Pragmatism and Pragmata

  • Peter-Paul Verbeek
Part of the The International Library of Environmental, Agricultural and Food Ethics book series (LEAF, volume 3)


One of the greatest dangers to pragmatism is relativism, as I freely translate Glenn McGee’s statement in his contribution to this volume. Pragmatist bioethics too easily sets aside questions about the foundations of knowledge. Ethical decisions are unavoidably made on the basis of knowledge about the situation in which we find ourselves, and therefore this basis deserves serious consideration. As McGee states: “The most important component of a genuine pragmatic bioethics is its ability to take seriously how difficult but unavoidable a challenge it is to ‘know’ those things about which there is much genuine disagreement, yet on the basis of which one must take important action”.


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© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2002

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  • Peter-Paul Verbeek

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