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The University of Southampton
PhilosophyPart of Humanities

The Principle of Bodily Integrity Seminar

Ceramic skull
16:00 - 18:00
30 April 2019
Room 2115, Building 65, Avenue Campus, University of Southampton SO17 1BF

Event details

Philosophy seminar

Abstract: What we should be able to do to our own bodies and the bodies of our loved ones is at the heart of many questions tackled by medicine, law and social policy. A central aspect of these questions concerning the body revolves around the importance of protecting its physical integrity. It is frequently maintained that there is a principle of bodily integrity that should regulate what we should be allowed to do to human bodies or their constituent parts. Problematically, however, when the principle is invoked, it is often done in a way that either begs the question or neglects how the content of the principle remains highly contested. As such, there is a critical need to understand what such a principle consists of and the criteria it sets out in determining the wrongness of transgressing the body's physical integrity. In an attempt to make such progress, this paper has one simple purpose: to attempt to systematically work through developing an explicit articulation of the principle of bodily integrity in a way that captures the normatively-relevant features of conduct that purport to identify a distinctive form of wrongdoing involving how to treat the human body. Having a clear working definition of the principle can allow for more nuanced analyses of which forms of conduct should be thought to constitute a transgression of bodily integrity and whether the normatively-relevant features of these transgressions are sufficient to ultimately render such conduct legally or morally impermissible.

This talk is in association with the Southampton Ethics Centre.

Speaker information

Adrian Viens, Swansea University. TBC

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