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Title:Casuistry: Towards a More Complete Approach
Author(s):Bell, David Q.
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):James Wallace
Department / Program:Philosophy
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Abstract:There are currently two main approaches to medical ethics: a principle-based approach (principlism) and a case-based approach (casuistry). In this dissertation I argue that casuistry is the more perspicuous of the two approaches. The first portion of my dissertation analyzes the current state of casuistry and argues that, although casuistry shows great promise as a philosophical approach, further clarification and theoretical support are needed before it can become viable in its own right. In the remaining portion of my dissertation I argue that insights taken from the theory of particularism can provide the theoretical support that casuistry is currently lacking. Particularism is a theory which argues that one has good reason to believe that universal and absolute ethical principles do not exist. Rather due to epistemic and metaphysical concerns, ethical reasoning is believed to be intrinsically case-based. After taking several chapters to examine key particularist arguments, I then argue that, contrary to widespread beliefs, particularism can account for useful ethical generalities. I finish by arguing that casuistry and particularism can be used to inform and improve each other, and that their combination offers one of the first full-fledged case-based ethical theories.
Issue Date:2007
Description:237 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2007.
Other Identifier(s):(MiAaPQ)AAI3301102
Date Available in IDEALS:2015-09-28
Date Deposited:2007

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