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Compromise

  • J. P. Day (a1)
Abstract

Human conflict and its resolution is obviously a subject of great practical importance. Equally obviously, it is a vast subject, ranging from total war at one end of the spectrum to negotiated settlement at its other end. The literature on the subject is correspondingly vast and, in recent times, technical, thanks to the valuable contributions made to it by game theorists, economists, and writers on industrial and international relations. In this essay, however, I shall discuss only one familiar form of conflict-resolution. There is room for such a discussion, because philosophers have lately neglected compromise, despite the interest shown in it by the aforementioned experts, and despite the classic treatments of it by Halifax, Burke and Morley. Truly, ‘…compromise is not so widely discussed by philosophers as one might expect’, and ‘…the idea of compromise has been largely neglected by Anglo-American jurisprudence’.

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1 Golding M. P., ‘The Nature of Compromise: A Preliminary Inquiry’, Compromise in Ethics, Law and Politics, Nomos, XXI, Pennock J. R. and Chapman J. W. (eds) (New York University Press, 1979), 4.

2 Coons J. E., ‘Compromise as Precise Justice’, in Pennock and Chapman, op. cit., 202.

3 Burke E., ‘Speech on Moving the Resolutions for Conciliation with the Colonies’, The Works of Burke, II, Raffety F. W. (ed.) (London: Oxford University Press, 1906), 226.

4 Burke, op. cit., 173, 175, 232; emphases added.

5 Morley J. (Viscount Morley), On Compromise, 2nd edn (London: Chap man and Hall, 1877), 1; emphases added.

6 Braybrooke D., ‘The Possibilities of Compromise’, Ethics 93, No. 1 (10 1982), 139.

7 See the entries under ‘compromise’ in James J. S., Stroud's Judicial Dictionary, 4th edn (London: Sweet and Maxwell, 1972); Saunders J. B., Words and Phrases Legally Defined, 2nd edn (London: Butterworths, 1969); Dictionary of Politics and Economics, 2nd edn (Berlin: 1976).

8 Raffety, op. cit., xixii.

9 Braybrooke, op. cit., 141.

10 Benditt T. M. ‘Compromising Interests and Principles’, in Pennock and Chapman, op. cit., 30.

11 Golding, op. cit., 13.

12 Bodenheimer E., ‘Compromise in the Realization of Ideas and Values’, in Pennock and Chapman, op. cit., 142, 157.

13 Hart H. L. A., Punishment and Responsibility (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1968).

14 Savile G. (Marquis of Halifax), The Character of a Trimmer, The Complete Works of G. Savile, Raleigh W. (ed.) (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1912), 48.

15 Shapiro M., ‘Compromise and Litigation’, in Pennock and Chapman, op. cit., 164; emphases added.

16 Shapiro, op. cit., 173174.

17 Woodward E. L., History of England (London: Methuen, 1947), 152154.

18 Carens J. H., ‘Compromises in Politics’, in Pennock and Chapman, op. cit., 126.

19 Carens, op. cit., 140.

20 Carens, op. cit., 126128.

21 Carens, op. cit., 130.

22 Shapiro, op. cit., 171.

23 Kuflik A., ‘Morality and Compromise’, in Pennock and Chapman, op. cit., 63; emphases added.

24 Carens, op. cit., 139.

25 Broad C. D., ‘Ought We to Fight for our Country in the Next War?’, Ethics and the History of Philosophy (London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1952), 235236; Ross W. D., Foundations of Ethics (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1939), 315.

26 Mill J. S., Utilitarianism (1863); Urmson J. O., ‘The Interpretation of the Philosophy of J. S. Mill’, Philosophical Quarterly 3 (1953).

27 MacCormick D. N., ‘The Obligation of Reparation’, Aristotelian Society Proceedings 78 (1978).

28 Austin J. L., ‘A Plea for Excuses’, Philosophical Papers, Urmson J. O. and Warnock G. J. (eds) (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1961), 134.

29 Golding, op. cit., 78.

30 Kant I., Foundation of the Metaphysics of Morals (1785).

31 Birley R. (ed.), Speeches and Documents in American History, II, 1818–1865 (London: Oxford University Press, 1964), 140.

32 Birley, op. cit., 32.

33 Nevins A. and Commager H. S., A Short History of the United States (New York: Random House, 1945), 219.

34 Birley, op. cit., 6680.

35 Birley, op. cit., 188192.

36 Birley, op. cit., 183187.

37 See e.g. Barry B., ‘Justice as Reciprocity’, Justice, Kamenka E. and Tay A. E. (eds) (London: Arnold, 1979), 5078.

38 Mill J. S., On Liberty (1859), Ch. 5.

39 Birley, op. cit., 77.

40 Birley, op. cit., 182; cf. 78.

41 Nevins and Commager, op. cit., 220.

42 Birley, op. cit., 217.

43 Birley, op. cit., 241, 202; emphases added.

44 Nevins and Commager, op. cit., 225.

45 Nevins and Commager, op. cit., 220.

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  • ISSN: 0031-8191
  • EISSN: 1469-817X
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