Reasons, Rationalities, and Procreative Beneficence: Need Häyry Stand Politely By While Savulescu and Herissone-Kelly Disagree?

Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics 20 (2):258-267 (2011)
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The claim that the answers we give to many of the central questions in genethics will depend crucially upon the particular rationality we adopt in addressing them is central to Matti Häyry’s thorough and admirably fair-minded book, Rationality and the Genetic Challenge. That claim implies, of course, that there exists a plurality of rationalities, or discrete styles of reasoning, that can be deployed when considering concrete moral problems. This, indeed, is Häyry’s position. Although he believes that there are certain features definitive of any type of thinking that can accurately be labeled rational, he maintains that nothing about that set of features compels us to conclude that there is a single rationality. What is more, and significantly for the way in which Häyry’s book develops, there is no Archimedean point from which we are licensed to pronounce one flavor of rational deliberation to be intrinsically superior to any other or to be justified to the exclusion of all others. To this belief that “there are many divergent rationalities, all of which can be simultaneously valid,” we can perhaps give the name “the Doctrine of the Plurality of Rationalities” or, for short, “DPR.”



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Peter Herissone-Kelly
University of Central Lancashire

Citations of this work

Rationality and the Genetic Challenge Revisited.Matti Häyry - 2011 - Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics 20 (3):468-483.
Is procreative beneficence obligatory?Ben Saunders - 2015 - Journal of Medical Ethics 41 (2):175-178.

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References found in this work

Reasons and Persons.Derek Parfit - 1984 - Oxford, GB: Oxford University Press.
Reasons and Persons.Joseph Margolis - 1986 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 47 (2):311-327.
Moral reasons.Jonathan Dancy - 1993 - Cambridge, Mass.: Blackwell.
Moral Reasons.Mark Van Roojen - 1995 - Philosophical Quarterly 45 (178):118-120.

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