Fulford’s advocacy of ‘values-based practice’ is deeply puzzling; for although it purports to do justice to the full range of whatever values anyone concerned brings to the table, it in fact leaves conflicts between people’s values at best unresolved or, worse, simply ignored. The difficulty arises from two fundamental shortcomings. First, it is not remotely clear what he takes values actually to be; and in particular, how values can be based in skills, as though they were something instrumental rather than normative. What does it mean – indeed, what could it mean -- to say that ‘Values-based practice is a new skills-based approach to working more effectively with complex and conflicting values’ (Fulford, 2011, 976)? Second, values are always someone’s values; but Fulford’s proposal simply glosses over the problem of whose values ‘values-based practice’ is supposed to consist in, gesturing vaguely in the direction of liberalism, as if that were something both fairly simply given and normatively uncontroversial.
|Title of host publication||Debates in values-based practice: arguments for and against|
|Place of Publication||Cambridge|
|Publisher||Cambridge University Press|
|Number of pages||7|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Oct 2014|