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Empathy and alteration: The ethical relevance of a phenomenological species concept

Meacham, Darian Evan

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Abstract

© The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press, on behalf of the Journal of Medicine and Philosophy Inc. All rights reserved. The debate over the ethics of radically, technologically altering the capacities and traditional form of the human body is rife with appeals to and dismissals of the importance of the integrity of the human species. Species-integrist arguments can be found in authors as varied as Annas, Fukuyama, Habermas, and Agar. However, the ethical salience of species integrity is widely contested by authors such as Buchanan, Daniels, Fenton, and juengst. This article proposes a Phenomenological approach to the question of species-integrity, arguing in favor of a phenomenon of species-recognition that carries an ethical pull. Building on Husserl's Phenomenological account of empathy and the lived-body, as well as Schopenhauer's concept of compassion as an ethical urphenomenon, I develop a "Phenomenological species concept" (PSC), which I argue has the ethical significance that biological species concepts do not. The PSC reorients the debate over human alteration and species integrity.

Journal Article Type Review
Publication Date Jan 1, 2014
Journal Journal of Medicine and Philosophy (United Kingdom)
Print ISSN 0360-5310
Electronic ISSN 1744-5019
Publisher Oxford University Press (OUP)
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 39
Issue 5
Pages 543-564
APA6 Citation Meacham, D., & Meacham, D. E. (2014). Empathy and alteration: The ethical relevance of a phenomenological species concept. Journal of Medicine and Philosophy, 39(5), 543-564. https://doi.org/10.1093/jmp/jhu030
DOI https://doi.org/10.1093/jmp/jhu030
Keywords compassion, embodiment, empathy, human enhancement,
Husserl, intersubjectivity, phenomenology, Schopenhauer,
species concept, vulnerability
Publisher URL http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jmp/jhu030
Related Public URLs http://jmp.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/content/full/jhu030?ijkey=OcyiBTtao5AHYW1&keytype=ref
Additional Information Additional Information : This is a pre-copyedited, author-produced PDF of an article accepted for publication in Journal of Medicine and Philosophy following peer review. The version of record Meacham, D. E. (2014) Empathy and alteration: The ethical relevance of a phenomenological species concept. Journal of Medicine and Philosophy, 39 (5). pp. 543-564. ISSN 0360-5310 is available online at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jmp/jhu030

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