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Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy

Volume 3, 2018


Tatiana Sidorova
Pages 161-167

Bioethics as Practice of Normalization

Practices of normalization were the subject of philosophical attention of M. Foucault. Normalization is the mechanism that turns knowledge into power. This idea can be used in bioethics to explain its regulatory content. Bioethics is multidimensional, and, therefore, has many definitions. Callahan highlighted the theoretical, clinical, normative and cultural Bioethics (Callahan 1995). In the normative and cultural Bioethics moral choice involves an ideological, social context. Foucault’s structuralist methodology pointed out the historical conditioning of epistemes, which become the basis for constructing the power relations in society. If the ideas of what is normal historically and culturally are relative, then how is the norm stated in Bioethics? The subject of bioethical debates can be understood as a question: what is considered normal in relation to life and death of a man, his nature? For the representatives of conservative Bioethics liberal position in an excuse of ‘abnormal’. A need for a child can be perceived in society either as a norm or deviation from norm depending on family type, method of reproduction, the concept of ‘own’ child, sex-role functions of male and female in gamete donation. After normalization of value in Bioethics proceeds its socialization. Social stability is an absolute value, therefore the norms that may conflict with individual choice, but help to preserve unity in the community are supported.

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