David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 6 (3) (1985)
The most important distinction in value theory is the subjective-objective distinction which determines the epistemological status of value judgments about medical intervention. Ethical decisions in medical intervention presuppose one of three structures of justification — namely, an inductive approach, a deductive approach which can be either consequentialist or non-consequentialist, and a uniquely ethical approach. Inductivism and deductivism have been discussed extensively in the literature and are only briefly described here. The uniquely ethical approach which presupposes value objectivism is analyzed in detail. This method involves a purely ethical inference which moves from facts to values directly with an emphasis on reason which involves a non-logical justification (as opposed to illogical). It involves the use of natural practical arguments which have an imperative conclusion but no imperative premise and exhibit a value-requiredness between two states of affairs.
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