Clinical Pragmatism: A Method of Moral Problem Solving

Joseph J. Fins, Matthew D. Bacchetta, Franklin G. Miller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

97 Scopus citations


This paper presents a method of moral problem solving in clinical practice that is inspired by the philosophy of John Dewey. This method, called "clinical pragmatism," integrates clinical and ethical decision making. Clinical pragmatism focuses on the interpersonal processes of assessment and consensus formation as well as the ethical analysis of relevant moral considerations. The steps in this method are delineated and then illustrated through a detailed case study. The implications of clinical pragmatism for the use of principles in moral problem solving are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)129-145
Number of pages17
JournalKennedy Institute of Ethics Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Issues, ethics and legal aspects
  • Health(social science)
  • Health Policy
  • History and Philosophy of Science


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