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This collection of essays, commissioned by the President’s Council on Bioethics, explores a fundamental concept crucial to today’s discourse in law and ethics in general and in bioethics in particular. Since its formation in 2001, the council has frequently used the term “human dignity” in its discussions and reports. In this volume scholars from the fields of philosophy, medicine and medical ethics, law, political science, and public policy address the issue of what the concept of “human dignity” entails and its proper role in bioethical controversies. Human Dignity and Bioethics is an attempt to clarify a controversial concept, one that is a critical component in the decisions of policymakers.

Contributors: Adam Schulman, F. Daniel Davis, Daniel C. Dennett, Robert P. Kraynak, Alfonso Gómez-Lobo, Patricia S. Churchland, Gilbert Meilaender, Holmes Rolston III, Charles Rubin, Nick Bostrom, Richard John Neuhaus, Peter Augustine Lawler, Diana Schaub, Leon R. Kass, Susan M. Shell, Martha Nussbaum, David Gelernter, Patrick Lee, Robert P. George, Paul Weithman, Daniel P. Sulmasy, O.F.M., Rebecca Dresser, and Edmund D. Pellegrino.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780268038922
Publisher: University of Notre Dame Press
Publication date: 05/15/2009
Series: Notre Dame Studies in Medical Ethics
Edition description: 1st Edition
Pages: 576
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.40(d)

About the Author

Edmund D. Pellegrino, M.D., is professor emeritus of medicine and medical ethics and adjunct professor of philosophy at Georgetown University.

Adam Schulman is Tutor at St. John’s College, Annapolis, and senior research consultant for the President’s Council on Bioethics.

Thomas W. Merrill is a research analyst for the President’s Council on Bioethics.

Table of Contents

Preface: The Persisting Relevance of Dignity Edmund D. Pellegrino Adam Schulman Thomas W. Merrill ix


1 Bioethics and the Question of Human Dignity Adam Schulman 3

2 Human Dignity and Respect for Persons: A Historical Perspective on Public Bioethics F. Daniel Davis 19

Part I Dignity and Modern Science

3 How to Protect Human Dignity from Science Daniel C. Dennett 39

4 Human Dignity and the Mystery of the Human Soul Robert P. Kraynak 61

Commentary on Kraynak Daniel C. Dennett 83

Commentary on Dennett Robert P. Kraynak 89

Commentary on Dennett Alfonso Gómez-Lobo 95

5 Human Dignity from a Neurophilosophical Perspective Patricia S. Churchland 99

Commentary on Churchland Gilbert Meilaender 122

Part II Human Nature and the Future of Man

6 Human Uniqueness and Human Dignity: Persons in Nature and the Nature of Persons Holmes Rolston III 129

7 Human Dignity and the Future of Man Charles Rubin 155

8 Dignity and Enhancement Nick Bostrom 173

Commentary on Bostrom Charles Rubin 207

Part III Dignity and Modern Culture

9 Human Dignity and Public Discourse Richard John Neuhaus 215

10 Modern and American Dignity Peter Augustine Lawler 229

11 Human Dignity: Exploring and Explicating the Council's Vision Gilbert Meilaender 253

Commentary on Meilaender and Dennett Peter Augustine Lawler 278

Commentary on Meilaender and Lawler Diana Schaub 284

Part IV The Sources and Meaning of Dignity

12 Defending Human Dignity Leon R. Kass 297

13 Kant's Concept of Human Dignity as a Resource for Bioethics Susan M. Shell 333

14 Human Dignity and Political Entitlements Martha Nussbaum 351

Commentary on Nussbaum, Shell, and Kass DianaSchaub 381

15 The Irreducibly Religious Character of Human Dignity David Gelernter 387

Part V Theories of Human Dignity

16 The Nature and Basis of Human Dignity Patrick Lee Robert P. George 409

17 Two Arguments from Human Dignity Paul Weithman 435

18 Dignity and Bioethics: History, Theory, and Selected Applications Daniel P. Sulmasy 469

Part VI Human Dignity and the Practice of Medicine

19 Human Dignity and the Seriously Ill Patient Rebecca Dresser 505

20 The Lived Experience of Human Dignity Edmund D. Pellegrino 513

Contributors 541

Index 545

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