11(1), 30-33., Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3555469

Brian Earp (Contact Author)

University of Oxford ( email )

Mansfield Road
Oxford, Oxfordshire OX1 4AU
United Kingdom

Joanna Demaree-Cotton

Yale University ( email )

New Haven, CT 06520
United States

Michael Dunn

University of Oxford

Mansfield Road
Oxford, Oxfordshire OX1 4AU
United Kingdom

Vilius Dranseika

Independent ( email )

Jim Everett

University of Oxford ( email )

South Parks Road
Oxford, Oxfordshire OX1 3UD
United Kingdom

Adam Feltz

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Gail Geller

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Ivar Hannikainen

Department of Philosophy I ( email )

Cartuja Campus
Granada, Granada 18071
Spain

Lynn A. Jansen

Oregon Health and Science University ( email )

3181 S.W. Sam Jackson Park Rd.
Portland, OR 97201
United States

Joshua Knobe

Yale University

New Haven, CT 06520
United States

Julia Kolak

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Stephen Latham

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Adam Lerner

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Joshua May

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Mark Mercurio

Yale University - School of Medicine

333 Cedar Street
New Haven, CT 06520-8034
United States

Emilian Mihailov

University of Bucharest ( email )

14 Academiei St.
Bucharest, Bucuresti 70109
Romania

David Rodríguez-Arias

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Blanca Rodríguez López

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Julian Savulescu

University of Oxford - Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics ( email )

10 Merton Street
Oxford OX1 3JP
United Kingdom
+44 1865 276926 (Phone)
+44 1865 276932 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.practicalethics.ox.ac.uk/juliansavulescu.html

Mark Sheehan

Ethox Centre ( email )

Richard Doll Building
Old Road Campus
Oxford, OX3 7LF
United Kingdom

University of Oxford - Wellcome Centre for Ethics and Humanities ( email )

Mansfield Road
Oxford, Oxfordshire OX1 4AU
United Kingdom

Nina Strohminger

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Jeremy Sugarman

Independent ( email )

Johns Hopkins University ( email )

Baltimore, MD 20036-1984
United States

Kathryn Tabb

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Kevin Tobia

Georgetown University Law Center ( email )

600 New Jersey Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20001
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.law.georgetown.edu/faculty/kevin-tobia/

Georgetown University - Department of Philosophy

37th and O Streets, N.W.
Washington, DC 20007
United States

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