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Document Details :
Title: Thick and Thin
Subtitle: An Angle on Catholic Moral Teachings
Author(s): CONNORS, Russel B. Jr.
Journal: Louvain Studies
Volume: 21 Issue: 4 Date: winter 1996
Drawing on the work of cultural anthropologist Clifford Geertz ethicists have begun to invoke the images of “thick and thin” as a way of assessing the adequacy of describing a moral event or encounter. Dena Davis, for example, used the thick/thin image to assess the way medical-moral cases are presented and analyzed in clinical settings. She noted that factoring out the details of a patient's life, background, relationships, etc. in a case presentation (thin description) can lead to judgments and decisions that do not do justice to the patient as a person. Attending to the contingencies of “the story” (thick description) may be more complex and difficult, but may enhance the likelihood of a truly appropriate or fitting moral response.