Diversity and Deliberation: Bioethics Commissions and Moral Reasoning

Journal of Religious Ethics 34 (2):311 - 337 (2006)
  Copy   BIBTEX


This article considers the sort of diversity in perspective appropriate for a presidential commission on bioethics, and by implication, high-level governmental commissions on ethics more generally. It takes as its point of comparison the respective reports on human cloning produced by the National Bioethics Advisory Commission, appointed by President Bill Clinton, and George W. Bush's President's Council on Bioethics, under the leadership of its original chair, Leon Kass. I argue that the Clinton Commission Report exemplifies forensic diversity (the type of diversity between contesting parties in a legal case), while the Kass Council Report exemplifies academic diversity (the diversity found in a medieval disputatio). Drawing upon Thomas Aquinas, I argue that the type of diversity most appropriate for such advisory bodies is deliberative diversity, which facilitates the President's process of taking counsel. After considering their respective charges, I suggest that neither the Clinton Commission nor the Kass Council possessed an adequate degree of deliberative diversity for their respective tasks



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 91,998

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

The Advantages of Moral Diversity.Amélie Oksenberg Rorty - 1992 - Social Philosophy and Policy 9 (2):38.
Worldwide deliberation and public use of reason online.May Thorseth - 2006 - Ethics and Information Technology 8 (4):243-252.
Consensus by aggregation and deliberation.Richard Bradley - 2007 - Hommage a Wlodek: Philosophical Papers Dedicated to Wlodek Rabinowicz.
Good Will: Cosmopolitan education as a site for deliberation.Klas Roth - 2011 - Educational Philosophy and Theory 43 (3):298-312.
Voluntarism and Transparent Deliberation.Asbjørn Steglich-Petersen - 2006 - South African Journal of Philosophy 25 (2):171-176.
Norms of epistemic diversity.Miriam Solomon - 2006 - Episteme 3 (1-2):23-36.


Added to PP

31 (#516,413)

6 months
6 (#522,028)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Citations of this work

Three ways to politicize bioethics.Mark B. Brown - 2009 - American Journal of Bioethics 9 (2):43 – 54.
The president's council on bioethics—requiescat in pace.Ronald M. Green - 2010 - Journal of Religious Ethics 38 (2):197-218.

Add more citations

References found in this work

Principles of biomedical ethics.Tom L. Beauchamp - 1989 - New York: Oxford University Press. Edited by James F. Childress.
The Morality of Freedom.Joseph Raz - 1986 - Oxford, GB: Oxford University Press.
The birth of bioethics.Albert R. Jonsen - 1998 - New York: Oxford University Press.
The moral limits of the criminal law.Joel Feinberg - 1984 - New York: Oxford University Press.
The moral limits of the criminal law.Joel Feinberg - 1984 - New York,USA: Oxford University Press.

View all 17 references / Add more references