In an increasingly specialized world, where the production of knowledge and its acquisition have become a collective enterprise, nobody can master all the fields alone. This has led to the proliferation of a myriad of experts, each of whom is specialized in a precise domain or subdomain. Given this picture, it is not surprising that people with training in bioethics are often referred to as ‘bioethics experts’ and/or ‘bioethical experts’. However, far from being confined to a specific social dimension, in today’s society bioethicists are a commonplace presence in an ever-increasing range of domains. In recognition of this phenomenon, the aim of this thesis is to explore the so-called issue of bioethical expertise. This means first and foremost exploring two main questions: whether an expertise in the field of bioethics might actually exist and what are, if any, the skills that the bioethical expert is endowed with, in order to understand whether this figure is on a par with professionals of other disciplines. After presenting a general review of the current literature on this issue and briefly indicating the different research paths this research topic might lead to, the focus will be narrowed to dwell on the main research questions this work aims to address: is there a legitimate role for the bioethical expert within the public arena, and, if so, what is this role? Far from being a straightforward question, this issue is further complicated by a vast literature decrying the threat posed by bioethicists with respect to the broader context in which they operate: liberal democracies. In taking these considerations seriously, this dissertation aims to ‘solve the paradox’ connected with the figure of bioethical expert and to propose a normative model of bioethical expert which aims to be compatible with the tenets of liberal democracies and, in particular, their public decision-making processes. This figure will be defined here as the facilitator of deliberation, thus recognizing the debt it has towards the political theories of deliberative democracy. This work is structured as follows: first of all the theoretical current debate concerning the topic of bioethical expertise is presented. Secondly, by narrowing the focus of investigation I concentrate on the domain in which the bioethical expert proposed here has to operate: public bioethics. The normative proposal of bioethical expert as facilitator of deliberation is then presented, remodelling the former in relation to the already existing figures occupying the public arena. Finally, the results of a preliminary experiment, designed to empirically explore this new figure, are presented and discussed.  

FACILITATE DELIBERATION. TOWARDS A PROFESSIONALIZATION OF THE BIOETHICAL EXPERT IN THE PUBLIC ARENA / V. Sanchini ; supervisor: M. Mameli ; internal advisor: P. P. Di Fiore; external advisor: R. Ashcroft. - : . DIPARTIMENTO DI SCIENZE DELLA SALUTE, 2016 Mar 18. ((27. ciclo, Anno Accademico 2015. [10.13130/sanchini-virginia_phd2016-03-18].

FACILITATE DELIBERATION. TOWARDS A PROFESSIONALIZATION OF THE BIOETHICAL EXPERT IN THE PUBLIC ARENA.

V. Sanchini
2016

Abstract

In an increasingly specialized world, where the production of knowledge and its acquisition have become a collective enterprise, nobody can master all the fields alone. This has led to the proliferation of a myriad of experts, each of whom is specialized in a precise domain or subdomain. Given this picture, it is not surprising that people with training in bioethics are often referred to as ‘bioethics experts’ and/or ‘bioethical experts’. However, far from being confined to a specific social dimension, in today’s society bioethicists are a commonplace presence in an ever-increasing range of domains. In recognition of this phenomenon, the aim of this thesis is to explore the so-called issue of bioethical expertise. This means first and foremost exploring two main questions: whether an expertise in the field of bioethics might actually exist and what are, if any, the skills that the bioethical expert is endowed with, in order to understand whether this figure is on a par with professionals of other disciplines. After presenting a general review of the current literature on this issue and briefly indicating the different research paths this research topic might lead to, the focus will be narrowed to dwell on the main research questions this work aims to address: is there a legitimate role for the bioethical expert within the public arena, and, if so, what is this role? Far from being a straightforward question, this issue is further complicated by a vast literature decrying the threat posed by bioethicists with respect to the broader context in which they operate: liberal democracies. In taking these considerations seriously, this dissertation aims to ‘solve the paradox’ connected with the figure of bioethical expert and to propose a normative model of bioethical expert which aims to be compatible with the tenets of liberal democracies and, in particular, their public decision-making processes. This figure will be defined here as the facilitator of deliberation, thus recognizing the debt it has towards the political theories of deliberative democracy. This work is structured as follows: first of all the theoretical current debate concerning the topic of bioethical expertise is presented. Secondly, by narrowing the focus of investigation I concentrate on the domain in which the bioethical expert proposed here has to operate: public bioethics. The normative proposal of bioethical expert as facilitator of deliberation is then presented, remodelling the former in relation to the already existing figures occupying the public arena. Finally, the results of a preliminary experiment, designed to empirically explore this new figure, are presented and discussed.  
BONIOLO, GIOVANNI
expertise; public bioethics; deliberation; experimental philosophy
Settore M-FIL/02 - Logica e Filosofia della Scienza
FACILITATE DELIBERATION. TOWARDS A PROFESSIONALIZATION OF THE BIOETHICAL EXPERT IN THE PUBLIC ARENA / V. Sanchini ; supervisor: M. Mameli ; internal advisor: P. P. Di Fiore; external advisor: R. Ashcroft. - : . DIPARTIMENTO DI SCIENZE DELLA SALUTE, 2016 Mar 18. ((27. ciclo, Anno Accademico 2015. [10.13130/sanchini-virginia_phd2016-03-18].
Doctoral Thesis
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/2434/366875
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