Student Spotlight: Andres Elviras
Andres Elvira is a 2016 graduate the LMU Bioethics Institute’s Master’s Degree Program. He began his undergraduate studies in physics, and then graduated with a degree in Philosophy, minor in Anthropology. Andres plans to apply for a PhD program in either philosophy or sociology, and study ethics, and the philosophy and sociology of science.
Why did you choose LMU’s Bioethics graduate program?
I had originally applied for a Philosophy M.A. at Loyola Marymount while I was still at Cal Poly Pomona. During that time, I took two bioethics courses in my final two quarters of undergraduate studies: an introductory class, and a seminar for end-of-life issues. Always having had a keen interest in interdisciplinary study, the idea of synthesizing my major in philosophy and my minor in anthropology with my love of science and theology seemed an opportunity too good to be true. It proved the ideal arena for understanding ethics applied to issues within the scientific and medical communities for-merly considered the domain of science fiction, but now more relevant than ever before.
What did you like best about the program?
The best part of the program was the openness and diversity of the students and professors them-selves. A field may be cutting edge by nature, but is impotent in the face of outmoded traditional-ism and ridged-mindedness. The Bioethics Institute encouraged an atmosphere of scholarship which pays homage to continental philosophy, while never stifling new ideas from a wide variety of worldviews and faiths.
Have you developed a special interest in the field?
I have enjoyed interdisciplinary studies all my life, especially those relating to science, society, technology, and medicine. Early on, this was theoretical, relegated to the speculation of science fiction. Now, it is a quickly unfolding reality which humanity must be prepared for.
What do you plan to do/are you doing after you graduate?
My hope is to apply for a doctoral degree in a related field of study. If not bioethics directly, then another branch of philosophy closely related and applicable to my bioethical study: the philosophy or sociology of science, for example.
How do you think your Bioethics studies has informed your work?
It has given me the formal tools for constructing and structuring the rationale of my arguments. Anyone can speculate, but a student of bioethics can understand the ethical background which governs the formation and application of moral theories to novel situations. Knowing those basics has strengthened my ability to formulate my own theories and provided an avenue whereby my own philosophy may be made stronger and less prone to bias.