The Ethical Bases of Public Policies: A Conceptual Framework

Economics and Philosophy 30 (2):175-194 (2014)
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This paper develops a conceptual framework, which can accommodate a wide range of value judgements used in ethical evaluations of extended social states and which can be used to differentiate different categories of value judgements by referring to the type of information on which they may be based. The notions of consequentialism, non-consequentialism, exclusive focus on personal well-being, exclusive focus on utility, etc. are conceptualized in operational ways in the framework. The framework and the discussion of different types of ethical criteria that may be used in evaluating extended social states contribute to conceptual clarity about the ethical bases of public policies.



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