Ethical pluralism without complementarity
Fitzpatrick, W. J.
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Grinnell, Bishop, and McCullough (2002) have proposed extending Bohr's notion of complementarity from the realm of quantum physics to that of bioethics, arguing that many ethical disputes cannot in principle be resolved. On this view, we should give up the aim of reaching all-things-considered moral verdicts on a variety of disputed questions, settling instead for a holism of irreducibly complementary perspectives. I discuss a number of difficulties with this proposal, and argue that the desire for inclusiveness that motivates it is properly captured through a different approach to ethical pluralism already familiar in moral philosophy, which does allow for resolution.