Ethics and Medicine: Philosophical Guidelines for a Responsible Use of Nanotechnology

  • Corine PelluchonEmail author


Ethics is not an isolated discipline, standing aloof from science, economics, and politics. And neither is it an authority devoted to censure, for it is not the philosopher’s role to set up as an authority of any kind, nor to dictate to others what is good or bad in itself on the basis of some personal morality. Ethics is that part of philosophy that allows us to acquire the tools that serve to elucidate actions and assess them critically. The aim is to identify principles, that is, notions that are taken as fundamental and must guide our actions in medicine, in business, or in the application of biotechnology. However, these principles are not empty of content, and part of the philosopher’s work in the field of applied ethics is to elucidate the values underlying the notion of autonomy and distributive justice, and to determine the relationship between the latter and the notion of equality. Likewise, the ethicist must consider the implicit and explicit norms belonging to some narrowly defined community (a group of professionals) or a broader community (a country), or even the international community.


Procedural Justice Distributive Justice Ethical Judgement Political Community Environmental Justice 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre de recherche Hegel et l’idéalisme allemand (CRHIA)University of PoitiersPoitiers CedexFrance
  2. 2.Centre de recherche sens, éthique et société (CERSES)University of Paris 5 René DescartesParisFrance

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