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'Medical ethics'--an alternative approach.
  1. J J Haldane


    Contemporary medical ethics is generally concerned with the application of ethical theory to medico-moral dilemmas and with the critical analysis of the concepts of medicine. This paper presents an alternative programme: the development of a medical philosophy which, by taking as its starting point the two questions: what is man? and, what constitutes goodness in life? offers an account of health as one of the primary concepts of value. This view of the subject resembles that implied by ancient theories of goodness, and in later sections of the paper it is shown how Aristotle points us towards a coherent theory of human nature as psycho-physical, which overcomes the inadequacies of dualism and physicalist reductionism. What is on offer therefore, is the prospect of an integrated account of human nature and of what constitutes its flourishing: to be healthy is to be an active unity-of-parts in equilibrium.

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