Utilitarianism as a Public Philosophy
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- Author: Robert E. Goodin, Australian National University, Canberra
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Robert E. Goodin, a philosopher with many books on political theory, public policy and applied ethics to his credit, defends utilitarianism against its critics and shows how it can be applied most effectively over a wide range of public policies. In discussions of such issues as paternalism, social welfare policy, international ethics, nuclear armaments, and international responses to the environment crisis, he demonstrates what a flexible tool his brand of utilitarianism can be in confronting the dilemmas of public policy in the real world.Read more
- Goodin is well-known writer in this field; he edits the Journal of Political Philosophy (Blackwell)
- Lots of policy application of the theory from social welfare to environmental policy and tort liability
- Interdisciplinary - philosophy, political science, law, and economics
Reviews & endorsements
"...I think that much of Goodin's book can be enjoyed and appreciated as a discussion of important public policy issues without looking for it to resolve the more contentious question of the defensibility of utilitarianism over nonutilitariansim, even with respect to just its public policy applications." James P. Sterba, EthicsSee more reviews
"...this book is notable for its optimism, detail, and scope." Samantha Brennan, Philosophy in Review
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- Date Published: February 2011
- format: Adobe eBook Reader
- isbn: 9780511885594
- availability: This ISBN is for an eBook version which is distributed on our behalf by a third party.
Table of Contents
Part I. Introduction: Moral Bases of State Action:
1. Utilitarianism as a public philosophy
2. The state as a moral agent
Part II. Morality, Public and Private:
3. Do motives matter?
4. Government house utilitarianism
Part III. Shaping Private Conduct:
6. Distributing credit and blame
7. Apportioning responsibilities
Part IV. Shaping Public Policies: Section A. Respecting and overriding preferences:
8. Liberalism and the best-judge principle
9. Laundering preferences
10. Heroic measures and false hopes
11. Theories of compensation
Section B. Ensuring social security:
12. Stabilising expectations
13. Compensation and redistribution
14. Basic income
15. Relative needs
C. International ethics
16. What is so special about our fellow countrymen?
17. Nuclear disarmament as a moral certainty
18. International ethics and the environmental crisis
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