By R. G. Frey, Christopher Heath Wellman
Utilized or functional ethics may be the most important progress region in philosophy this day, and lots of concerns in ethical, social, and political lifestyles have come below philosophical scrutiny lately. Taken jointly, the essays during this quantity – together with evaluation essays on theories of ethics and the character of utilized ethics – supply a cutting-edge account of the main urgent ethical questions dealing with us at the present time.
- Provides a finished consultant to some of the most vital difficulties of functional ethics
- Offers state of the art debts of concerns in scientific, environmental, criminal, social, and enterprise ethics
- Written through significant philosophers shortly engaged with those advanced and profound moral issues
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Extra resources for A Companion to Applied Ethics
Or do these processes have a significance of their own that may be used as a basis for criticizing particular redistributive schemes? Maybe the economist who defends market processes as d i t i ffii l t h i i t i ill t t tht df t itii d i t i b t i h tht h ditt kt t O b ditibti b itiid l d f di th l i i b i l i t f i i t f d i t i th lb i f th t i t l t f th h llff M t f thi h t ill f th l th th th i t It is important however to understand that the two are related Market processes are not just valued instrumentally; economists do not normally advocate setting up any old allocative arrangements that happen to conduce to efficiency Markets are l d b thi titti t t bd i t t i i l f it l t Th f d t l l f kt "N t f itht t" d "K t t " l l i i l d t d t f ll ll ill h th iltd S it' tht lf ditibti d i t t lb kt th t t f kt i t i i ld j t i l i t it ft h t f l reproach as well for it is seeking implicitly to defend institutions that have inherent moral significance even apart from their outcomes Modern societies adopt two main redistributive strategies for mitigating the rigors f t F i t th id b f i d titi (f l bli d t i d i ti i l hlth ) t ll iti ti f t h i bilit t S d th id l i t ith i h i kid t l b f i i h d t h h f th t d th t t f h t d th diti h i h it i granted vary widely between societies and within societies over time Both types of provision raise interesting moral issues but I shall focus mainly on the second type 39 JEREMY WALDRON ft d i b d " l f " b it ditibti i l i t i evident In fact the extent of the redistribution involved in actuallyexisting welfare schemes is easy to exaggerate At the time of writing in the United States federal b d t t t d lf t i t l t t f d 6 t f t di S lt tk i l l fil ith h h l d i f ( ) $100000 b t 35 t f thi i f d l t Of t h t $35000 t f d f th f i l t th US T d 6 t i d t d t lf t f T t it th th fil i l i i d t tibt l lihtl th 2 t f it t t l household income to the poor (slightly more when state taxes and transfers are taken into account) Given the extent of poverty in the United States a 2 percent contribution from each of the most prosperous households must be regarded as a fil d t t Still th ti ti i i f i t t f ld d th l f $2000 ( ) i bb i l M d f d f lf ditibti ft i t i i th t t f d d th US t i l d th ll f h hih l l f ii f th l l f ii hih might well require a contribution two or three times greater than that currently paid by welloff American households We have to evaluate these proposals as well So how should we think about welfare from a moral point of view?
Cambridge MA: Belknap Press of Harvard University Slote Michael (1992) From Morality to Virtue. New York: Oxford University Press Thomson Judith (1976) Killing letting die and the trolley problem The Monist, 59: 204-17 Williams Bernard (1985) Ethics and the Limits of Philosophy. Cambridge MA: Harvard University Press Further reading Darwall Stephen (ed) (forthcoming) Contractarianism/Contractualism. Oxford: Blackwell (forthcoming) Deontology. Oxford: Blackwell (ed) (forthcoming) Virtue (Ethics).
Here again we cannot answer this question without taking a stand on meta-ethical issues concerning what morality and moral obligation are if only implicitly If we understand moral questions broadly enough then it may seem that harm is harm and is no less morally relevant whether the being harmed is a person or a snail darter If however we think of morality as a system of reciprocity or mutual accountability where norms of right and wrong mediate a moral community of free and equal moral persons then harm to other persons will seem to have an intrinsic moral relevance that harm to other species does not For then what is morally wrong will be what one can be held accountable by others for doing in accordance with norms that must in some sense be acceptable to all from a perspective of equality So viewed harm to persons is not simply harm to members of a certain species but harm to a member of the moral community to whom norms of right and wrong must be justifiable This is only one example of how questions of meta-ethics are implicitly involved in issues of normative ethical theory and therefore in case ethics Ultimately we have no alternative but to pursue philosophical ethics, that is to attempt to work out a comprehensive outlook that integrates normative ethics and meta-ethics (Darwall 1998) Contractarianism/Contractualism We can turn now to a review of different normative theories and begin with one that can be grounded in the meta-ethical theory of morality as reciprocity or mutual accountability just mentioned This is the idea that whether an action is right or wrong depends on whether it accords with or violates principles that would be the object of an agreement contract or choice made under certain conditions by members of the moral community The general idea can be developed in a variety of ways depending on how the choice or agreement the parties who make it and the conditions under which it is made are characterized One broad distinction is between contractarianism, under which the choice of moral principles is self-interested and contractualism, which grounds it in a moral ideal of reciprocity reasonableness or fairness It may seem strange to think that moral principles can in any respect be agreed upon or chosen How can a moral proposition be made true by any choice or agreement?