IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this article

Casuistry as bioethical method: an empirical perspective

Listed author(s):
  • Braunack-Mayer, Annette
Registered author(s):

    This paper examines the role that casuistry, a model of bioethical reasoning revived by Jonsen and Toulmin, plays in ordinary moral reasoning. I address the question: 'What is the evidence for contemporary casuistry's claim that every-day moral reasoning is casuistic in nature?' The paper begins with a description of the casuistic method, and then reviews the empirical arguments Jonsen and Toulmin offer to show that every-day moral decision-making is casuistic. Finally, I present the results of qualitative research conducted with 15 general practitioners (GPs) in South Australia, focusing on the ways in which these GP participants used stories and anecdotes in their own moral reasoning. This research found that the GPs interviewed did use a form of casuistry when talking about ethical dilemmas. However, the GPs' homespun casuistry often lacked one central element of casuistic reasoning -- clear paradigm cases on which to base comparisons. I conclude that casuistic reasoning does appear to play a role in every-day moral decision-making, but that it is a more subdued role than perhaps casuists would like.

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Social Science & Medicine.

    Volume (Year): 53 (2001)
    Issue (Month): 1 (July)
    Pages: 71-81

    in new window

    Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:53:y:2001:i:1:p:71-81
    Contact details of provider: Web page:

    Order Information: Postal:

    No references listed on IDEAS
    You can help add them by filling out this form.

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:53:y:2001:i:1:p:71-81. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dana Niculescu)

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.