chapter  12
9 Pages

Authority, markets and society: three possible foundations for European bioethics


In this chapter I discuss three possible ‘models’ to use as a way to ground and discuss how we could approach thinking about bioethics in Europe. By a ‘model’ I mean something that helps us to understand the world, with a primary role in providing an explanation for why things are as they are (Dawson, 2009a). Models are commonly linked to particular sets of values, and so in turn link to normative and justificatory issues. Each of my three proposed models is based around a single key concept as follows: authority, markets and society. Of course, although I refer to each by the name of a single concept, they are each really a web or family of related concepts. The three models can be, roughly, thought of in a historical sequence as representing the past, present and what I hope is the future.