The Confluence of Philosophy and Law in Applied Ethics

  • Norbert Paulo

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-viii
  2. Ethics and Law

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 1-2
    2. Norbert Paulo
      Pages 3-10
    3. Norbert Paulo
      Pages 11-25
  3. Methods in Legal Theory

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 27-31
    2. Norbert Paulo
      Pages 33-43
    3. Norbert Paulo
      Pages 45-76
    4. Norbert Paulo
      Pages 77-109
  4. Methods in Contemporary Ethical Theories

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 111-112
    2. Norbert Paulo
      Pages 113-175
    3. Norbert Paulo
      Pages 177-207
    4. Norbert Paulo
      Pages 209-235
    5. Norbert Paulo
      Pages 237-245
  5. Back Matter
    Pages 247-250

About this book


The law serves a function that is not often taken seriously enough by ethicists, namely practicability. A consequence of practicability is that law requires elaborated and explicit methodologies that determine how to do things with norms. This consequence forms the core idea behind this book, which employs methods from legal theory to inform and examine debates on methodology in applied ethics, particularly bioethics. It is argued that almost all legal methods have counterparts in applied ethics, which indicates that much can be gained from comparative study of the two.

The author first outlines methods as used in legal theory, focusing on deductive reasoning with statutes as well as analogical reasoning with precedent cases. He then examines three representative kinds of contemporary ethical theories, Beauchamp and Childress’s principlism, Jonsen and Toulmin’s casuistry, and two versions of consequentialism—Singer’s preference utilitarianism and Hooker’s rule-consequentialism—with regards to their methods. These examinations lead to the Morisprudence Model for methods in applied ethics. 


legal theory bioethics deductive reasoning casuistry principlism debate consequence methods balancing

Authors and affiliations

  • Norbert Paulo
    • 1
  1. 1.Dept. of Social Sciences and EconUniv of SalzburgSalzburgAustria

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2016
  • Publisher Name Palgrave Macmillan, London
  • eBook Packages Religion and Philosophy
  • Print ISBN 978-1-137-55733-9
  • Online ISBN 978-1-137-55734-6
  • Buy this book on publisher's site