Abortion in Jewish Thought: A Study in Casuistry
Journal of the American Academy of Religion
abortion, cauistry, Jewish thought, ethics
Casuistry--the mode of ethical reasoning that focuses on paradigm cases rather than principles--has been lately rehabilitated. My position is that cases are more than clever teaching tools or devices to spice up an otherwise dry discussion. While moral knowledge is particular, in that we must act in particular instances, I still want to argue that ethics is grounded in universal principles. I take an intermediate tack: Cases are powerful influences on our ethical thinking, which shape our understanding of principles at the same time that those principles inform our understanding of cases.
Dena S. Davis, Abortion in Jewish Thought: A Study in Casuistry, 60 Journal of the American Academy of Religion 313 (December 1992)