The Flossopher: A lover of wisdom…teeth
Welcome dental professionals to The Flossopher, a dental ethics and philosophy blog! Do you ever question why you do the things you do?
The intention of this site is to increase engagement of dental students, practicers, policy makers, and academic in philosophical examination. The goal is to help dental professionals better examine their lives, encouraging ethical careers and treatment of patients.
The Flossopher is mainly concerned with the engagement of the ethical principles set out in academic dental bioethics. The principles are (1) justice, (2) beneficence, (3) maleficence, and (4) respect for autonomy. However, we will also explore metaphysical and epistemological issues in dentistry. Metaphysics is the rational inquiry into the nature of reality behind abstract concepts such as health, beauty, and ethics. Epistemology involves the difficulty for humans to grain knowledge in such inquiry.
We examine issues in dentistry from a philosophical perspective. Many authors in the field of healthcare ethics stick to case studies. They then offer clinical or legal advice. This may be fine for particular situations, but the goal of a philosopher is to become better acquainted with universal principles. These universal principles (“first principles”) help resolve all ethical situations in real time without having to run to google.
A Life Examined
Philosophy is very practical and helps us to become independent, intentional, and productive agents in a ever chaotic world. Being so bold, I am willing to claim that only through philosophical examination can we be moral agents. Plato warns us that “the unexamined life is not worth living for a human being.” However, we do not all have to go into the streets harassing people like Socrates. In the age of instagram, we must learn to read, engage with sophisticated terminology, and contemplate.
Moving forward, a dental professional must not only examine teeth but examine her life and ask why she does the things she does.
Please start by reading the Intro to Dental Ethics to learn about the four bioethical principles and how to do philosophy.
You can given submit an article for publication in The Flossopher by Contacting the Editor!
Read recent dental ethics and philosophy articles:
In the Ethical Moment feature “Ethical issues when a dentist with an active practice dies,” Dr. Jill M. Burns, referencing the ADA code of ethics, suggested that dentists are obligated to inform staff of practice debt due to the “ethical obligation to ‘provide a workplace environment that supports respectful and ...Read Article
The following was a question submitted by a student at Northern Michigan University. Please use the "contact us" page to make a submission of articles or questions that will be posted on this blog website. Question: If a person has a dental procedure (extraction and bone graft) by an “out of ...Read Article
This blog post will help to develop understanding of the concept of autonomy and its importance to ethics. We will juxtapose it with the concept of personal choice. Respect for autonomy is a very important principle in dental bioethics but it is often conceived as respect for personal choice. While ...Read Article
Philosophy of language is the third tripartite in the hierarchical foundations of philosophy. Every philosophical subject (ethics, religion, etc.) can be expressed as a "what is...?" question, "how do we know what is...?", or a "how to express our knowledge of what...?". Mindfulness of language selection is important in dentistry ...Read Article
Mindfulness Mindfulness is a psychological and spiritual perspective that helps people to relieve anxiety and depression through more thoughtful examination of one's thought processes and lifestyle. From a philosophical perspective, I hope to outline the rational foundations for one aspect of "negative" thinking: mind reading. We will explore the epistemological ...Read Article
Why People Think Dentistry Matters It becomes all too obvious that you need to go to the dentist when you have tooth pain or have a broken front tooth. This, however, makes dentistry matter conditionally. This means that something only matters based on specific subjective conditions and situations. Something that ...Read Article
Many people claim that when I bring up ethics that my head is “in the clouds.” I take this as a compliment rather than an insult just as Socrates may have viewed the play The Clouds by Aristophanes. Socrates is portrayed as a sophist (someone who argues to confuse but ...Read Article
What is Mindfulness? Mindfulness is the idea of increasing one's conscious awareness of perceptions and centering one's thoughts to present activities. Not only does it relieve stress and reduce anxiety, it is meant to help us order our lives so we live better. Mindfulness is composed of sensual and rational ...Read Article
This article will cover the metaethical foundations for kindness. We have to be carful not to confuse helping others or being nice with being moral. People help others do bad things and people are nice just to manipulate. This is being kind but not in any moral sense. A philosophical ...Read Article
A Good Dentist What makes a good dentist? The first thing that comes to mind is how skilled and smart the dentist is. However, a dentist may do very good crown preparations but may lie to patients for financial gain (skill vs virtue). The blog is not concerned about technical dentistry ...Read Article