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Ethics for Adversaries The Morality of Roles in Public and Professional Life

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ISBN-10: 0691057397

ISBN-13: 9780691057392

Edition: 2000

Authors: Arthur Isak Applbaum

List price: $46.00
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The adversary professions--law, business, and government, among others--typically claim a moral permission to violate persons in ways that, if not for the professional role, would be morally wrong. Lawyers advance bad ends and deceive, business managers exploit and despoil, public officials enforce unjust laws, and doctors keep confidences that, if disclosed, would prevent harm.Ethics for Adversariesis a philosophical inquiry into arguments that are offered to defend seemingly wrongful actions performed by those who occupy what Montaigne called "necessary offices." Applbaum begins by examining the career of Charles-Henri Sanson, who is appointed executioner of Paris by Louis XVI and serves the punitive needs of theancien reacute;gimefor decades. Come the French Revolution, the King's Executioner becomes the king's executioner, and he ministers with professional detachment to each defeated political faction throughout the Terror and its aftermath. By exploring one extraordinary role and the arguments that can be offered in its defense, Applbaum raises unsettling doubts about arguments in defense of less sanguinary professions and their practices. To justify harmful acts, adversaries appeal to arguments about the rules of the game, fair play, consent, the social construction of actions and actors, good outcomes in equilibrium, and the legitimate authority of institutions. Applbaum concludes that these arguments are weaker than supposed and do not morally justify much of the violation that professionals and public officials inflict. Institutions and the roles they create ordinarily cannot mint moral permissions to do what otherwise would be morally prohibited.
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Book details

List price: $46.00
Copyright year: 2000
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Publication date: 7/30/2000
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 288
Size: 6.00" wide x 9.00" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 0.880
Language: English

Necessary Offices
Arguments for Adversaries
Professional Detachment: The Executioner of Paris
Roles and Reasons
Doctor, Schmoctor: Practice Positivism and Its Complications
The Remains of the Role
Are Lawyers Liars? The Argument of Redescription
Games and Violations
Rules of the Game and Fair Play
Are Violations of Rights Ever Right?
Ethics in Equilibrium
Authority and Dissent
Democratic Legitimacy and Official Discretion
Montaigne's Mistake
Sources and Credits