Introduction: The philosophical schools -- The skeptical academy : Cicero -- Stoicism I : Cato -- Epicureanism : Lucretius, Caesar, and Cassius -- The Ides of March -- Stoicism II : Seneca, Musonius Rufus, Epictetus, and Marcus Aurelius -- Appendices.
The failure of medical codes to provide adequate guidance for physicians' moral dilemmas points to the fact that some rules of analysis, informed by moral theory, are needed to assist in resolving perplexing ethical problems occurring with increasing frequency as medical technology advances. Initially, deontological and teleological theories appear more helpful, but critcisms can be lodged against both, and neither proves to be sufficient in itself. This paper suggests that to elude the limitations of previous approaches, a method of moral (...) decision making must be developed incorporating both coherence methodology and some independently supported theoretical foundations. Wide Reflective Equilibrium is offered, and its process described along with a theory of the person which is used to animate the process. Steps are outlined to be used in the process, leading to the application of the method to an actual case. (shrink)
The question of the morality ofin vitro fertilization is examined. One of the central questions to be answered is whether the zygote loss that seems inseparable from the process is morally justified. Even when embryo transfer occurs, many zygotes which have been intentionally created are intentionally destroyed; they are used as means to the alleged benefits that others will attain (the benefit to the infertile couple, to the child produced by the process, and to those who might benefit from the (...) increase of genetic knowledge that allegedly will occur fromin vitro research).The justifications advanced in defense of early abortion are discussed, and it is shown that these justifications must be totally distinct from those advanced in support ofin vitro fertilization.A theory of values is proposed which shows why a set of reasons may justify early abortion, but not an abortion late in the pregnancy. This theory states that the value characteristics of an entity are notidentical to the characteristics which make the entityhuman.It is concluded that if certain key empirical assumptions are correct, then in vitro fertilization is a morally permissible process; however, the falsity of these assumptions, or the unsoundness of the theory of value, might well result in a reversal of this judgment. (shrink)