The Many Guises of the Slippery Slope Argument

Social Theory and Practice 20 (1):85-97 (1994)
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This paper examines how slippery slope arguments are used, and misused, in many public policy debates -- especially in the area of bioethics. I divide the various kinds of slippery slope arguments into the following categories: 1) the logical form vs the conceptual form, and 2) the theoretical context vs the practical context. While all these various types of slippery slope arguments are found wanting, I nonetheless find a valuable role for slippery slope arguments in public debate. In that they give expression to certain of our moral emotions, slippery slope arguments should not be dismissed out of hand by philosophers



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