The Four-Principles Approach: An Appeal to the Common Morality for Resolution and Justification

  • Stephen S. HansonEmail author
Part of the Philosophy and Medicine book series (PHME, volume 103)


As explored in Chapter 2, the minimal requirements of content-free secular morality are too minimal to serve as any kind of useful tool for justifiably solving moral conflicts in a pluralistic society. Tom Beauchamp and James Childress try a different approach to address the same problem. They argue that what they understand as the “common morality ,” held by all morally serious persons, already contains certain basic norms, which can be loosely codified as principles of morality. These principles, appropriately made specific and in interaction with each other, can be used to respond to and resolve moral conflicts.


Moral Theory Moral Belief Coherent System Moral Problem Moral Claim 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyUniversity of LouisvilleLouisvilleUSA

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