Abstract: Ethics is often viewed as the elaboration of and compliance to norms, a.k.a. as the deductive model of ethics. This is well illustrated by the mainstream development of codes of ethics and ethics committees in the healthcare setting and beyond. Drawing upon a recent synthesis of pragmatist insights on the nature of ethics as well as contemporary scholarship on human flourishing, I explain how ethics is not primarily about the compliance of experience and agency to preset norms but about liberation and empowerment within a process of existential meaning-making. This point is made in the context of two important tasks of ethics: (1) understanding moral problems and (2) providing guidance for solving such problems.
Keywords: ethics, pragmatism, health, freedom, experience


Racine Eric. How ethics liberates experience: insights from pragmatist theory and contemporary research. Journal of Speculative Philosophy, 2022, 36 (4): 517–536. doi: https://doi.org/10.5325/jspecphil.36.4.0517