The potential of modern medicine in a pluralistic world leads to the potential for moral conflict. The most prevalent bioethical theories often either overestimate or underestimate the amount of shared moral belief that can be used to address those conflicts. This work presents a means for taking seriously the pluralism in the modern world while recognizing the likelihood of moral “acquaintance” between persons with differing views. It criticizes moral theories that overstate the extent of the problem of pluralism as well as those that imply too much agreement between reasonable moral persons, yet it locates a means for the resolution of many moral conflicts in moral acquaintanceship. Drawing from the work of H. Tristram Engelhardt, Jr., casuists and principle-based theorists, and Erich Loewy and Kevin W. Wildes’s initial development of the concept of moral acquaintanceship, Moral Acquaintances and Moral Decisions is philosophically indepth work with direct applications for decisionmaking in real medical settings. A work in moral theory as well as a source of real world guidance, clinically oriented bioethics professionals as well as students of bioethical theory should find the theory of moral acquaintanceship provided here important to their work.
Elaborates an ethic in which beneficence on a personal and communal level has moral force; proposes the idea of an interplay between compassion and reason to help address moral problems; and sketches the conditions necessary for a democratic approach to such problems.
Whilst advances in biotechnology and information technology have undoubtedly resulted in better quality of life for mankind, they can also bring about global problems. The legal response to the challenges caused by the rapid progress of technological change has been slow and the question of how international human rights should be protected and promoted with respect to science and technology remains unexplored. The contributors to this book explore the political discourse and power relations of technological growth and human rights issues between the Global South and the Global North and uncover the different perspectives of both regions. They investigate the conflict between technology and human rights and the perpetuation of inequality and subjection of the South to the North. With emerging economies such as Brazil playing a major role in trade, investment and financial law, the book examines how human rights are affected in Southern countries and identifies significant challenges to reform in the areas of international law and policy.
In this volume of Leys Lectures, the third collection of Wayne Leys Memorial Lectures, six distinguished essayists demonstrate the relevance of ethics to contemporary concerns by constructively exploring major ethical issues deeply embedded in our society. The essays, written by noted scholars Tom Regan, Carol C. Gould, James Rachels, James P. Sterba, Louis P. Pojman, and David L. Norton, focus on issues of feminism, the exploitation of animals, economic injustice, racial prejudice, naive moral relativism, and the failure of public education. Tom Regan and Louis P. Pojman both address the issue of animal rights. Regan directs his attention to an ethic-of-care feminism, which contends that the ideology of male superiority—not only to women but to all creatures—must be destroyed. By means of a "consistency argument," he extends ethic-of-care feminism to the treatment of animals, insisting that we must not permit to be done to animals "in the name of science" what we would not allow to be done to human beings. Pojman, on the other hand, addresses the question of animal rights through a critical analysis of seven theories of the moral status of animals, arguing that while animals have no natural "rights" since they are unable to enter into contracts, they do deserve to be treated kindly. In his view, much animal research could be abandoned without significant loss. What rethinking of democracy in terms of freedom and equality is required by economic justice? Carol C. Gould offers an answer to this question by arguing that economic justice requires that workers control the production process as well as the distribution process. Such justice would provide the basis of "positive freedom" as self-development without ignoring the importance of the absence of constraints. Taking racial prejudice as his paradigm, James Rachels explores the deeper meaning of prejudice and what equality of treatment involves. Noting the subtlety of prejudicial reasoning, he examines how stereotypes, unconscious bias, and the human tendency toward rationalization make it difficult even for people of good will to prevent prejudice from influencing their actions. James P. Sterba invites the reader to consider a different and more general problem of how to persuade people to act for moral reasons. To accomplish this aim he shows morality to be a requirement of rationality and "the welfare liberal ideal" (the right to welfare and the right to equal opportunity) to be a fusion of the practical ends of five ideals—liberty, fairness, common good, androgyny, and equality. For David L. Norton, one of our most pressing problems is the failure of our educational system. The system fails to enable students to make wise "life-shaping" choices involving vocation, marriage, children, and friendship. In order to make good choices, human beings must live and work in an environment that provides experiences that authenticate "personal truths" indispensable to worthy living. These personal truths include direct acquaintance with vocational alternatives and participation in actual service to others. Collectively, these essays bring into sharp focus the urgent moral issues confronting our society and the need for ongoing discussion and examination of these issues in order to gain deeper understanding of and possible solutions to the problems they present.
Moral Acquaintances: Methodology in Bioethics is not part of the standard repertory of books that explore and offer guidance on a particular issue in bioethics. The question Kevin Wm. Wildes poses is not what we can do morally in a field of great moral controversy, but how we can conceive the controversy and seek a moral course of action. Wildes argues that the methodological issues in bioethics mirror the experience of moral pluralism in a secular society. Rather than assume that there is one method for all or that we are lost in deep moral pluralism, Wildes argues that we can imagine ourselves as moral acquaintances. Key to understanding our acquaintanceship are the procedures that bind us together and the moral justifications and assumptions for those procedures.
"Moral philosophy is the science of obligation or duty, which states and analyzes the facts connected with obligation and its perception, and determines principles of action and rules of duty. More particularly, the subjects of which it treats are moral beings, moral action, moral law, moral government, and personal rights and duties. It is often called the science of ethics, and is divided into two parts, theoretical and practical"--Chapter. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2008 APA, all rights reserved).
In Moral Animals, Catherine Wilson develops a theory of morality based on two fundamental premises: first that moral progress implies the evolution of moral ideals involving restraint and sacrifice; second that human beings are outfitted by nature with selfish motivations, intentions, and ambitions that place constraints on what morality can demand of them. Normative claims, she goes on to show, can be understood as projective hypotheses concerning the conduct of realistically-described nonideal agents in preferred fictional worlds. Such claims differ from empirical hypotheses, insofar as they cannot be verified by observation and experiment. Yet many, though not all, moral claims are susceptible of confirmation to the extent that they command the agreement of well-informed inquirers. With this foundation in place, Wilson turns to a defence of egalitarianism intended to address the objection that the importance of our non-moral projects, our natural acquisitiveness and partiality, and our meritocratic commitments render social equality a mere abstract ideal. Employing the basic notion of a symmetrical division of the co-operative surplus, she argues that social justice with respect to global disparities in well-being, and in the condition of women relative to men, depends on the relinquishment of natural and acquired advantage that is central to the concept of morality.
"This book is about micro-politics: that kind of manoevre to control or avoid being controlled, to claim friendship or proclaim enmity, which takes place between people who know one another, and who must temper and adjust their actions towards one another because they share other activities. They are members of the one community and of the same organization, and this not only moderates their actions but also provides them with themes for use in the political arena.These justificatory themes and the irresolvable contradictions between them, and what is to be done when decisions cannot be made through rational procedures, is one subject of the book. The setting is the university world of committees and dons and administrators, but the inquiry is into general questions about organizational life. How are value contradictions resolved? Why are some matters discussed openly and others only before restricted audiences? Could we dispense with confidentiality and secrecy? What masks are used to make a person or a point of view persuasive?It is impossible and therefore wholly unwise to try to attempt to run such organizations in a wholly open and wholly rational fashion: without an appropriate measure of pretence and secrecy, even of hypocrisy, they cannot be made to work. At a basic level organizations require secrecy and confidentiality to run effectively."--Provided by publisher.