Global ethics and principlism

Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal 21 (3):251-276 (2011)
Abstract
In his landmark article “How Medicine Saved the Life of Ethics” (1982), Stephen Toulmin persuasively argues that (serious) problems cannot be solved by mere rationalistic approaches in ethics and that ethics was eventually saved by dint of having to deal with vital questions and concrete problems in medicine. Whether one is a proponent of, for example, principlism or casuistry, one certainly has to admit that a convincing ethical theory or method must have practical application. Analogously, it is about time to consider another vital and prominent issue in normative ethics—the universalism-relativism debate—that might profit from the bioethical approach of principlism (otherwise known as the four-principles ..
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