Bioethics and deliberative democracy: Five warnings from Hobbes

Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 31 (3):235 – 250 (2006)

Abstract

Thomas Hobbes is one of the most ardent and thoroughgoing opponents of participatory democracy among Western political philosophers. Though Hobbes 's alternative to participatory democracy - assent by subjects to rule by an absolute sovereign - no longer constitutes a viable political alternative for Westerners, his critique of participatory democracy is a potentially valuable source of insight about its liabilities. This essay elaborates five theses from Hobbes that stand as cogent warnings to those who embrace participatory democracy, especially those advocating for deliberative democracy based on a rational consensus model. In light of these warnings, the author suggests an alternative, modus vivendi approach to deliberative democracy that would radically alter the current practice of bioethics

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References found in this work

Principles of Biomedical Ethics.Tom L. Beauchamp - 1979 - Oxford University Press.
Anarchy, State, and Utopia.Robert Nozick - 1974 - New York: Basic Books.
Morals by Agreement.David P. Gauthier - 1986 - Oxford University Press.
Two Treatises of Government.John Locke - 1988 - Cambridge University Press.

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