Phenomenology of Medicine and Bioethics at Södertörn University 13-15 June 2018
The rapid development of medical technologies forces us to continually re-evaluate our understanding of health and human nature. Reproductive technologies, genetic diagnosis, organ transplantation, stem cells, psychopharmacological drugs, and other diagnostic and therapeutic technologies, raise existential questions that, arguably, cannot be adequately understood without reference to the rich and complex ontology of human personhood. Persons are not only bodily creatures, but also social and cultural beings. Many well-known scholars of the continental tradition, which includes phenomenology, existentialism, hermeneutics, and post-structuralism, investigate the ways in which nature and culture are intertwined in human life. Though this tradition would appear to be an ideal spring board for rich and illuminating analyses of medical-ethical dilemmas, phenomenology and continental philosophy are rather under-represented in bioethical debates and research.
This conference intends to bring together phenomenologists working with issues in medicine that are, directly or indirectly, tied to medical ethics. Phenomenology is often put in contact with bioethics via philosophy of medicine and medical humanities, and accordingly, relevant conference themes might include: the nature and essence of medical technologies, the clinical encounter, illness, pain, disability, pregnancy, giving birth and dying. Moreover, there is room for dialogue with already established approaches in bioethics, such as caring ethics, feminist ethics, biopolitics and narrative ethics. Ultimately, what is essential from the point of view of the conference is not the label of phenomenology as such, but rather to gather philosophical and ethical analyses that adopt the phenomenological imperative to return to lived experience in a reflective manner. We welcome contributions that make use of phenomenological philosophy in this broad sense as a means to engage with contemporary ethical questions and dilemmas in contemporary medicine.
Ignaas Devisch, University of Ghent
Michael Hauskeller, University of Exeter
Erik Parens, The Hastings Center, New York
Jenny Slatman, Tilburg University
Kristin Zeiler, University of Linköping