Medicine as practical wisdom : an old foundation for a new way of thinking in biomedical ethics
Author(s)Goldstein, Daniel M. (Daniel Michael)
KeywordsAristotle -- Contributions in theory of knowledge
Decision making -- Moral and ethical aspects.
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AbstractThis inquiry suggests a new epistemological foundation for understanding and discernment in biomedical ethics. This foundation, based on Aristotle's phronesis or practical wisdom, contains elements of the lived human experience which are seen as essential aspects of ethical, as well as medical, deliberation. The Aristotelian intellectual virtues of theoria and phronesis, used as "ideal types" of rationality, provide epistemological prejudices that structure two distinct ways of thinking. With this distinction, an alternative to certain dominant trends within biomedical ethics arises as phronesis provides more human centered prejudices for understanding. In conclusion, we shall see, using the doctrine of informed consent, that a phronetic rationality allows different, more humane meanings to come into being. Phronesis, it will be argued, provides a mode of rationality which promotes compassion and engagement in both ethics and medicine and consequently, is the more appropriate way of thinking in these important human practices.
TypeElectronic Thesis or Dissertation