Ethics and Public Policy A Philosophical Inquiry

ISBN-10: 0415668530
ISBN-13: 9780415668538
Edition: 2011
Authors: Jonathan Wolff
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Description: Alcohol causes over 20,000 premature deaths in the UK each year. It also causes a significant number of road traffic accidents, incidents of violence and heart damage. Ecstasy causes 10 deaths a year. Ecstasy is illegal, carrying a maximum penalty  More...

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Book details

List price: $19.99
Copyright year: 2011
Publisher: Taylor & Francis Group
Publication date: 5/24/2011
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 240
Size: 5.50" wide x 8.50" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 0.704
Language: English

Alcohol causes over 20,000 premature deaths in the UK each year. It also causes a significant number of road traffic accidents, incidents of violence and heart damage. Ecstasy causes 10 deaths a year. Ecstasy is illegal, carrying a maximum penalty of seven years imprisonment and a fine.If public policy is concerned with reducing harm how coherent is this legislation? Why is there such moral disagreement when it comes to policy making? What can philosophy do to help?Ethics and Public Policy: A Philosophical Inquiry is the first book to subject important and controversial areas of public policy to philosophical scrutiny. Jonathan Wolff, a renowned philosopher and consultant to the Home Office on gambling, introduces and assesses core problems and controversies in public policy from a philosophical standpoint. Each chapter is centred on an important area of public policy where there is considerable moral and political disagreement:The use of animals in scientific experimentation. What makes a person or animal a member of a moral community? What limits to gambling can be achieved through legislation? What assumptions underlie drug policy? Can we justify punishing those who engage in actions that harm only themselves? Why do we have minimum safety standards? Can they be justified in a free market? What is bad about crime? Does punishment work? How can we know whether a society has a health system of which it can be proud? Does access to healthcare make any difference to health and life expectancy? What is disability? What should society provide for people with disabilities?Throughout the book, fundamental questions for both philosopher and policy maker recur: what are the best methods for connecting philosophy and public policy? Should thinking about public policy be guided by an 'an ideal world' or the world we live in now? If there are 'knock down' arguments in philosophy why are there none in public policy?Each chapter concludes with 'Lessons for Philosophy' making this an ideal introduction for those coming to philosophy, ethics or public and social policy for the first time.

Jonathan Wolff is a professor of philosophy and the director of the Centre for Philosophy, Justice and Health at university College London. He wrote a regular column for The Guardian in London, where he resides.

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