The law serves a function that is not often taken seriously enough by ethicists, namely practicability. A consequence of practicability is that law requires elaborated and explicit methodologies that determine how to do things with norms. This consequence forms the core idea behind this book, which employs methods from legal theory to inform and examine debates on methodology in applied ethics, particularly bioethics. It is argued that almost all legal methods have counterparts in applied ethics, which indicates that much can be gained from comparative study of the two. The author first outlines methods as used in legal theory, focusing on deductive reasoning with statutes as well as analogical reasoning with precedent cases. He then examines three representative kinds of contemporary ethical theories, Beauchamp and Childress's principlism, Jonsen and Toulmin's casuistry, and two versions of consequentialism-Singer's preference utilitarianism and Hooker's rule-consequentialism-with regards to their methods. These examinations lead to the Morisprudence Model for methods in applied ethics. .
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PART I: ETHICS AND LAW 1 The Black-Box Problem METHODS OUTLINE 2 Ethics, Applied Ethics, and Law TERMINOLOGY: ETHICS AND MORALITY ETHICS, APPLIED ETHICS, BIOETHICS ETHICS AND LAW CONCLUSION PART II: METHODS IN LEGAL THEORY 3 Norms ABSTRACT AND GENERAL NORMS PRINCIPLES AND RULES Dworkin on Principles Principles as Optimization Requirements 4 Norm Application DEDUCTIVE STRUCTURE INTERPRETATION RULES OF INTERPRETATION Some Intricacies REASONING WITH PRECEDENTS Precedents What is binding? Strict binding force? ANALOGICAL REASONING Brewer's Theory of Analogical Reasoning The sequence of processes CONCLUSION 5 Norm Development EXPANSIONS Supplementation Conflict of principles: proportionality test The four steps Critique Gap-Filling Distinguishing REVISIONS Overruling Correction of Mistakes NEW LEGISLATION CONCLUSION PART III: METHODS IN CONTEMPORARY ETHICAL THEORIES 6 Principlism THE STRUCTURE OF PRINCIPLISM Clusters of Principles and the Common Morality Principles and Rules Ideals, Virtues, and Rights PRINCIPLISM's NORMATIVE CONTENT Respect for Autonomy Nonmaleficence Beneficence, Impartiality, and Moral Status Justice Relationship THEORY OF JUSTIFICATION METHODS Specification The importance of revisions and expansions Richardson's definition Interpretation Abandoning specification Balancing The constraining conditions and proportionality Critique and alternatives CONCLUSION 7 Casuistry THE BASICS THE STRUCTURE OF CASUISTRY Morphology Taxonomy Kinetics CRITIQUE Cases do not speak for themselves What rules the case? Importance of the Taxonomy The Role of Paradigms Arbitrary Kinetics Casuistry's Conventionality A BETTER STRUCTURE FOR CAUSISTRY Rules: Maxims and Paradigms Application of Paradigms Overruling and Distinguishing Paradigms Analogical Reasoning CONCLUSION 8 Consequentialism PETER SINGER's PREFERENCE UTILITARIANISM The Practice of Singer's Theory BRAD HOOKER's RULE-CONSEQUENTIALISM The Basic Theory Structure Impartiality, Reflective Equilibrium, and Pluralism Prima Facie Rules, Interpretation, and Conflicts Hooker on Euthanasia CONCLUSION 9 The Morisprudence Model for Applied Ethics DEDUCTIVE NORM APPLICATION APPLICATION AND DEVELOPMENT WHY THE MORISPRIDENCE MODEL? Notes Bibliography Index.
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