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Methods in BioethicsThe Way We Reason Now$
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John Arras

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780190665982

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2017

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190665982.001.0001

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A Method in Search of a Purpose

A Method in Search of a Purpose

The Internal Morality of Medicine

(p.155) 7 A Method in Search of a Purpose
Methods in Bioethics

John D. Arras

James Childress

Matthew Adams

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines the “internal morality” approach to medicine. According to this method, a medical ethic can be derived entirely from the contemplation of medicine’s proper nature, goals, and practice. The chapter outlines the central features of the internal morality view and distinguishes between the different versions of it that have developed, such as “essentialism” and the “practical precondition account.” The chapter then gives consideration to some objections that have been leveled against the internal morality approach. The conclusion of the chapter is that, rather than rejecting the method altogether, we should revise our expectations by assigning it a role that is more modest than that of its original, overly ambitious goal of solving substantive moral problems.

Keywords:   internal morality, essentialism, practical precondition account, evolution, Lon Fuller

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