Ethics and Experts; How Do We Decide?; a Physician's Perspective; Ethicists, Critics, and Expertise; What Philosophers Can Offer
Noble, Cheryl N.
Beauchamp, Tom L.
Hastings Center Report. 1982 Jun; 12(3): 7-15.
Cheryl Noble discusses the emergence of applied ethics as a subdiscipline and expresses skepticism about the role of the philosopher as a technical "expert" on social problems. Peter Singer applauds the renewed interest of philosophers in social issues and points out the special advantages they may contribute to discussions of such issues. Jerry Avorn, a physician, sees a useful role for ethicists as teachers and resources for medical practitioners trained as generalists responsible for a patient's care. Daniel Wikler accepts Noble's contention that ethicists are in danger of becoming defenders of conventional morality but argues that applied analytic philosophy has contributed logical precision and vigor of argument on a number of pressing social issues. Tom Beauchamp also acknowledges validity in some of Noble's criticisms while analyzing a variety of weaknesses in her arguments. (KIE abstract)
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