Dirty Hands and the Complicity of the Democratic Public

Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 16 (4):777-790 (2013)
Abstract
The alleged problem of the dirty hands of politicians has been much discussed since Michael Walzer’s original piece (Walzer 1974). The discussion has concerned the precise nature of the problem or sought to dissolve the apparent paradox. However there has been little discussion of the putative complicity, and thus also dirtying of hands, of a democratic public that authorizes politicians to act in its name. This article outlines the sense in which politicians do get dirty hands and the degree to which a democratic public may also get dirty hands. It separates the questions of secrecy, authorisation, and wrongfulness in order to spell out the extent of public complicity. Finally it addresses the ways in which those who do and those who do not acknowledge the problem of dirty hands erroneously discount or deny the problem of complicity by an appeal to the nature of democracy, a putatively essential need for political openness or to the scope of ideal theory
Keywords Dirty hands  Secrecy  Authorisation  Bad faith  Openness  Non-ideal theory
Categories (categorize this paper)
Options
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
 
Download options
PhilPapers Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 11,819
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA
C. A. J. Coady, The Problem of Dirty Hands. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
William A. Galston (2010). Realism in Political Theory. European Journal of Political Theory 9 (4):385-411.

View all 19 references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Similar books and articles
Leslie Griffin (1989). The Problem Of Dirty Hands. Journal of Religious Ethics 17 (1):31-61.
Stephen De Wijze (2003). Democracy, Trust and the Problem of 'Dirty Hands'. Philosophy in the Contemporary World 10 (1):37-42.
W. Kenneth Howard (1977). Must Public Hands Be Dirty? Journal of Value Inquiry 11 (1):29-40.
Stephen De Wijze (2005). Tragic-Remorse–the Anguish of Dirty Hands. Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 7 (5):453-471.
Stephen De Wijze (2005). Tragic-Remorse — the Anguish of Dirty Hands. Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 7 (5):453 - 471.
Stephen de Wijze (2007). Dirty Hands. In Igor Primoratz (ed.), Politics and Morality. Palgrave Macmillan.
C. A. J. Coady, The Problem of Dirty Hands. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Analytics

Monthly downloads

Added to index

2012-10-02

Total downloads

16 ( #107,068 of 1,099,914 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

1 ( #304,017 of 1,099,914 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature


Discussion
Start a new thread
Order:
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.