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Fragmentation

  • Peter Lucas
Chapter
Part of the Library of Ethics and Applied Philosophy book series (LOET, volume 26)

Abstract

The ethical principle of respect for persons has been considered by many to be central to any adequate system of ethics. Some have gone so far as to present it as the supreme principle of morality in general. However, this view looks increasingly untenable. Developments in applied and professional ethics over recent decades have challenged the centrality of respect for persons on a number of fronts. Firstly, the connection between ontological personhood and moral personhood has been widely and effectively questioned. Secondly, the connection between moral agency and moral patiency has been questioned. Finally, the principle of respect for persons has been displaced from its former centrality to occupy, in the form of a principle of respect for autonomy, a place in a range of mutually irreducible basic principles. Thus the fragmentation of the idea of the moral person has been accompanied by a decline in the apparent significance of the principle of respect for persons. In the light of this decline, it is reasonable to ask what future the principle of respect for persons can now have.

Keywords

Moral Agent Professional Ethic Moral Duty Moral Personhood Biomedical Ethic 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Education and Social Sciences, University of Central LancashirePreston, LancashireUK

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