The authors use the term “principlism” to refer to the practice of using “principles” to replace both moral theory and particular moral rules and ideals in dealing with the moral problems that arise in medical practice. The authors argue that these “principles” do not function as claimed, and that their use is misleading both practically and theoretically. The “principles” are in fact not guides to action, but rather they are merely names for a collection of sometimes superficially related matters for (...) consideration when dealing with a moral problem. The “principles” lack any systematic relationship to each other, and they often conflict with each other. These conflicts are unresolvable, since there is no unified moral theory from which they are all derived. For comparison the authors sketch the advantages of using a unified moral theory. (shrink)
The goal is to isolate points of philosophical interest in the preceding articles on narrative medical ethics in order to focus subsequent dialogue between the two disciplines. Ethics is an enterprise that has over the centuries developed a somewhat malleable structure, comprising characteristics, methods, lines of reasoning, rules, principles, assumptions, and arguments. This structure provides the framework within which many disciplines contribute to ethics through the exercise of their particular interests, skills, and methods. Challenging or changing the structural components requires (...) arguments of a traditional sort appropriate to the discipline of ethics. Three tenets are proposed as comprising the “received view” or credo of the literature and ethics movement. Each is examined. Then the individual articles in this issue are explored to the end of ferreting out points that would be fruitful points of discussion between philosophy and literature folks pursuing their mutual interest in ethics. (shrink)
A case study is presented of the development of computer-based support tools for power engineers in the electricity supply industry. The objective was to develop an expert system to support witching schedule production. A user-centred approach was followed which led the user community to conclude that a switching schedule production assistant (SSPA) was required which would leave control with the power engineer. Prototype systems were developed and evaluated in user trials which revealed that a significant and more general purpose tool (...) would be a computer generated electricity network display that the engineers could manipulate. The paper concludes that the process of enabling users to evaluate alternative forms of technology can facilitate the development systems that are useful, acceptable and usable. (shrink)
Catalogue of the Hugh Nevill Collection of Sinhalese Manuscripts in the British Library. K. D. Somadasa. Pali Text Society and the British Library. Vol. 1, 1987. xi, 440 pp. £22.00. Vol. 2, 1989. vii, 316 pp. £24.95.