A Memoir of an Interdisciplinary Career

Daniel Callahan

in The Roots of Bioethics

Published in print October 2012 | ISBN: 9780199931378
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780199980598 | DOI:
A Memoir of an Interdisciplinary Career

Show Summary Details


In the late 1960s, searching about for a professional niche in life, I became entranced by the emerging ethical and policy problems of what was then called “the biological revolution,” but could no less have been called the “medical revolution.” Where was biology taking us? In the air were utopian speculations about remaking human nature, allowing us to choose the genetic characteristics of our children, and radically extending human life expectancy. How should we ethically assess those possibilities? Although trained as a philosopher, it seemed evident to me that those questions could only be addressed fully by interdisciplinary work, crossing a number of disciplinary lines. As it happened, I was someone who found the analytic philosophy of the time to be much too narrow. Bioethical problems spilled over into the law, public policy, the humanities, and the social sciences.

Keywords: interdisciplinarity; bioethics methodology; ethics; policy; philosophy

Chapter.  5542 words. 

Subjects: Moral Philosophy

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Oxford University Press »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.