Journal of Bioethical Inquiry

, Volume 12, Issue 4, pp 565–567 | Cite as

Bioethics and Epistemic Scientism

  • Christopher MayesEmail author
  • Claire Hooker
  • Ian Kerridge

Like any field of inquiry, bioethics has a history, and its content and concerns reflect that history. Above all, this still-new field has been driven by the urgency of responding to advancements in the biomedical sciences. Indeed, Helga Kuhse and Peter Singer define it precisely as “the study of ethical issues arising from the biological and medical sciences” (Kuhse and Singer 2006, 1). But as of yet, while there is considerable attention to the application of these sciences, there has been minimal discussion of the relationship between bioethics and science itself. This symposium in the Journal of Bioethical Inquiry is intended as a contribution to that larger conversation.

Where does, or should, bioethics stand in relation to science? For some, bioethics and biomedicine have an intimate marriage of shared objectives and ontological commitments ( Bracanović 2013), not the least of which is the care and scrutiny with which research is conducted. Others consider that bioethics...


Scientism History and philosophy of science Epistemology Bioethics method 



We would like to thank the authors for their valuable contributions and the reviewers for their timely and detailed recommendations. We would also like to thank Leigh Rich (Editor in Chief) and Bronwen Morrell (Managing Editor) for their patience and assistance in guiding this symposium into print.


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Copyright information

© Journal of Bioethical Inquiry Pty Ltd. 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christopher Mayes
    • 1
    Email author
  • Claire Hooker
    • 1
  • Ian Kerridge
    • 1
  1. 1.Centre for Values, Ethics and the Law in Medicine, School of Public HealthUniversity of SydneySydneyAustralia

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