Aristotle and Principlism in Bioethics

Joseph Cimakasky, Ronald Polansky

About author

Dr. Joseph Cimakasky
Cabrini College
Grace Hall 255
610 King Of Prussia Rd
Radnor, PA


Joe Cimakasky is an Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Cabrini College in Pennsylvania. His interests include ancient philosophy, and healthcare ethics. He has practiced Nursing for the past fifteen years as a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN).

About author

Prof. Ronald Polansky
Duquesne University
McAnulty College and Graduate School of Liberal Arts
College Hall 303
600 Forbes Ave.
Pittsburgh, PA 15282


Ron Polansky is Professor of Philosophy and Chair at Duquesne University.  He edits Ancient Philosophy.


Principlism, a most prominent approach in bioethics, has been criticized for lacking an underlying moral theory.  We propose that the four principles of principlism can be related to the four traditional cardinal virtues.  These virtues appear prominently in Plato's Republic and in Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics.  We show how this connection can be made.  In this way principlism has its own compelling ethical basis.

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