Is bioethics a science?




bioethics, science, ethical cognitivism, naturalism, normativity


This article enquiries whether normative bioethics can be a science. The article aims to address the conditions of possibility for bioethics to be considered a science, without directly answering the question. The article focuses on two conditions that we typically associate with our common concept of science: truth and knowledge, on the one hand, and naturalization, on the other. Bioethics should be able to provide moral truths and therefore moral knowledge so that we could consider it as a science. On the other hand, the normative character of bioethics raises the question of whether it is possible to naturalize it and make it compatible with a scientific perspective. The article argues that, for normative bioethics to be considered a science, a cognitive and naturalistic stance should be taken on ethics.

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Author Biography

Gustavo Ortiz Millán, Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico

He is a Doctor of Philosophy from Columbia University in New York. Researcher at the Institute of Philosophical Research of the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México and researcher at the National System of Researchers of the National Council of Science and Technology. Member of the College of Bioethics.


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2021-11-04 — Updated on 2022-01-31

How to Cite

Ortiz Millán, G. (2022). Is bioethics a science?. Estudios De Filosofía, (65), 205–225.



Reflection article