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A Rich Bioethics


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About the Author

Adam Briggle is an Assistant Professor in the Philosophy and Religion Studies Department at the University of North Texas. He has a PhD in Environmental Studies with an emphasis in Science and Technology Policy research from the University of Colorado, Boulder. Briggle spent three years as a post-doctoral fellow in the philosophy department at the University of Twente, the Netherlands. His research lies at the intersections of science, technology, ethics, and politics.


"In this book Dr. Briggle provides a sympathetic account of the President's Council on Bioethics led by Dr. Leon Kass. He shows the wisdom of the approach to bioethics taken by the Kass Council and corrects the unfair and often nasty attacks on the Council and Dr. Kass himself. It is a persuasive and thoughtful reconstruction of the Council's goals and rationale."--Law & Medicine
"Briggle had an inspired idea to make the controversies surrounding Leon Kass's chairmanship of the President's Council on Bioethics (2001-5) his point of departure to argue the need for bioethics based in humanistic questioning rather than accepting the more restricted task of what he calls instrumental bioethics, which exists to offer specific policy guidelines. The issues are clear throughout but perhaps best crystallized near the end of the book, when Briggle presents criticisms that the Kass Council failed to be sufficiently policy oriented."--Science and Public Policy
"Briggle offers the first book-length analysis of the council's work, setting it in a wider philosophical, historical, and political context. The book also discusses how the procedure for selecting council members led to accusations that it was ideologically narrow. The book's well-balanced analysis and close but fair readings of the council's documents show how the Kass Council dealt with differences and was far more tolerant of varying opinions than many think. This book would be a useful supplementary text in classes on bioethics and public policy."--Choice
." . . Briggle sketches a set of views about nature, rationality, and the self that is decidedly modern and characteristic of instrumentalist thinking. . . . A Rich Bioethics is well worth reading . . . it offers a model for public ethics committees that merits serious consideration."--Commonweal
"What an eloquent, humane, and wise book. Briggle discovers an imperfect yet fascinating effort to bring the world of biomedical research into the domain of public philosophy. His scholarship and generosity make clear that a democratic society need not be morally shackled to the realm of the possible that science is constantly expanding."--Daniel Sarewitz, Consortium for Science, Policy, and Outcomes, Arizona State University
"Adam Briggle has written a rich and sympathetic account of the President's Council on Bioethics led by Leon Kass. It puts in historical context the efforts of this council to move beyond the limited 'instrumentalist' approaches to bioethics taken by earlier commissions, toward a more philosophically serious effort to deliberate on the human goods put in play by modern biomedicine. In the process it answers many of the charges of politicization and corrects the record concerning the council's work."--Francis Fukuyama, The Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies
"This is the most persuasive and thoughtful reconstruction of the Kass Council's goals and rationale that I have seen. Adam Briggle's account of the notion of a 'richer' bioethics is comprehensive and well-reasoned."--Jonathan D. Moreno, University of Pennsylvania
"Adam Briggle has written a fine book on a complex, controversial topic. He shows the wisdom of the approach to bioethics taken by the Kass Council, sets right the unfair and often nasty attacks on the council and Kass himself, and offers a perceptive and wide-ranging look at the terrain of ethics."--Daniel Callahan, The Hastings Center

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