Free Labour and Quiet Doubts

Those of us on the academic side of things will almost certainly recognise the situation: you’re sitting in your school’s Teaching & Learning committee, or a staff/student committee meeting, or something like that, and you hear the complaint from students that they should get more contact time.  Academics should spend more time teaching rather than […]

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CFA/ Registration: Postgraduate Bioethics, 2016

“Oi, Iain,” says David.  “Could you put a shout out for the Postgraduate Ethics Conference?” Indeed I could.  The theme is “Bioethics in Theory: Bioethics in Practice”.  Details – including the call for abstracts (the deadline for which is the 8th July) and the registration form – are here. […]

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There’s Argument, and there’s Disputation.

Very well, then: let’s allow that the quality of argument in bioethics – and clinical ethics in particular – is not of high quality.  What should be done about it? That’s a hard question, though it’s predictable and wholly justifiable that it should be asked.  And, to be honest, I don’t know offhand.  I might […]

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Writers Whose Expertise is Deplorably Low

Something popped up on my twitter feed the other day: this document from Oxford’s philosophy department.  (I’m not sure quite what it is.  Brochure?  In-house magazine?  Dunno.  It doesn’t really matter, though.)  In it, there’s a striking passage from Jeff McMahan’s piece on practical ethics: Even though what is variously referred to as ‘practical ethics’ or […]

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Stop What You’re Doing: This is Important.

I’d not realised it, but the latest iteration of the erstwhile Medical Innovation Bill – colloquially known as the Saatchi Bill – is up for debate in the Commons on Friday.  This is it in its latest form: to all intents and purposes, though, it’s the same thing about which I’ve blogged before. In a […]

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On Being a Hypocrite

A piece appeared in The Atlantic a few days ago that aims to prick the perceived bubble of professional ethicists.  In fact, the headline is pretty hostile: THE HYPOCRISY OF PROFESSIONAL ETHICISTS.  Blimey.  The sub-headline doesn’t pull its punches either: “Even people who decide what’s right and wrong for a living don’t always behave well.” I […]

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Questions to which the Answer is Yes

Over at Practical Ethics, Charles Camosy asks a question: Can bioethics be done without theology? Yep.  It can. Well, that was quick and simple. But – oh, all right: I probably ought to say a bit more.  Now, Camosy’s post is quite long, and that means that if I want to scrutinise it in any detail, […]

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Consigned to the Index

There’re probably times when all of us have had a solution, and just had to find a problem for it.  It’s an easy trap; and it’s one into which I suspect Gretchen Goldman may have fallen in an article in Index on Censorship about scientific freedom and how it’s under threat from disputes about Federal funding in the […]

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