Pragmatic principles - methodological pragmatism in the principle-based approach to bioethics

Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 28 (5 & 6):581 – 596 (2003)
Abstract
In this paper it will be argued that Beauchamp and Childress' principle-based approach to bioethics has strongly pragmatic features. Drawing on the writings of William James, I first develop an understanding of methodological pragmatism as a method of justification. On the basis of Beauchamp's and Childress' most recent proposals concerning moral justification in the fifth edition of their Principles of Biomedical Ethics (2001), I then discuss different aspects that the principle-based approach and methodological pragmatism have in common.
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