The common morality in communitarian thought: Reflective consensus in public policy

I explore the possible meanings that the notion of the common morality can have in a contemporary communitarian approach to ethics and public policy. The common morality can be defined as the conditions for shared pursuit of the good or as the values, deliberations, traditions, and common construction of the narrative of a people. The former sense sees the common morality as the universal and invariant structures of morality while the second sense is much more contingent in nature. Nevertheless, the communitarian sees both aspects as integral in devising solutions to public policy problems. I outline how both meanings follow from communitarian philosophical anthropology and illustrate how they work together when addressing a question such as that of providing universal health insurance in the United States. The common morality forms the basis of building an implicit consensus that is available to and reaffirmed by the shared reflections of the citizenry.
Keywords Common good  Common morality  Communitarian  Communitarian ethics  Consensus  Narrative ethics  Universal health insurance
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DOI 10.1007/s11017-009-9095-3
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References found in this work BETA
John Rawls (2009/2005). A Theory of Justice. In Steven M. Cahn (ed.), Philosophy and Rhetoric. Oxford University Press 133-135.
Michael Sandel (2003). Liberalism and the Limits of Justice. In Derek Matravers & Jonathan E. Pike (eds.), Journal of Philosophy. Routledge, in Association with the Open University 336-343.
Norman Daniels (1985). Just Health Care. Cambridge University Press.

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Citations of this work BETA
Henk A. M. J. ten Have (2011). Global Bioethics and Communitarianism. Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 32 (5):315-326.
Amitai Etzioni (2011). On a Communitarian Approach to Bioethics. Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 32 (5):363-374.

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