Michael Etim


The contemporary world is becoming more and more complex in the intermingling of many diverse factors. A number of these factors emerged from the perspective of social, economic, political, religious, cultural, scientific, and technological transformations around the world. There is need for a better understanding of bioethics in the contemporary world and the significance of the interdisciplinary methodology in dealing with issues in bioethics, in the light of contemporary realities. At its emergence as a new discipline, bioethics was faced with a diversity of scientific, epistemological, metaphysical, anthropological and meta-ethical challenges, its original outlook was along the lines of principles, as clearly expressed in the definition given to bioethics in the first edition of the authoritative Encyclopedia of Bioethics. The second edition of the Encyclopedia of Bioethics offered to establish a corrective to the preponderance of the principles’ model and approach, indicating the significance of bioethics as: “…the systematic study of the moral dimensions – including moral vision, decisions, conduct, and policies – of the life sciences and health care, employing a variety of methodologies in an interdisciplinary setting.” This opens up the horizon enabling bioethics to collaborate effectively with the wisdom, knowledge and expertise that flowed from other disciplines, such as the formal sciences, the natural sciences, the medical sciences, health care, engineering, social sciences, philosophy, theology, law, environmental sciences, information, communications and technology. The list is not exhaustive, but the aim is, to empower creative collaboration. These indicate that creative advancement and innovative insight could be found at the intercessions of disciplines. Interdisciplinary methodology broadens the horizons and favours the cross-pollination of ideas that leads to creativity and development. In the face of the multiplicity of specializations, the interdisciplinary methodology is not without its challenges, but even in the face of these challenges there are opportunities, there is no gainsaying the fact that the interdisciplinary methodology has yielded positive results in the field of bioethics, it is also hoped that this could serve a paradigmatic purpose for innovation in philosophy and the humanities in the contemporary context. These also offer the opportunity for critical context analysis and collaboration. The age of closed monadism is over and permanently, combined expertise in an interdisciplinary setting opens up the opportunity for collaboration, greater creativity and innovative development. 


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