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An anthology dedicated to the works of John Harris

From Reason to Practice in Bioethics: An Anthology Dedicated to the Works of John Harris brings together original contributions from some of the world’s leading scholars in the field of bioethics. With a particular focus on, and critical engagement with, the influential work of Professor John Harris, the book provides a detailed exploration of some of the most interesting and challenging philosophical and practical questions raised in bioethics. The book’s broad range of chapters make it a useful resource for students, scholars, and practitioners interested in the field of bioethics, and the relationship between philosophical and practical ethics. The range of contributors and topics afford the book a wide international interest.

John Coggon, Sarah Chan, Søren Holm, and Thomasine Kushner

’ introduction, and John Harris’s chapter on ‘Thought and Memory’, the book is split into three further parts. Part II examines the very grounding and formulation of moral argument. Practical reasoning in philosophical bioethics relies on the quality of foundational ethical premises, and the quality of analysis given these. Discussion of such questions brings in perspectives from ethics, but also epistemology, metaphysics and other areas of philosophical and social inquiry. The controversial questions entailed in formulating basic moral arguments are particularly acute in

in From reason to practice in bioethics
Simon Woods

valuable in the sense described, whatever they are otherwise like.2 In this chapter I shall develop a number of thoughts to explore why Harris’s stipulation of person is both abstract and idealised to the point that it excludes what we have reason to consider as falling within our moral concern. The claims I will make about the limitations of Harris’s work could be (and have been) applied to other proponents of a certain kind of philosophical bioethics3 who all claim rather too much for what such approaches can achieve. Despite protestations that margins of doubt will

in From reason to practice in bioethics