"The overall aim of this book is to understand the character of moral progress, so that making moral progress may become more systematic and secure, less chancy and less bloody. Drawing on three historical examples - the abolition of chattel slavery, the expansion of opportunities for women, and the increasing acceptance of same-sex love - it asks how those changes were brought about, and seeks a methodology for streamlining the kinds of developments that occurred. Moral progress is conceived as pragmatic (...) progress, progress from rather than progress to, achieved by overcoming the problems and limits of the current situation. Two kinds of problems are distinguished: problems of exclusion, found when the complaints of some people are ignored; and problems of false consciousness, present when the oppressed adopt judgments from the ambient society and do not protest their condition. The proposed methodology advocates procedures for listening to voiced complaints and for systematically reviewing the way in which particular self-conceptions, ideals and identities are taken to be appropriate for various groups of people. Through outlining a picture of moral practice, at both the individual and the societal levels, the book seeks to orient moral philosophy away from metaethical questions of realism and towards moral methodology"--. (shrink)
The world we live in is unjust. Preventable deprivation and suffering shape the lives of many people, while others enjoy advantages and privileges aplenty. Cosmopolitan responsibility addresses the moral responsibilities of privileged individuals to take action in the face of global structural injustice. Individuals are called upon to complement institutional efforts to respond to global challenges, such as climate change, unfair global trade, or world poverty. Committed to an ideal of relational equality among all human beings, the book discusses the (...) impact of individual action, the challenge of special obligations, and the possibility of moral overdemandingness in order to lay the ground for an action-guiding ethos of cosmopolitan responsibility. This thought-provoking book will be of interest to any reflective reader concerned about justice and responsibilities in a globalised world. Jan-Christoph Heilinger is a moral and political philosopher. He teaches at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität, Munich, Germany, and at Ecole normale supérieure, Port-au-Prince, Haiti. (shrink)
This paper explores the role and resolution of disagreements between physicians and their diagnostic AI-based decision support systems. With an ever-growing number of applications for these independently operating diagnostic tools, it becomes less and less clear what a physician ought to do in case their diagnosis is in faultless conflict with the results of the DSS. The consequences of such uncertainty can ultimately lead to effects detrimental to the intended purpose of such machines, e.g. by shifting the burden of proof (...) towards a physician. Thus, we require normative clarity for integrating these machines without affecting established, trusted, and relied upon workflows. In reconstructing different causes of conflicts between physicians and their AI-based tools—inspired by the approach of “meaningful human control” over autonomous systems and the challenges to resolve them—we will delineate normative conditions for “meaningful disagreements”. These incorporate the potential of DSS to take on more tasks and outline how the moral responsibility of a physician can be preserved in an increasingly automated clinical work environment. (shrink)
The paper presents an ethical analysis and constructive critique of the current practice of AI ethics. It identifies conceptual substantive and procedural challenges and it outlines strategies to address them. The strategies include countering the hype and understanding AI as ubiquitous infrastructure including neglected issues of ethics and justice such as structural background injustices into the scope of AI ethics and making the procedures and fora of AI ethics more inclusive and better informed with regard to philosophical ethics. These measures (...) integrate the perspective of AI justice into AI ethics, strengthening its capacity to provide comprehensive normative orientation and guidance for the development and use of AI that actually improves human lives and living together. (shrink)
The increased presence of medical AI in clinical use raises the ethical question which standard of explainability is required for an acceptable and responsible implementation of AI-based applications in medical contexts. In this paper, we elaborate on the emerging debate surrounding the standards of explainability for medical AI. For this, we first distinguish several goods explainability is usually considered to contribute to the use of AI in general, and medical AI in specific. Second, we propose to understand the value of (...) explainability relative to other available norms of explainable decision-making. Third, in pointing out that we usually accept heuristics and uses of bounded rationality for medical decision-making by physicians, we argue that the explainability of medical decisions should not be measured against an idealized diagnostic process, but according to practical considerations. We conclude, fourth, to resolve the issue of explainability-standards by relocating the issue to the AI’s certifiability and interpretability. (shrink)
Ideas about freedom and related concepts like autonomy and self-determination play a prominent role in the moral debate about human enhancement interventions. However, there is not a single understanding of freedom available, and arguments referring to freedom are simultaneously used to argue both for and against enhancement interventions. This gives rise to misunderstandings and polemical arguments. The paper attempts to disentangle the different distinguishable concepts, classifies them and shows how they relate to one another in order to allow for a (...) more structured and clearer debate. It concludes in identifying the individual underpinnings and the social conditions of choice and decision-making as particularly salient dimensions of freedom in the ethical debate about human enhancement. (shrink)
Advances in biotechnology have enabled interventions in the human organism that promise to increase physical and intellectual perform over the 'normal' or 'natural' boundary, as well as make possible targeted changes in human experience. The author investigates ethical debates surrounding these issues with a particular focus on arguments that employ a normative concept of a person in order to establish that particular interventions are permissible or impermissible. He develops an integrated model that 'maps' of the concept of a human being, (...) thereby bringing the normative elements of the concept to the fore. Nevertheless, with a view to issues of risk and justice, the author argues that anthropological arguments are only one elements of a comprehensive ethics of enhancement. (shrink)
Both, bioconservatives and bioliberals, should seek a discussion about ideas of human perfection, making explicit their underlying assumptions about what makes for a good human life. This is relevant, because these basic, and often implicit ideas, inform and influence judgements and choices about human enhancement interventions. Both neglect, and polemical but inconsistent use of the complex ideas of perfection are leading to confusion within the ethical debate about human enhancement interventions, that can be avoided by tackling the notion of perfection (...) directly. In the recent debates, bioconservatives have prominently argued against the ‘pursuit of perfection’ by biotechnological means. In the first part of this paper, we show that—paradoxically—bioconservatives themselves explicitly embrace specific conceptions of human perfection and perfectionist assumptions about the good human life in order to argue against the use of enhancement technologies. Yet, we argue that the bioconservative position contains an untenable ambiguity between criticising and endorsing ideas of human perfection. Hence, they stand in need of clarifying their stance on human perfection. In the second part of the paper, we ask whether bioliberals in fact (implicitly) advocate a particular conception of perfection, or whether they are right in holding that they do not, and that discussing perfection is obsolete anyway. We show that bioliberals also rely on a specific idea of human perfection, based on the idea of autonomy. Hence, their denial of the relevance of perfection in the debate is unconvincing and has to be revised. (shrink)
Whatever ethical stance one takes in the debate regarding the ethics of human enhancement, one or more reference points are required to assess its morality. Some have suggested looking at the bioethical notions of safety, justice, and/or autonomy to find such reference points. Others, arguing that those notions are limited with respect to assessing the morality of human enhancement, have turned to human nature, human authenticity, or human dignity as reference points, thereby introducing some perfectionist assumptions into the debate. In (...) this article, we ask which perfectionist assumptions should be used in this debate. After a critique of views that are problematic, we take a positive approach, suggesting some perfectionist elements that can lend guidance to the practice of human enhancement, based on the work of Martha Nussbaum's Capability Approach. We suggest that the central capabilities can be used to define the human aspect of human enhancement and thereby allow a moral evaluation of enhancement interventions. These central capabilities can be maximized harmoniously to postulate what an ideal human would look like. Ultimately, the aim of this article is twofold. First, it seeks to make explicit the perfectionist assumptions found in the debate and eliminate those that are problematic. Second, the paper clarifies an element that is often neglected in the debate about human enhancement, the view of the ideal human towards which human enhancement should strive. Here, we suggest that some central capabilities that are essential for an ideal human being can be maximized harmoniously and can therefore serve as possible reference points to guide human enhancement. (shrink)
Is it necessary to have an ideal of perfection in mind to identify and evaluate true biotechnological human “enhancements”, or can one do without? To answer this question we suggest employing the distinction between ideal and non-ideal theory, found in the debate in political philosophy about theories of justice: the distinctive views about whether one needs an idea of a perfectly just society or not when it comes to assessing the current situation and recommending steps to increase justice. In this (...) paper we argue that evaluating human enhancements from a non-ideal perspective has some serious shortcomings, which can be avoided when endorsing an ideal approach. Our argument starts from a definition of human enhancement as improvement, which can be understood in two ways. The first approach is backward-looking and assesses improvements with regard to a status quo ante. The second, a forward-looking approach, evaluates improvements with regard to their proximity to a goal or according to an ideal. After outlining the limitations of an exclusively backward-looking view, we answer possible objections against a forward-looking view. Ultimately, we argue that the human enhancement debate would lack some important moral insights if a forward-looking view of improvement is not taken into consideration. (shrink)
Asgary and Smith (2013) identify an important challenge: the difficult position of physicians caught between the obligation to treat every human being with the same professional rigor, and their feelings of responsibility toward the state and its judicial decisions on asylum requests. The authors show that in some cases this conflict leads to a tendency to "sacrifice their medical responsibilities". The authors' core demand is that health care workers should be independent of the state and judiciary systems, and thus prioritize (...) the interests of the patient. We agree entirely with the authors, that well-performed documenting is the only ethically justifiable option and should not be influenced by a feeling of responsibility for contributing to judicial decisions. However, the authors also address the more general, and ethically more challenging, issue of the responsibility of health care workers and the state toward asylum seekers and ask, how much health care provision is appropriate? (shrink)
The notion of “human rights” is widely used in political and moral discussions. The core idea, that all human beings have some inalienable basic rights, is appealing and has an eminently practical function: It allows moral criticism of various wrongs and calls for action in order to prevent them. On the other hand it is unclear what exactly a human right is. Human rights lack a convincing conceptual foundation that would be able to compel the wrong-doer to accept human rights (...) claims as well-founded. Hence the practical function faces theoretical doubts. The present collection takes up the tension between the wide political use of human rights claims and the intellectual skepticism about them. In particular two major issues are identified that call for conceptual clarification in order to better understand human rights claims both in theory and in practice: the question of how to justify human rights and the tension between universal normative claims and particular moralities. (shrink)
Normen beeinflussen die Interaktion von Menschen miteinander und den Umgang von Menschen mit ihrer Umwelt. Was aber ist Normativität? Muss sie unabhängig von Menschen sein, um objektiv sein zu können? Oder entsteht sie erst in Abhängigkeit von Menschen, die sie formulieren oder nach ihr handeln, und ist deshalb nicht objektiv? Oder ist dieser Gegensatz grundsätzlich verfehlt und es bedarf eines anderen Ansatzes, um die Rolle von Normativität in der lebensweltlichen Verständigungspraxis angemessen zu bestimmen? Die Beiträge in vorliegendem Band widmen sich (...) diesem Problemkomplex unter besonderer Berücksichtigung der Bereiche Moral und Wissenschaft. (shrink)
Mit dem Abschluss des Humangenomprojekts und den Fortschritten der Lebenswissenschaften stellt sich die Frage nach dem Selbstverstandnis des Menschen in geradezu dramatischer Weise. DAs neu gewonnene Wissen uber den Menschen muss analysiert, aufgearbeitet und bewertet werden. NIcht nur in den Lebens-, sondern auch in den Kulturwissenschaften stellt sich daher die Frage nach dem Selbstverstandnis des Menschen, das unsere Handlungen und Bewertungen sowie unsere Orientierung in der Welt pragt. DIe Forschenden stehen hierbei jedoch vor der Herausforderung, dass vertraute Intuitionen fragwurdig geworden (...) sind, feststehende Terminologien nicht zur Verfugung stehen und die neuen Erkenntnisse vielleicht grundlegend neue Antworten verlangen. DIe Buchreihe Humanprojekt nimmt diese Herausforderung an. SIe schafft eine Plattform, um einen forschungsrelevanten, dabei aber auch offentlich wirksamen Dialog der Natur-, Sozial- und Geisteswissenschaften uber die vielfaltigen Dimensionen der Frage nach dem Menschen zu fuhren. MOnographien und thematisch fokussierte Sammelbande, verfasst von ausgewiesenen Forscherinnen und Forschern, behandeln umfassend einzelne Elemente einer aktuellen Anthropologie. EIn systematischer uberblick und vielfaltige interdisziplinare Verknupfungen auf dem aktuellsten Stand der Forschung weisen die Bande als Referenzwerke zum jeweiligen Thema aus. AKtuelle Referenzwerke zur Anthropologie Analyse und Bewertung neuester Entwicklungen in den Lebenswissenschaften Erstklassige WissenschaftlerInnen Interdisziplinare Kompetenz Klare Darlegung aller verwendeten Begriffe: ideale Werke fur interessierte Laien Reihenherausgeber: Detlev Ganten, Charité Universitatsmedizin Berlin Volker Gerhardt, Humboldt-Universitat zu Berlin Jan-Christoph Heilinger, Universitat Zurich Julian Nida-Rumelin, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitat Munchen. (shrink)
This volume brings together a range of practical and theoretical perspectives on responsibility in the context of refugee and migrant integration. Addressing one of the major challenges of our time, a diverse group of authors shares insights from history, philosophy, psychology, cultural studies, and from personal experience. The book expands our understanding of the complex challenges and opportunities that are associated with migration and integration, and highlights the important role that individuals can and should play in the process.
The relationship between anthropology as the study of human beings and ethics as the study of what humans ought to do is close and multifaceted. The authors address the following questions: Are moral norms grounded in human nature or are they independent of it? Does ethics take into account human weaknesses or is morality absolute? If people change, do the requirements of morality change as well?
The paper discusses the role of anthropological arguments in contemporary ethics as exemplified in the current debate about biotechnological human enhancement interventions. Anthropological arguments refer to a normative conception of what it means to be a human being and are highly contested in contemporary moral philosophy. Most often they are promoted to constrain the ethically acceptable use of enhancement technologies. I argue that anthropological arguments can play a fundamental and important role in assessing the moral qualities of enhancement interventions, but (...) only if their normative justification and their specific content are properly determined. I offer an account how to do so, based on the contractualist and pragmatist ideal that all those who are affected by a decision of normative relevance should be included in what I call a “quasi-democratic deliberative process”. However, given that they stand in need of wide agreement, anthropological arguments resulting from such a process will be be rather minimal in content. In the exemplary debate about human enhancements they hence turn out to be widely – though not fully – permissive and unable to justify a restrictive stance towards enhancement interventions. (shrink)
Main description: Menschen sind Wesen, die ihr Leben nicht nur führen, sondern es auch erleben. Warum eigentlich? Der Band sucht aus der Perspektive verschiedener natur- und geisteswissenschaftlicher Disziplinen nach Antworten auf diese Frage, in denen das persönliche Erleben und Fühlen als zentrale Komponente unserer Austauschbeziehung mit der sozialen und physischen Umwelt betrachtet wird.
Die Frage des Menschen nach sich selbst beschäftigt Menschen zu allen Zeiten und an allen Orten, so auch in der Gegenwart. Die hier versammelten Wissenschaftler, Politiker, Theologen, Journalisten und Schriftsteller aus verschiedenen kulturellen Traditionen geben in über fünfzig prägnanten Beiträgen ihre persönliche Antwort auf die aufgeworfene Frage. Was ist davon zu erwarten? Sicherlich keine abschließende Lösung der Frage. Doch ist ein schillerndes Spektrum aktueller Positionen zum menschlichen Selbstverständnis entstanden - zugleich kritisch und konstruktiv, pointiert und tiefgründig. Eingeleitet und kommentiert wird (...) die Sammlung mit Beiträgen von Volker Gerhardt, Julian Nida-Rümelin, Detlev Ganten und Jan-Christoph Heilinger. (shrink)
The COVID-19 pandemic is affecting countries across the globe. Only a globally coordinated response, however, will enable the containment of the virus. Responding to a request from policy makers for ethics input for a global resource pledging event as a starting point, this paper outlines normative and procedural principles to inform a coordinated global coronavirus response. Highlighting global connections and specific vulnerabilities from the pandemic, and proposing standards for reasonable and accountable decision-making, the ambition of the paper is two-fold: to (...) raise awareness for the justice dimensions in the global response, and to argue for moving health from the periphery to the centre of philosophical debates about social and global justice. (shrink)