Public Philosophy: Distinction Without Authority
Menzel, Paul T.
Journal of Medicine and Philosophy. 1990 Aug; 15(4): 411-424.
An assumed core of normative ethical principles may constitute a philosophically proper framework within which public policy should be formulated, but it seldom provides any substantive solutions. To generate public policy on bioethical issues, participants still need to confront underlying philosophical controversies. Professional philosophers' proper role in that process is to clarify major philosophical options, to press wider-ranging consistency questions, and to bring more parties into the philosophical debate itself by arguing for particular substantive claims. Though questions of fact that mediate final policy conclusions frequently fall outside philosophical competence, one sort of fact, lack of political support, should seldom cause philosophers to stand aside; philosophers still have an important role as critics of culture, politics, and profession. They have no authority, however, on even the philosophical presuppositions of public policy.
Advisory Committees; Allowing to Die; Anencephaly; Autonomy; Bioethical Issues; Bioethics; Cadavers; Clinical Ethics; Clinical Ethics Committees; Communication; Competence; Culture; Consent; Decision Making; Ethical Analysis; Ethical Theory; Ethicists; Ethics; Ethics Committees; Goals; Health; Health Care; Interdisciplinary Communication; Justice; Life; Moral Policy; Newborns; Organ Donation; Personhood; Philosophy; Politics; Presumed Consent; Public Participation; Public Policy; Resource Allocation; Rights; Technical Expertise; Value of Life; Values;
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