Title

What is the appropriate role of reason in secular clinical ethics? An argument for a compatibilist view of public reason.

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

6-2021

Publication Title

Medicine, health care, and philosophy

Abstract

This article describes and rejects three standard views of reason in secular clinical ethics. The first, instrumental reason view, affirms that reason may be used to draw conceptual distinctions, map moral geography, and identify invalid forms of argumentation, but prohibits recommendations because reason cannot justify any content-full moral or metaphysical commitments. The second, public reason view, affirms instrumental reason, and claims ethicists may make recommendations grounded in the moral and metaphysical commitments of bioethical consensus. The third, comprehensive reason view, also affirms instrumental reason, but encourages ethicists to make recommendations grounded in the moral and metaphysical commitments of their private worldviews. A compatibilist view of public reason is then defended, which holds that each standard view captures an important role for reason in different aspects of secular clinical ethics. The article ends by identifying three implications for enduring theoretical debates in clinical ethics.

Volume

24

Issue

2

First Page

281

Last Page

290

DOI

10.1007/s11019-021-10004-9

ISSN

1572-8633

PubMed ID

33475924

Share

COinS