A Theory of International Bioethics: Multiculturalism, Postmodernism, and the Bankruptcy of Fundamentalism
Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal. 1998 Sep; 8(3): 201-231.
The first of two articles analyzing the justifiability of international bioethical codes and of cross-cultural moral judgments reviews "moral fundamentalism," the theory that cross-cultural moral judgments and international bioethical codes are justified by certain "basic" or "fundamental" moral priniciples that are universally accepted in all cultures and eras. Initially propounded by the judges at the 1947 Nuremberg Tribunal, moral fundamentalism has become the received justification of international bioethics, and of cross-temporal and cross-cultural moral judgments. Yet today we are said to live in a multicultural and postmodern world. This article assesses the challenges that multiculturalism and postmodernism pose to fundamentalism and concludes that these challenges render the position philosophically untenable, thereby undermining the received conception of the foundations of international bioethics. The second article, which follows, offers an alternative model -- a model of negotiated moral order -- as a viable justification for international bioethics and for transcultural and transtemporal moral judgments.
Accountability; Advisory Committees; Animal Experimentation; Anthropology; Autonomy; Bioethics; Codes of Ethics; Communitarianism; Compensation; Consensus; Culpability; Cultural Pluralism; Consent; Dehumanization; Ethical Relativism; Ethical Theory; Ethics; Eugenics; Evaluation; Fraud; Guidelines; Historical Aspects; Human Experimentation; Human Rights; Informed Consent; International Aspects; Investigators; Misconduct; Morality; National Socialism; Philosophy; Physicians; Postmodernism; Principle-Based Ethics; Privacy; Public Policy; Radiation; Regulation; Research; Research Subjects; Retrospective Moral Judgment; Rights; Scientific Misconduct; Slavery; Socialism; Standards; Terminology; Values; War;
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