Concepts of Normality in the Life Sciences

Concepts of normality shape our understanding of the world as well as the way we see ourselves. What is considered normal is by no means simply a “matter of fact”, or else predetermined. Neither are the corresponding concepts of deviation, anomaly, conspicuousness. The different forms and functions of the “normal” conceal normative aspects of what is good and just. Concepts of normality are subject to historical, academic and social developments. Normatively, they may be anticipated, solidified or rejected. Moreover, concepts of normality are often controversial and turn out to provide necessary, yet ambivalent orientation for thought and action.

The German Ethics Council wants to examine the intricate relationship between normality and normativity as well as normalisation processes against the horizon of exemplary fields of medical ethics.

Working group

  • Steffen Augsberg (Vice-Spokesperson of the group)
  • Petra Bahr (Spokesperson of the group)
  • Wolfram Henn
  • Annette Riedel
  • Stephan Rixen