Keywords: History of Bioethics; Concept of Bioethics; Applied Ethics; Ethics Committees; Regulating Biomedical Research.
The contributors to the present issue of «Sic et non» were asked to express their opinion on the current condition of bioethics, and on its alleged state of crisis. On the basis of their conviction concerning the epistemological status of this discipline, its relation to medicine and scientific innovation, as well as its social and public role Gilberto Corbellini and Maurizio Mori provide divergent answers to our basic question, What Bioethics? On the one hand Corbellini denounces the legitimate crisis of bioethics on the basis of its inadequacy to support medical research by introducing in the public discussion debatable epistemic beliefs based on ideological, and often reactionary critiques of scientific methodology. On the other hand Mori conceives bioethics mainly as an active intellectual movement and stresses - on the basis of the distinction between its 'science-friendly' and its 'science-hostile' trends - its fundamental role in promoting the paradigm change in Western secular ethics.