David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 27 (4):403 – 416 (2002)
For the most part, philosophers have regarded moral truth as propositional and as what follows from the application of moral theory to particular problematic cases. Here I maintain that this is not a useful way of conceiving moral truth in bioethics. Rather, we are better off conceiving of moral truth as what emerges from a process of inquiry conducted in a certain manner. There are four elements to this process: (1) careful exploration of the embedded norms of medical practice, research, and delivery; (2) recognition of the irreducible plurality of ultimate moral values within and between these practices; (3) the cultivation and exercise of moral imagination; and (4) the attainment, however temporarily, of wide reflective equilibrium. This process, I argue, is reflected in the way bioethics is most fruitfully practiced, and it is further to be recommended by being true to the character of moral conscientiousness generally. This analysis suggests that moral truth is "unstable," but that this is not a bad thing. Further, the implication is drawn that moral theory would be better informed if formulated on the basis of paying more attention to lived moral practices.
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
Carson Strong (2010). Theoretical and Practical Problems with Wide Reflective Equilibrium in Bioethics. Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 31 (2):123-140.
Similar books and articles
Stephen Finlay (2008). The Error in the Error Theory. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 86 (3):347-369.
Catherine Wilson (2011). Moral Truth: Observational or Theoretical? Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 111 (1pt1):97-114.
Bernward Gesang (2010). Are Moral Philosophers Moral Experts? Bioethics 24 (4):153-159.
Christopher Toner (2011). Evolution, Naturalism, and the Worthwhile: A Critique of Richard Joyce's Evolutionary Debunking of Morality. Metaphilosophy 42 (4):520-546.
Basil Smith (2001). Mark Timmons, Morality Without Foundations: A Defense of Ethical Contextualism. [REVIEW] Journal of Value Inquiry 35 (2):269-273.
Maurilio Lovatti (1999). Peter A. Railton and the Objective Moral Realism. Per la Filosofia (45):99-109.
Denis Sullivan (2008). Moral Truth, Moral Disagreement, and the Agent-Relative Conception of Moral Value. In Aeon J. Skoble (ed.), Reading Rasmussen and Den Uyl: Critical Essays on Norms of Liberty. Lexington Books
Lewis Vaughn (2010). Bioethics: Principles, Issues, and Cases. Oxford University Press.
Christopher Cowley (2011). Expertise, Wisdom and Moral Philosophers: A Response to Gesang. Bioethics 26 (6):337-342.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads13 ( #179,414 of 1,699,807 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #362,609 of 1,699,807 )
How can I increase my downloads?