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Lecture 2

Lecture 2 - Theories of Justice.docx

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PHIL 215
Brian Orend

Theories of JusticeMicro and Macro Contexts We can think about how to treat people how to live your life and put together institutions etc in a micro and macro wayFor example o Micro Contextthe Government passes new standards based on effluence coming out of a pulp and paper millit has lots of effluencepolluting by products Its a personal choice of ethics whether the manager adheres to the new regulation or not What is my dutyWhat are the consequences to myself and societyWhat would a virtuous person do Would the adhere to or violate these standards o Macro contextIssue of justiceAre the standards set by the government good in the first placeBy what process did the government set those standardsIts not a issue of duties consequences virtues etcits an issue of justicewe are talking about the overall shape of a vital social institutionInstitutions of Justice o Governmenttends to get all the attention in terms of social institutions Its inappropriate to think of the government as the only vital social institution Its appropriate to think of it as auniquely pervasive institution in societyThe government has strong fingers in all of these other vital social institutionsLegal SystemHealth Care Education o In a way it is natural to focus on the way government should be instituted as the locust of any institution of justiceThree Prominent Theories of Justice Conservatism Liberalism and SocialismWhy just these three Whats the rational of just talking about these three oWe only want to talk about the most serious contenders For example Anarchismthe tradition of thought about government but its not a particularly influential body of theoryIts not a prominent theory of justice so we dont talk about it here in Business EthicsFascismperspective on justice but its discredited after WWIIif it was political philosophy wed touch on it but not in business ethicsThese three theories are comprehensive world views and traditions of thought about how social institution should be put togethero This is slightly at odds with certain trends in contemporary politics Its very common in contemporary politics that people dont really care about comprehensive views or about how social institution should be put together as a whole They only care about their pet issuetheir one issue example abortion the environment animal rights tax cuts government subsidies for their business etc these are all noncomprehensive viewsone issue and doesnt come as a theory of justiceWorld viewssince the French revolution theres 3 prominent successful and influential and comprehensive theories in the West Western Europe and countries that have developed from the colonizationo Warning These words and how Brain Orend defines them are the way that scholars define these terms they do not necessarily line up with how political parties brand themselvesConservatismThe oldest surviving prominent theory in the West Its not necessary the political platform of the Conservative party of Ontario o Here we refer to a consistent coherent body of principles whereas a political party may change their principles in order to get electedConservatismto conserveThe essence of conservatism is about conserving a certain way of life and preserving a set of institutions handed down o Its a hesitancy about change o A scepticism about the wisdom of widespread reform o A proattitude towards the past o A true conservative is nationalist and things very highly of their country o Social institutions should foster values that have been transmitted over time to the next generations Preserve respect for a certain set of values over time A very useful institution to protect that way of life it the government or the State o A conservative favours the state having a positive and active rolethey would like the state to take positive action to persevere this given way of lifeNot hostile to government o Values and morality are objective Its possible to talk about a moral truth and to discern this They think the state must be involve in conserving this shared heritage and passing it on to future generationso Conservatives feel very comfortable with the state intervening in issues of social morality such as legislating sex role in deciding curricula homosexual material in schools or not Feel comfortable with the state intervention provided its the right kind of government intervention namely intervention that props up this good objectively true shared way of life thats been passed down by our ancestors and needs to be preserved for future generationso They are comfortable with inequality in societyThose who know the moral truth should have more powerLogical consequence of the world view that there be considerable inequalitiesPolitically socially legally and economically
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