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From Basic Bioethics


Ancient Themes in Contemporary Issues

Edited by Mark G. Kuczewski and Ronald Polansky





In recent years, bioethicists have worked on government commissions, on ethics committees in hospitals and nursing homes, and as bedside consultants. Because ethical knowledge is based on experience within the field rather than on universal theoretical propositions, it is open to criticism for its lack of theoretical foundation. Once in the clinic, however, ethicists noted the extent to which medical practice itself combined the certitudes of science with craft forms of knowledge. In an effort to forge a middle path between pure science and applied medical and ethical knowledge, bioethicists turned to the work of classical philosophy, especially the theme of a practical wisdom that entails a variable knowledge of particulars. In this book contemporary bioethicists and scholars of ancient philosophy explore the import of classical ethics on such pressing bioethical concerns as managed care, euthanasia, suicide, and abortion. Although the contributors write within the limits of their own disciplines, through cross references and counterarguments they engage in fruitful dialogue.


$14.75 S | £11.99 ISBN: 9780262112543 320 pp. | 9 in x 6 in


$27.00 X | £21.00 ISBN: 9780262611770 320 pp. | 9 in x 6 in


Mark G. Kuczewski

Mark G. Kuczewski is Director of Graduate Studies at the Center for the Study of Bioethics, Medical College of Wisconsin.

Ronald Polansky

Ronald Polansky is Professor of Philosophy at Duquesne University, Pennsylvania.


  • This book contributes a great deal to the philosophical foundations of bioethics by linking that modern field to classical traditions in philosophy. A must read for those in bioethics.

    Patricia Werhane

    Professor of Ethics, University of Virginia

  • This is a wonderful book. It is a powerful tonic for all those who are tired of reading superficial treatments of classical philosophical texts in discussions of contemporary bioethical issues. I recommend Bioethics highly.

    Daniel P. Sulmasy

    Sisters of Charity Chair in Ethics and Chair of The John J. Conley Department of Ethics, Saint Vincents Hospital and Medical Center