Intellectual Street Fighter

Gilbert Meilaender’s Ethics of the Everyday

If you work in bioethics, are of a certain age, and have a degree from the University of Virginia, colleagues are likely to assume you studied with James Childress, the legendary teacher who co-authored Principles of Biomedical Ethics, a foundational text in the field.

I did not work with Childress; my time at Virginia coincided with the years he spent at Georgetown’s Kennedy Institute. Yet my bad timing also proved to be my great fortune, because Childress was replaced at...

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