Zones of Consensus and Zones of Conflict: Questioning the "Common Morality" Presumption in Bioethics

Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal 13 (3):193-218 (2003)
: Many bioethicists assume that morality is in a state of wide reflective equilibrium. According to this model of moral deliberation, public policymaking can build upon a core common morality that is pretheoretical and provides a basis for practical reasoning. Proponents of the common morality approach to moral deliberation make three assumptions that deserve to be viewed with skepticism. First, they commonly assume that there is a universal, transhistorical common morality that can serve as a normative baseline for judging various actions and practices. Second, advocates of the common morality approach assume that the common morality is in a state of relatively stable, ordered, wide reflective equilibrium. Third, casuists, principlists, and other proponents of common morality approaches assume that the common morality can serve as a basis for the specification of particular policies and practical recommendations. These three claims fail to recognize the plural moral traditions that are found in multicultural, multiethnic, multifaith societies such as the United States and Canada. A more realistic recognition of multiple moral traditions in pluralist societies would be considerably more skeptical about the contributions that common morality approaches in bioethics can make to resolving contentious moral issues
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 9,360
External links
  •   Try with proxy.
  • Through your library Configure
    References found in this work BETA

    No references found.

    Citations of this work BETA
    K. A. Wallace (2009). Common Morality and Moral Reform. Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 30 (1):55-68.
    Similar books and articles

    Monthly downloads

    Added to index


    Total downloads

    15 ( #90,364 of 1,089,155 )

    Recent downloads (6 months)

    1 ( #69,735 of 1,089,155 )

    How can I increase my downloads?

    My notes
    Sign in to use this feature

    Start a new thread
    There  are no threads in this forum
    Nothing in this forum yet.