An Analogical Hermeneutic Approach to Bioethics
Islas, David S. Contreras
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Bioethics has the hermeneutical task of interpreting scientific knowledge produced by the biological and social sciences in order to propose moral norms and values that are adequate to it. Therefore, it needs to account for the process of translating descriptive statements into normative ones, without falling prey to the naturalistic fallacy. It also requires an interdisciplinary conception of human nature as the basis for the hermeneutical process. That conception should avoid a univocal anthropocentrism as well as an equivocal biocentrism and reconcile the biological and historical dimensions that constitute the human being. This paper examines analogical hermeneutics, as proposed and developed by the Mexican philosopher Mauricio Beuchot, as a largely unplumbed resource for meaningfully illumining inescapable challenges and tensions at the core of bioethics. In brief, the author suggests that analogical hermeneutics can provide bioethics with a philosophical framework for the normative interpretation of descriptive statements. An analogical-hermeneutical approach is suggested for other bioethical problems, such as the elaboration of an interdisciplinary notion of human nature or the search for alternatives to anthropocentric and biocentric positions.