As Elliott explains in his introduction, Wittgenstein’s philosophy runs against the grain of most contemporary bioethics scholarship, which all too often ignores the context in which moral problems are situated and pays little attention to narrative, ethnography, and clinical case studies in rendering bioethical judgments. Such anonymous, impersonal, rule-writing directives in which health care workers are advised how to behave is what this volume intends to counteract. Instead, contributors stress the value of focusing on the concrete particulars of moral problems and write in the spirit of Wittgenstein’s belief that philosophy should be useful. Specific topics include the concept of “good dying,” the nature of clinical decision making, the treatment of neurologically damaged patients, the moral treatment of animals, and the challenges of moral particularism.
Inspired by a philosopher who deplored “professional philosophy,” this work brings some startling insights and clarifications to contemporary ethical problems posed by the realities of modern medicine.
Contributors. Larry Churchill, David DeGrazia, Cora Diamond, James Edwards, Carl Elliott, Grant Gillett, Paul Johnston, Margaret Olivia Little, James Lindemann Nelson, Knut Erik Tranoy