PhilSci Archive

The Disconnection That Wasn't: Philosophy in Modern Bioethics from a Quantitative Perspective

Bystranowski, Piotr and Dranseika, Vilius and Żuradzki, Tomasz (2022) The Disconnection That Wasn't: Philosophy in Modern Bioethics from a Quantitative Perspective. [Preprint]

This is the latest version of this item.


Download (603kB) | Preview


Blumenthal-Barby and her colleagues (2022) situate their discussion of philosophy and bioethics in the context of (reportedly) widely held assumption that, when compared to the early days of bioethics, the role of philosophy is now diminished across the field – the assumption we call the Disconnection Thesis. This assumption can be summarized, to use the authors’ own words, by the phrase “philosophy’s glory days in bioethics are over“. While in no place of the article they explicitly endorse the Disconnection Thesis, at least some of the authors had previously endorsed it in print (Savulescu 2015). Such expressions of collective expert wisdom might be a valuable source of information on the discipline's history, but they should not be accepted uncritically. Given the explosion in the size and scope of bioethical research in recent decades, any scholar’s familiarity with the area is necessarily based on selective reading and might be biased. Hence, in this commentary, we examine what kind of more rigorous evidence could corroborate the Disconnection Thesis. In other words, if the role of philosophy in bioethics has been indeed diminishing, what kind of observable patterns should we expect to see? Drawing on our previous research (Bystranowski, Dranseika, Żuradzki 2022), here we focus on two useful perspectives: citation analysis and topic modeling. While the first approach allows us to indirectly measure the level of engagement of bioethicists with philosophical literature (by measuring the proportion of references from articles published in journals in bioethics that cite philosophy journals), the latter provides a window into the content and argumentative style of bioethical texts.

Export/Citation: EndNote | BibTeX | Dublin Core | ASCII/Text Citation (Chicago) | HTML Citation | OpenURL
Social Networking:
Share |

Item Type: Preprint
Keywords: bioethics; philosophy; topic modeling; citation data
Subjects: General Issues > Data
General Issues > Ethical Issues
Depositing User: Mr. Tomasz Żuradzki
Date Deposited: 09 Sep 2022 19:59
Last Modified: 09 Sep 2022 19:59
Item ID: 21150
Subjects: General Issues > Data
General Issues > Ethical Issues
Date: 2022

Available Versions of this Item

Monthly Views for the past 3 years

Monthly Downloads for the past 3 years

Plum Analytics

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item