A Practical Guide to Clinical Ethics Consulting: Expertise, Ethos and Power

ISBN: 9780742548282
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
Publication Date: 2007-04-26
Number of pages: 112
  • $21.97

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A Practical Guide to Clinical Ethics Consulting reasserts the philosophical method as foundational to ethics consulting. It does so in response to extensive attacks from social scientists, lawyers, theologians, and especially practitioners, all of whom disparage philosophy's reliance on abstract theory and conceptual analysis. Using clinical ethics consulting as an exemplar, Christopher Meyers argues that while many of the attacks are well founded, they are only partly so and not in the most important respects. Ethics consulting that relies too heavily on abstract analysis is of little use to practitioners; consultants must have adequate grounding in, and appreciation of, the concrete reality of working professionals. They must also be experienced enough to have the practical wisdom necessary to assist with real-world problems.

Skills of philosophical analysis, when combined with instruction in empirical investigation, political awareness and appropriate character traits, are vital to ethics consulting. Ethicists need the theoretical and conceptual analysis skills that are a standard part of a philosophical education and mindset. The book provides both a defense of this central thesis and a detailed description of the empirical tools―and of the critical independence―necessary to effective consulting.

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