Resourcifying Human Bodies -- Kant and Bioethics
Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy: A European Journal 2005; 8(1): 19-27
This essay roughly sketches two major conceptions of autonomy in contemporary bioethics that promote the resourcification of human body parts: (1) a narrow conception of autonomy as self- determination; and (2) the conception of autonomy as dissociated from human dignity. In this paper I will argue that, on the one hand, these two conceptions are very different from that found in the modern European tradition of philosophical inquiry, because bioethics has concentrated on an external account of patient's self-determination and on dissociating dignity from internal human nature. However, on the other hand, they are consistent with more recent European philosophy. In this more recent tradition, human dignity has gradually been dissociated from contextual values, and human subjectivity has been dissociated from objectivity and absolutized as never to be objectified. In the concluding part, I will give a speculative sketch in which Kant's internal inquiry of maxim of ends, causality and end, and dignity as iirreplaceability is recombined with bioethics' externalized one and used to support an extended human resourcification.
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