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One health ethics: a response to pragmatism

Abstract

Johnson and Degeling have recently enquired whether one health (OH) requires a comprehensive normative framework, concluding that such a framework, while not necessary, may be helpful. In this commentary, we provide a context for this debate, and describe how pragmatism has been predominant in the OH literature. We nevertheless argue that articulating a comprehensive normative theory to ground OH practice might clear existing vagueness and provide stronger guidance in relevant health dilemmas. A comprehensive theory will also be needed eventually to ground notions such as universal good. We, thus, call for the systematic articulation of a comprehensive, metaethical theory, concomitantly with already ongoing normative work.

  • environmental ethics
  • philosophical ethics
  • public health ethics

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