Of generating and being born. The “anthropological minimum” necessary for bioethics


  • Maria Teresa Russo Università di Roma Tre


The ambiguity and indecisiveness surrounding the most recent debate on bioethics render it necessary for a sort of meta-bioethics, namely a critical reflection on the methods and contents of bioethics in light of the ends or results that it proposes. The main functions of meta-bioethics is to build up the bond of ethics with that of anthropology. Therefore, a unity is regained between the two interrogatives – “Who is man?” and “Who must man become?” The separation of both is making it impossible to reconcile individual rights, ethical principles and public reasoning. Of all the aspects of human life, the questions concerning birth are those that have the most radical transformation for new biomedical techniques. However, on this theme one acknowledges an anthropological gap. While on the part of the feminist reflections and philosophical anthropology there has been vast consideration in the category of death, very little attention has been given to the content and to the implications of the experiences of generating and of being born. For this motive, the anthropological importance of these experiences risk being distorted due to a biomedical reductionism or due to the rule of individual desires. To explore the human significance of birth and generation, in their characteristics of experience and relation, becomes thus a task that cannot be denounced in philosophical anthropology and a contribution that bioethics cannot ignore.



How to Cite

Russo, Maria Teresa. “Of Generating and Being Born. The ‘anthropological minimum’ Necessary for Bioethics”. Acta Philosophica 17, no. 2 (September 30, 2008): 333–354. Accessed July 23, 2024. https://www.actaphilosophica.it/article/view/3989.




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