Assessing clinical pragmatism

Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal 8 (1):23-36 (1998)
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Abstract

: "Clinical pragmatism" is an important new method of moral problem solving in clinical practice. This method draws on the pragmatic philosophy of John Dewey and recommends an experimental approach to solving moral problems in clinical practice. Although the method may shed some light on how clinicians and their patients ought to interact when moral problems are at hand, it nonetheless is deficient in a number of respects. Clinical pragmatism fails to explain adequately how moral problems can be solved experimentally, it underestimates the relevance and importance of judgment in clinical ethics, and it presents a questionable account of the role that moral principles should play in moral problem solving

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