Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 25 (1):77 – 106 (2000)
Recent work done at the intersection of classical American pragmatism and bioethics promises much: a clarified self-understanding for bioethics, a modus vivendi for progress, and liberation from misguided and misguiding theories and principles. The revival of pragmatism outside bioethics in the past twenty years, however, has been of a distinctly anti-realist orientation. Richard Rorty, for example, has urged that there is no objective truth or good for philosophy to be concerned with. I ask whether the work in Pragmatic Bioethics follows this perilous Rortyan trend. It will move towards anti-realism if its account of the good abandons any notion of truth or objectivity, and if, in its discussion of specific problems, it divides these problems into public and the private, urging consensus as the goal of the one, and an unconstrained notion of happiness as the goal of the other. In a final section, I suggest that bioethics done in the spirit of Royce's Philosophy of Loyalty might have much to offer to those dissatisfied with anti-realism.
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Citations of this work BETA
A Plea for Pragmatism in Clinical Research Ethics.David H. Brendel & Franklin G. Miller - 2008 - American Journal of Bioethics 8 (4):24 – 31.
Bioethics as Ideology: Conditional and Unconditional Values.Tom Koch - 2006 - Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 31 (3):251 – 267.
Pragmatism, Metaphysics, and Bioethics: Beyond a Theory of Moral Deliberation.Matthew Pamental - 2013 - Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 38 (6):jht030.
Pragmatic Approaches to Genetic Screening.Mallia Pierre & Have Henk ten - 2005 - Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy 8 (1):69-77.
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