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Moral Compromise

  • David Archard (a1)

A moral compromise is a compromise on moral matters; it is agreement in the face of moral disagreement but where there is agreement on the importance of consensus – namely that it secures a morally desirable outcome. It is distinguishable from other forms of agreement, and an important distinction between moral compromise with public agreement and moral compromise with public disagreement is also made. Circumstances in which the former might be permissible are outlined, and the sense in which it is allowed all things considered to agree is made clear. The relevant discussions of Dan Brock and Mary Warnock on the role of the philosopher to public policy are critically reviewed. Finally, a brief list is offered of the considerations relevant to an estimation of whether and, if so, when such compromise is allowed.

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M.B. Abram and S.M. Wolf , ‘Public involvement in medical ethics’, New. England Journal of Medicine 310 (1984), 628

M. Brazier , ‘Regulating the Reproduction Business’, Medical Law Review 7 (Summer 1999): 166193

Adam Swift , ‘The Value of Philosophy in Nonideal Circumstances’, Social Theory and Practice, 34 (July 2008): 363387

Opinions and social pressure’, Scientific American, 193, (1955): 3135

Dan Brock , ‘Truth or Consequences: The Role of Philosophers in Policy-Making’, Ethics 97 (July 1987): 786791

Moral Thinking and Government Policy: The Warnock Committee on Human Embryology’, The Milbank Memorial Fund Quarterly. Health and Society 63 (Summer, 1985): 504522

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  • ISSN: 0031-8191
  • EISSN: 1469-817X
  • URL: /core/journals/philosophy
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