rss_2.0Ethics & Bioethics FeedSciendo RSS Feed for Ethics & Bioethics & Bioethics 's Cover of the elderly in the period of the COVID-19 pandemic crisis as a bioethical process<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>The paper discusses the problem of triaging the elderly in the period of the COVID-19 pandemic crisis by analyzing the triage process, caused by lack of resources, in Germany, Holland, the Czech Republic, and Slovakia. We apply inductive, deductive, and normative bioethical methods, comment on various recommendations for the indication of intensive care during a crisis, and discuss the utilitarianism of benefit maximization. As it follows from the evaluation of the elderly by the frailty parameter, medically inappropriate treatment, as a result of limited resources, is characterized by clinical and bioethical uncertainty. If the main bioethical objective of general bioethics for the COVID-19 pandemic is, in the case of limited resources, based on the non-utilitarian consequentialism paradigm, from the perspective of medical ethics, we face a borderline situation closely related to the topic of dying and death. Such a situation requires social, ethical, and professional reflection. An algorithm for intensive care indication in the situation of crisis and limited resources in the period of the pandemic requires a definition of criteria that identify an acceptable reason for abandoning the treatment in the context of the autonomy of the elderly and by respecting their human dignity and humanity. A global objective of general bioethics in the situation of the pandemic crisis should be based on the paradigm of social justice.</p> </abstract>ARTICLE2021-12-14T00:00:00.000+00:00On the safety and danger of ‘viral’ information from the perspective of the epistemological subject<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>The present paper addresses the formal perspective of information with the focus on ‘untrue’ information presented as dangerous. Grounded in perspectivism, the epistemic subject is understood as decisive in informational transfer. In this context, ethics should focus on how the epistemic subject receives information. Regarding wide-spread information, the notions of danger and safety, the latter being a reaction to the former, essentially result from the fear mechanism of affective neural systems in higher mammals. The practice of attaining safety by eliminating danger is analyzed through the Nietzschean metaphor of the Apollonian and the Dionysian and the concept of ressentiment. Focusing on the individual, the paper presents a critique of systemized authoritative management of speech content, intensified by the emergence of social media. It is asserted that, by reacting to danger through the systematization of prevention and regulation of speech, it not only affirms fear but also decreases the faculties of an individual to deal with danger and fear itself. The paper argues that the only way to overcome danger and fear is through the individual’s exposure to it, which allows for the strengthening of one’s faculties, thus fulfilling one’s potential in freedom.</p> </abstract>ARTICLE2021-12-14T00:00:00.000+00:00Equitable global COVID-19 vaccine allocation and distribution: Obstacles, contrasting moral perspectives, ethical framework and current standpoints<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Accelerated COVID-19 vaccine development represents an important accomplishment and a milestone in the history of vaccine evolution. However, the vaccine’s scarcity made its equitable global allocation and distribution ambiguous. Despite the initial pledges from wealthy countries for fairness and inclusivity towards the poorer ones, the policies followed diverged significantly. Wealthy countries have vastly superior access to vaccines in a reality likened to an ethical disaster. This paper calls for the need for fair global vaccine allocation and distribution and examines the barriers that were met along the way, originating from different points, such as the nationalistic approach on the matter that most wealthy countries have adopted or the inability of poor countries to purchase or manufacture vaccines. Further, a suggestion regarding the ethical principles and values that ought to guide global vaccine allocation and distribution is provided with a higher priority given to helping the worst-off, saving the most lives, protecting people in high risk, such as frontline healthcare professionals, and minimising social gaps, along with an ethical theoretical background for each prioritisation. It is not too late for wealthy countries to realise that vaccine inequity prolongs pandemics, so that they change their policies in favour of the global common good that will not only provide immediate universal benefits but will also serve as a guide for future pandemic crises.</p> </abstract>ARTICLE2021-12-14T00:00:00.000+00:00Healthy people and biochemical enhancement: A new paradigmatic approach to the enhancement of human beings?<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>The authors analyse a new paradigmatic approach to the enhancement of human beings proposed in transhumanist visions. Transhumanist authors promote the biochemical enhancement of healthy people via the concepts of bio-happiness and bio-love (love drugs). The paper is based on an assessment of the value attributed to the lives of disabled people vis-à-vis those of healthy people. The value imbalance in the transhumanist conception is criticized on the grounds that it is an incorrect response to the posthuman urge to redefine human beings. The authors’ final standpoint is that the value of human beings should be derived primarily from our naturalness and that artificiality (which is indisputably a part of people) should be subordinate to this.</p> </abstract>ARTICLE2021-12-14T00:00:00.000+00:00Editorial challenges and models of democracy<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>This article examines the impact of a pandemic on democratic societies. The central research question is the extent to which a pandemic can alter the trajectory of social and ethical democratic development nationally and internationally. Therefore, the article examines contemporary controversies in democratic society in the aftermath of a pandemic. The leading hypothesis is that the pandemic should reinforce the need for social solidarity, but it is unclear what political form this need will take: populism or deliberative/nonconsensual democracy.</p> </abstract>ARTICLE2021-12-14T00:00:00.000+00:00Moral bioenhancements and the future of utilitarianism<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Utilitarianism has been able to respond to many of the objections raised against it by undertaking a major revision of its theory. Basically, this consisted of recognising that its early normative propositions were only viable for agents very different from flesh-and-blood humans. They then deduced that, given human limitations, it was most useful for everyone if moral agents did not behave as utilitarians and habitually followed certain rules. Important recent advances in neurotechnology suggest that some of these human limitations can be overcome. In this article, after presenting some possible neuro-enhancements, we seek to answer the questions, first, of whether they should be accepted by a utilitarian ethic and, second, if accepted, to what extent they would invalidate the revision that allowed them to escape the objections.</p> </abstract>ARTICLE2021-12-14T00:00:00.000+00:00Epistemic and ethical responsibility during the pandemic<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Intellectual (specialised) knowledge is omnipresent in human lives and decisions. We are constantly trying to make good and correct decisions. However, responsible decision-making is characterised by rather difficult epistemic conditions. It applies all the more during the pandemic when decisions require not only specialised knowledge in a number of disciplines, scientific consensus, and participants from different fields, but also responsibility and respect for moral principles in order to ensure that the human rights of all groups are observed. Pandemic measures are created by politicians, healthcare policy-makers, and epidemiologists. However, what is the role of ethics as a moral philosophy and experts in ethics? Experts in ethics and philosophy are carefully scrutinising political decisions. Levy and Savulescu (2020) have claimed that Ethicists and philosophers are not epistemically arrogant if they question policy responses. They played an important role in the creation of a reliable consensus. This study analyses epistemic and moral responsibility, their similarities, analogies, and differences. Are they interconnected? What is their relationship and how can they be filled with actual content during the pandemic?</p> </abstract>ARTICLE2021-12-14T00:00:00.000+00:00Ethical implications of procedural or protocol adjustments to clinical research involving the participation of human subjects during the COVID-19 pandemic<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>The current coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has led to essential adjustments in clinical research involving human subjects. The pandemic is substantially affecting most procedures of ongoing, as well as new clinical trials related to diseases other than COVID-19. Procedural changes and study protocol modifications may significantly impact ethically salient fundamentals, such as the risk-benefit profile and safety of clinical trial participants, which raise key ethical challenges the subject-matter experts must face. This article aims to acquaint a wide audience of clinical research professionals, ethicists, as well as the general public interested in this topic with the legal, ethical and practical considerations in the field of clinical trials during the COVID-19 pandemic and to support the clinical researchers and study sponsors to fulfil their responsibilities in conducting clinical trials in a professional way that does not conflict with any legal or ethical obligations.</p> </abstract>ARTICLE2021-12-14T00:00:00.000+00:00Intercultural dialogues in times of global pandemics: The Confucian ethics of relations and social organization in Sinic societies<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Since COVID-19 is a global-scale pandemic, it can only be solved on the global level. In this context, intercultural dialogues are of utmost importance. Indeed, different models of traditional ethics might be of assistance in constructing a new, global ethics that could help us confront the present predicament and prepare for other possible global crises that might await us in the future. The explosive, pandemic spread of COVID-19 in 2020 clearly demonstrated that in general, one of the most effective tools for containment of the epidemics is precisely human and interpersonal solidarity, which must also be accompanied by a certain degree of autonomous self-discipline. The present paper follows the presumption that these types of personal and interpersonal attitudes are—inter alia— culturally conditioned and hence influenced by different traditional models of social ethics. In light of the fact that East-Asian or Sinic societies were more successful and effective in the process of containing and eliminating the virus compared to the strategies of the Euro-American regions, I will first question the widespread assumption that this effectiveness is linked to the authoritarian political traditions of the Sinic East and Southeast Asian areas. Then, I will critically introduce the Confucian ethics of relations, which in various ways has influenced the social structures of these regions, and clarify the question of whether and in which way the relics of this ethics had an actual effect on the crisis resolution measurements. The crucial aim of this paper is to contribute to the construction of theoretical groundworks for a new, transculturally grounded global ethics, which is more needed today than ever before.</p> </abstract>ARTICLE2021-12-14T00:00:00.000+00:00Ethics of vaccination prioritization and compulsory vaccination: An integrative approach<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Vaccine scarcity and availability distinguish two central ethics questions raised by the Covid-19 pandemic. First, in situations of scarcity, which groups of persons should receive priority? Second, in situations where safe and effective vaccines are available, what circumstances and reasons can support mandatory vaccination? Regarding the first question, normative approaches converge in prioritizing most-vulnerable groups. Though there is room for prudential judgement regarding which groups are most vulnerable, the human dignity principle is most relevant for prioritization consideration of both medical and non-medical issues. The second question concerning mandates is distinct from considerations about persons’ individual moral duty to receive vaccines judged reasonably safe and critical for individual and public health. While there is consensus regarding the potential normative support for mandated vaccination, the paternalistic government intervention of vaccine mandates requires a high bar of demonstrated vaccine safety and public health risk. We discuss stronger and weaker forms of paternalism to deal with the Covid-19 pandemic from an “integrative” approach that integrates leading normative approaches. We argue against a population-wide compulsory vaccination and support prudential measures to 1) protect vulnerable groups; 2) focus upon incentivizing vaccine participation; 3) maintain maximum-possible individual freedoms, and 4) allow schools, organizations, and enterprises to implement vaccine requirements in local contexts.</p> </abstract>ARTICLE2021-12-14T00:00:00.000+00:00Interpretation of affects: Spinozist approach to the issue of human emotionality<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>This paper deals with the possibilities of using the ethical considerations of Baruch Spinoza in a psychotherapeutic context. I begin the interpretation by defining the basic features of Spinoza’s ethics and their connection with the whole of his philosophical system. The core of the study is the interpretation of Spinoza’s theory of affectivity and especially his concept of the transformation of passive affects into active, and what role philosophical knowledge plays in this transformation. The third part of the study then tries to show how selected points of Spinoza’s introduced ideas can be useful for psychotherapeutic work. As much as the connection between philosophical ethics and psychotherapy seems obvious to many non-experts, most professionals on both sides are vehemently opposed to it. I believe that Spinoza’s thinking is an example of how the boundaries of these disciplines can be meaningfully bridged.</p> </abstract>ARTICLE2021-06-04T00:00:00.000+00:00Good life and good death in the Socratic literature of the fourth century BCE<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>The paper outlines several forms of ethical attitude to good life and good death in the Socratic literature of the fourth century BCE. A model for the Socratic discussions could be found in Herodotus’ story about the meeting between Croesus and Solon. Within their conversation, Solon shows the king of Lydia that death is a place from which the life of each man can be seen as the completed whole. In his <italic>Phaedo</italic>, Plato depicts Socrates’ last day before his death in a similar spirit, as the completion of his beautiful life. However, there is no consensus regarding opinions on death among the Socratics. The final part of the paper outlines various meanings of death in the writings of the first generation of the Socratic authors, which arise from different attitudes that the individual philosophers hold regarding the soul as well as other topics. This part puts the principal emphasis on Aristippus, who is considered as the most controversial figure of the Socratic movement. Aristippus makes an interesting opposite to Plato concerning death, since he associates the philosopher’s endeavour for a good life solely with that which is here and now.</p> </abstract>ARTICLE2021-06-04T00:00:00.000+00:00Leibniz’s and Herder’s philosophy of optimism<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>The author studies Leibniz’s views of vindicating God for the existence of evil in the world, as well as the idea of the best of all possible worlds, including the past and present criticism. Following Leibniz, he opted for the presentation of Herder’s philosophy of history as one of the most significant forms of philosophical optimism that influenced the first half of the 19<sup>th</sup> century, including contemporary debates on and critiques of the topic. He defines Herder’s concept as the <italic>philosophy of historical progress,</italic> which also significantly influenced Slovak philosophy of the given period. The main goal of the article is to present Leibniz’s and Herder’s views as a starting point for the Slovak philosophy of optimism and historical progress of the 18th century and the first half of the 19th century.</p> </abstract>ARTICLE2021-06-04T00:00:00.000+00:00The Kantian ethical perspective seen from the existential philosophy of Søren Kierkegaard’s Victor Eremita<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>This article compares two groundings of ethics: the ethical postulates of Immanuel Kant with the existential thinking of S. Kierkegaard. To achieve this goal, first, it proposes highlighting the fundamental ideas of Kantian ethics; then, secondly, highlighting Kierkegaard’s ethical stance; and finally, contrasting both approaches to identify differences and similarities. Conclusively, we can say that the pure Kantian ethical formality of duty for duty’s sake necessarily dispenses with existential and concrete content; it is an ethics that is grounded in itself, that refers to itself, to the rational nature of the human being and its universality. In contrast, Kierkegaardian ethics is a Christian ethics, it is the ethics of love for one’s neighbour and, above all, for God; it is a relational and existential ethics of the single individual.</p> </abstract>ARTICLE2021-06-04T00:00:00.000+00:00Stoic pragmatist ethics in the time of pandemic<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>The present paper is a response, of sorts, to the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic (COVID) and lockdown that we all must face. We have an idea of what doctors, nurses, teachers, among many of the other professions, do for the general public, but one may ask whether there is something substantial that philosophers and ethicists can offer in these circumstances. The thesis of this paper is that the stoic attitude towards times of trouble and the pragmatist way of finding out what is possible to elevate the quality of living against all odds, if skilfully interwoven, could be an important tool in keeping mental health in good shape and, additionally, could contribute to the cultural scene at large. If this is the case, stoic pragmatists can indeed offer an interesting example of practical philosophy for many audiences, especially during the pandemic lockdown and, perhaps, for other serious difficulties or problems. To be effective in delivering their message, stoic pragmatists, as most with philosophers today, should enrich their textual and oral modes of traditional transmission of knowledge and become digital-culture public intellectuals that can recognize and reach more general audiences by, among other things, visual modes of digital communication.</p> </abstract>ARTICLE2021-06-04T00:00:00.000+00:00Disputes over the place of ethics in Polish Marxist philosophy<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>In the article, the author presents attempts by Polish Marxist philosophers to enrich Marxism with ethical issues. The initial absence of ethics in Marxism is associated with the ignorance of tradition related to their own formation. In the author’s opinion, only polemics with the competitive Lviv-Warsaw school forced Polish Marxists to take the issue seriously. That is why Polish Marxist ethics in its mature form was only established in the 1960s, and did not enrich Marxism itself, but rather indirectly contributed to the initiation of socio-political transformations in our country.</p> </abstract>ARTICLE2021-06-04T00:00:00.000+00:00Philosophical, anthropological and axiological aspects of Constantine’s definition of philosophy<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>This paper focuses on the philosophical-ethical foundations of Constantine’s definition of philosophy, as well as its anthropological and axiological aspects. The focus is placed on the relationship between definitions of philosophy postulated by Constantine the Philosopher and John of Damascus, the latter of which traces the six classical definitions systematized by Platonic commentators. Byzantine thinkers proposed a method of unifying both the theoretical and practical aspects of ancient philosophy with a Christian way of life by interpreting the classical definitions of philosophy and dividing it into theoretical and practical parts, the latter including ethics. Constantine understood philosophy in the sense of the second (knowledge of things Divine and human) and the fourth (becoming like God) meanings of earlier definitions, with the addition of the Christian sense of acting in accordance with the image of God. In addition to these gnosiological and anthropological aspects, the paper also observes the axiological aspect of Constantine’s definition of philosophy, which appears to be a foundation for exploring human behaviour as in compliance with Christian laws encouraging changes in ethical principles so as to follow a new code of ethics, through which new values were presented to the Slavs.</p> </abstract>ARTICLE2021-06-04T00:00:00.000+00:00Freedom in the : Lessons from Shoshana Zuboff<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p><italic>The Age of surveillance capitalism</italic> is a profound economical, sociological, political, philosophical, and ethical work by the American author, Harvard University Professor Shoshana Zuboff. In this work, she analyzes the new economic system, which she calls “surveillance capitalism.” This system revolves around the commodification of personal data, which allows human behavior to be predicted and “nudged” towards profitable ends. This system is historically unprecedented and has only become possible in the technological milieu of interconnected devices, which appeared in the 21<sup>st</sup> century. In this article, I look at the issue of freedom in Zuboff’s work. I argue that her understanding of freedom involves three ethical dimensions, namely privacy, autonomy, and authenticity. I take “surveillance capitalism” as a theoretical framework, in which I explore several ethical challenges to freedom in the digital age.</p> </abstract>ARTICLE2021-06-04T00:00:00.000+00:00Defining human-animal chimeras and hybrids: A comparison of legal systems and natural sciences<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>The article aims to present issues arising out of differences in the way that the terms chimera and hybrid are defined in legal systems and by natural sciences in the context of mixing human and animal DNA. The author analyses the different approaches to defining these terms used in various legal systems, dividing them into groups in light of conclusions reached from examining definitions used in natural sciences. The distinction is used to answer the question of which approach to definitions applied by legislators is the best way to handle the subject of human-animal organisms, given the need to balance their impact on medicine and the ethical concerns that arise.</p> </abstract>ARTICLE2021-06-04T00:00:00.000+00:00en-us-1