Pragmatic Principles -- Methodological Pragmatism in the Principle-Based Approach to Bioethics
Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 2003 October-December; 28(5-6): 581-596
In this paper it will be argued that Beauchamp and Childress' principle-based approach to bioethics has strongly pragmatic features. Drawing on the writings of William James, I first develop an understanding of methodological pragmatism as a method of justification. On the basis of Beauchamp's and Childress' most recent proposals concerning moral justification in the fifth edition of their Principles of Biomedical Ethics (2001), I then discuss different aspects that the principle-based approach and methodological pragmatism have in common.