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Foundations, Frameworks, Lenses: The Role of Theories in Bioethics

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I explore the implications of the foundation metaphor for understanding the role of moral theories in ethics and bioethics and argue that its disadvantages outweigh its advantages. I then consider two other metaphors that might be used instead, those of frameworks and lenses. I propose that the metaphor of lenses is most promising in providing methodological guidance for drawing on moral theories when deliberating about bioethical problems.

Document Type: Original Article


Affiliations: Department of Philosophy, Dalhousie University

Publication date: 1999-07-01

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