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The slippery slope argument

Ethics 102 (1):42-65 (1991)

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  1. Is Selecting Better Than Modifying? An Investigation of Arguments Against Germline Gene Editing as Compared to Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis.Alix Lenia V. Hammerstein, Matthias Eggel & Nikola Biller-Andorno - 2019 - BMC Medical Ethics 20 (1):1-13.
    Recent scientific advances in the field of gene editing have led to a renewed discussion on the moral acceptability of human germline modifications. Gene editing methods can be used on human embryos and gametes in order to change DNA sequences that are associated with diseases. Modifying the human germline, however, is currently illegal in many countries but has been suggested as a ‘last resort’ option in some reports. In contrast, preimplantation genetic diagnosis is now a well-established practice within reproductive medicine. (...)
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  • Ethical Implications of Pharmacogenetics – Do Slippery Slope Arguments Matter?Lilian Schubert - 2004 - Bioethics 18 (4):361–378.
  • Slippery Slope Arguments in Legal Contexts: Towards Argumentative Patterns.Bin Wang & Frank Zenker - 2021 - Argumentation 35 (4):581-601.
    Addressing the slippery slope argument in legal contexts from the perspective of pragma-dialectics, this paper elaborates the conditions under which an SSA-scheme instance is used reasonably. We review SSA-instances in past legal decisions and analyze the basic legal SSA-scheme. By illustrating the institutional preconditions influencing the reasoning by which an SSA moves forward, we identify three sub-schemes. For each sub-scheme we propose critical questions, as well as four rules that clarify when the SSA scheme is used reasonably. The institutional preconditions (...)
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  • Lying, Misleading, and the Argument From Cultural Slopes.Lisa Herzog - 2021 - Res Publica 27 (1):77-93.
    This paper discusses a novel kind of argument for assessing the moral significance of acts of lying and misleading. It is based on considerations about valuable social norms that might be eroded by these actions, because these actions function as signals. Given that social norms can play an important role in supporting morality, individuals have a responsibility to preserve such norms and to prevent ‘cultural slopes’ that erode them. Depending on whether there are norms against lying, misleading, or both, and (...)
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  • Slippery Slope Arguments.Anneli Jefferson - 2014 - Philosophy Compass 9 (10):672-680.
    Slippery slope arguments are frequently dismissed as fallacious or weak arguments but are nevertheless commonly used in political and bioethical debates. This paper gives an overview of different variants of the argument commonly found in the literature and addresses their argumentative strength and the interrelations between them. The most common variant, the empirical slippery slope argument, predicts that if we do A, at some point the highly undesirable B will follow. I discuss both the question which factors affect likelihood of (...)
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  • Ethical Issues with Colorectal Cancer Screening-a Systematic Review.Bjørn Hofmann - 2017 - Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice 23 (3):631-641.
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  • Slippery Slopes and Other Consequences.Martin David Hinton - forthcoming - Logic and Logical Philosophy.
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  • Corpus Linguistics Methods in the Study of (Meta)Argumentation.Martin Hinton - 2021 - Argumentation 35 (3):435-455.
    As more and more sophisticated software is created to allow the mining of arguments from natural language texts, this paper sets out to examine the suitability of the well-established and readily available methods of corpus linguistics to the study of argumentation. After brief introductions to corpus linguistics and the concept of meta-argument, I describe three pilot-studies into the use of the terms Straw man, Ad hominem, and Slippery slope, made using the open access News on the Web corpus. The presence (...)
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  • Questions and Answers on the Belgian Model of Integral End-of-Life Care: Experiment? Prototype?: “Eu-Euthanasia”: The Close Historical, and Evidently Synergistic, Relationship Between Palliative Care and Euthanasia in Belgium: An Interview With a Doctor Involved in the Early Development of Both and Two of His Successors.Jan L. Bernheim, Wim Distelmans, Arsène Mullie & Michael A. Ashby - 2014 - Journal of Bioethical Inquiry 11 (4):507-529.
    This article analyses domestic and foreign reactions to a 2008 report in the British Medical Journal on the complementary and, as argued, synergistic relationship between palliative care and euthanasia in Belgium. The earliest initiators of palliative care in Belgium in the late 1970s held the view that access to proper palliative care was a precondition for euthanasia to be acceptable and that euthanasia and palliative care could, and should, develop together. Advocates of euthanasia including author Jan Bernheim, independent from but (...)
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  • Human Gene Therapy and the Slippery Slope Argument.Veikko Launis - 2002 - Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy 5 (2):169-179.
    The article investigates the validity of two different versions of the slippery slope argument construed in relation to human gene therapy: the empirical and the conceptual argument. The empirical version holds that our accepting somatic cell therapy will eventually cause our accepting eugenic medical goals. The conceptual version holds that we are logically committed to accepting such goals once we have accepted somatic cell therapy. It is argued that neither the empirical nor the conceptual version of the argument can provide (...)
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  • Slippery Slopes Revisited.Martin Hinton - 2020 - Studia Semiotyczne 34 (2):9-24.
    The aims of this paper are to illustrate where previous attempts at the characterisation of slippery slope arguments have gone wrong, to provide an analysis which better captures their true nature, and to show the importance of achieving a clear definition which distinguishes this argument structure from other forms with which it may be confused. The first part describes the arguments of Douglas Walton and others, which are found wanting due to their failure to capture the essence of the slippery (...)
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  • How to Identify and Evaluate the Slippery Slope Argument.Martina Juříková - 2015 - Pro-Fil 16 (1):44.
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  • Ethics in Technological Culture: A Programmatic Proposal for a Pragmatist Approach.Tsjalling Swierstra, Michiel Korthals, Maartje Schermer & Jozef Keulartz - 2004 - Science, Technology and Human Values 29 (1):3-29.
    Neither traditional philosophy nor current applied ethics seem able to cope adequately with the highly dynamic character of our modern technological culture. This is because they have insufficient insight into the moral significance of technological artifacts and systems. Here, much can be learned from recent science and technology studies. They have opened up the black box of technological developments and have revealed the intimate intertwinement of technology and society in minute detail. However, while applied ethics is characterized by a certain (...)
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  • Recognizing Argument Types and Adding Missing Reasons.Christoph Lumer - 2019 - In Bart J. Garssen, David Godden, Gordon Mitchell & Jean Wagemans (eds.), Proceedings of the Ninth Conference of the International Society for the Study of Argumentation (ISSA). [Amsterdam, July 3-6, 2018.]. Amsterdam (Netherlands): pp. 769-777.
    The article develops and justifies, on the basis of the epistemological argumentation theory, two central pieces of the theory of evaluative argumentation interpretation: 1. criteria for recognizing argument types and 2. rules for adding reasons to create ideal arguments. Ad 1: The criteria for identifying argument types are a selection of essential elements from the definitions of the respective argument types. Ad 2: After presenting the general principles for adding reasons (benevolence, authenticity, immanence, optimization), heuristics are proposed for finding missing (...)
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  • Von kleinen Stupsern und großen Schubsern – Politik und Ethik des Libertären Paternalismus auf dem Prüfstand.Johannes Drerup & Aaron Voloj Dessauer - 2016 - Zeitschrift Für Praktische Philosophie 3 (1):347-436.
    Das von Cass Sunstein und Richard Thaler ausgearbeitete Projekt eines Libertären Paternalismus stellt fraglos einen der zurzeit meistdiskutierten neopaternalistischen Theorieentwürfe dar. Als hybride Mischung zwischen Theorieprogramm, politischer Bewegung und praxis- und anwendungsorientiertem Policy-Manual, das zuweilen Züge eines populären philosophischen Lebensratgebers trägt, hat Libertärer Paternalismus viel Zuspruch, aber auch heftige Kritik auf sich gezogen, die in diesem Aufsatz auf ihre Plausibilität geprüft werden. Zu diesem Zweck geben die Autoren zunächst einen kurzen Überblick über Ausgangspunkte, Leitorientierungen und Problemvorgaben des Theorie- und Politikprogramms (...)
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  • Empirical Ethics, Context-Sensitivity, and Contextualism.Albert Musschenga - 2005 - Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 30 (5):467 – 490.
    In medical ethics, business ethics, and some branches of political philosophy (multi-culturalism, issues of just allocation, and equitable distribution) the literature increasingly combines insights from ethics and the social sciences. Some authors in medical ethics even speak of a new phase in the history of ethics, hailing "empirical ethics" as a logical next step in the development of practical ethics after the turn to "applied ethics." The name empirical ethics is ill-chosen because of its associations with "descriptive ethics." Unlike descriptive (...)
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  • Pluralism Slippery Slopes and Democratic Public Discourse.Maria Paola Ferretti & Enzo Rossi - 2013 - Theoria: A Journal of Social and Political Theory 60 (137):29-47.
    Agonist theorists have argued against deliberative democrats that democratic institutions should not seek to establish a rational consensus, but rather allow political disagreements to be expressed in an adversarial form. But democratic agonism is not antagonism: some restriction of the plurality of admissible expressions is not incompatible with a legitimate public sphere. However, is it generally possible to grant this distinction between antagonism and agonism without accepting normative standards in public discourse that saliently resemble those advocated by (some) deliberative democrats? (...)
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  • The Slippery Slope Argument in the Ethical Debate on Genetic Engineering of Humans.Douglas Walton - 2017 - Science and Engineering Ethics 23 (6):1507-1528.
    This article applies tools from argumentation theory to slippery slope arguments used in current ethical debates on genetic engineering. Among the tools used are argumentation schemes, value-based argumentation, critical questions, and burden of proof. It is argued that so-called drivers such as social acceptance and rapid technological development are also important factors that need to be taken into account alongside the argumentation scheme. It is shown that the slippery slope argument is basically a reasonable form of argument, but is often (...)
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  • A Logical Analysis of Slippery Slope Arguments.Georg Spielthenner - 2010 - Health Care Analysis 18 (2):148-163.
    This article offers a logical analysis of Slippery Slope Arguments. Such arguments claim that adopting a certain act or policy would take us down a slippery slope to an undesirable bottom and infer from this that we should refrain from this act or policy. Even though a logical assessment of such arguments has not received much careful attention, it is of vital importance to their overall assessment because if the premises fail to support the conclusion an argument is worthless. I (...)
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  • What is the Role of Empirical Research in Bioethical Reflection and Decision-Making? An Ethical Analysis.Pascal Borry, Paul Schotsmans & Kris Dierickx - 2004 - Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy 7 (1):41-53.
    The field of bioethics is increasingly coming into contact with empirical research findings. In this article, we ask what role empirical research can play in the process of ethical clarification and decision-making. Ethical reflection almost always proceeds in three steps: the description of the moral question,the assessment of the moral question and the evaluation of the decision-making. Empirical research can contribute to each step of this process. In the description of the moral object, first of all, empirical research has a (...)
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  • Is Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder Really a Disorder?Tamara Kayali Browne - 2015 - Journal of Bioethical Inquiry 12 (2):313-330.
    Premenstrual dysphoric disorder was recently moved to a full category in the DSM-5 . It also appears set for inclusion as a separate disorder in the ICD-11 . This paper argues that PMDD should not be listed in the DSM or the ICD at all, adding to the call to recognise PMDD as a socially constructed disorder. I first present the argument that PMDD pathologises understandable anger/distress and that to do so is potentially dangerous. I then present evidence that PMDD (...)
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  • Euthanasia Embedded in Palliative Care. Responses to Essentialistic Criticisms of the Belgian Model of Integral End-of-Life Care.Jan L. Bernheim & Kasper Raus - 2017 - Journal of Medical Ethics 43 (8):489-494.
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  • Living on a Slippery Slope.Hugh LaFollette - 2005 - The Journal of Ethics 9 (3-4):475-499.
    Our actions, individually and collectively, inevitably affect others, ourselves, and our institutions. They shape the people we become and the kind of world we inhabit. Sometimes those consequences are positive, a giant leap for moral humankind. Other times they are morally regressive. This propensity of current actions to shape the future is morally important. But slippery slope arguments are a poor way to capture it. That is not to say we can never develop cogent slippery slope arguments. Nonetheless, given their (...)
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  • Trust Increases Euthanasia Acceptance: A Multilevel Analysis Using the European Values Study.Vanessa Köneke - 2014 - BMC Medical Ethics 15 (1):86.
    This study tests how various kinds of trust impact attitudes toward euthanasia among the general public. The indication that trust might have an impact on euthanasia attitudes is based on the slippery slope argument, which asserts that allowing euthanasia might lead to abuses and involuntary deaths. Adopting this argument usually leads to less positive attitudes towards euthanasia. Tying in with this, it is assumed here that greater trust diminishes such slippery slope fears, and thereby increases euthanasia acceptance.
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  • The Slippery Slope of the Middle Ground: Reconsidering Euthanasia in Britain. [REVIEW]Peter Kakuk - 2007 - HEC Forum 19 (2):145-149.
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  • The Right to Privacy and the Right to Die: TOM L. BEAUCHAMP.Tom L. Beauchamp - 2000 - Social Philosophy and Policy 17 (2):276-292.
    Western ethics and law have been slow to come to conclusions about the right to choose the time and manner of one's death. However, policies, practices, and legal precedents have evolved quickly in the last quarter of the twentieth century, from the forgoing of respirators to the use of Do Not Resuscitate orders, to the forgoing of all medical technologies, and now, in one U.S. state, to legalized physician-assisted suicide. The sweep of history—from the Quinlan case in New Jersey to (...)
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  • Is Continuous Sedation at the End of Life an Ethically Preferable Alternative to Physician-Assisted Suicide?Kasper Raus, Sigrid Sterckx & Freddy Mortier - 2011 - American Journal of Bioethics 11 (6):32 - 40.
    The relatively new practice of continuous sedation at the end of life (CS) is increasingly being debated in the clinical and ethical literature. This practice received much attention when a U.S. Supreme Court ruling noted that the availability of CS made legalization of physician-assisted suicide (PAS) unnecessary, as CS could alleviate even the most severe suffering. This view has been widely adopted. In this article, we perform an in-depth analysis of four versions of this ?argument of preferable alternative.? Our goal (...)
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  • Euthanasia in The Netherlands: The Role of the Dutch Medical Profession.R. J. M. Dillmann - 1996 - Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics 5 (1):100.
    Is it remarkable that the Royal Dutch Medical Association as a medical professional organization has the point of view that in particular circumstances euthanasia is an acceptable act for a physician. Seen from the viewpoints in the international community, we might say that it is highly remarkable. Frankly put: the RDMA has met strong international disapproval of its standpoint on euthanasia during the last 10 years or so. For instance, the World Medical Association still condemns physicians performing euthanasia as “unethical.” (...)
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  • Intertemporal Disagreement and Empirical Slippery Slope Arguments.Thomas Douglas - 2010 - Utilitas 22 (2):184-197.
    One prevalent type of slippery slope argument has the following form: (1) by doing some initial act now, we will bring it about that we subsequently do some more extreme version of this act, and (2) we should not bring it about that we do this further act, therefore (3) we should not do the initial act. Such arguments are frequently regarded as mistaken, often on the grounds that they rely on speculative or insufficiently strong empirical premises. In this article (...)
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  • Two Decades of Research on Euthanasia From the Netherlands. What Have We Learnt and What Questions Remain?and Agnes van der Heide Judith A. C. Rietjens, Paul J. Van der Maas, Bregje D. Onwuteaka-Philipsen, Johannes J. M. Van Delden - 2009 - Journal of Bioethical Inquiry 6 (3):271.
    Two decades of research on euthanasia in the Netherlands have resulted into clear insights in the frequency and characteristics of euthanasia and other medical end-of-life decisions in the Netherlands. These empirical studies have contributed to the quality of the public debate, and to the regulating and public control of euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide. No slippery slope seems to have occurred. Physicians seem to adhere to the criteria for due care in the large majority of cases. Further, it has been shown (...)
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