In this paper we report on empirical research which investigates social capital of Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs). Bringing an international perspective to the work, we make a comparison between 30 firms located in West London and Munich in the sectors of food manufacturing/production, marketing services and garages. Here we present 6 case studies, which we use to illustrate the early findings from this pilot project. We identify differences in approach to associational membership in Germany and the U.K., with (...) a greater propensity to "belong" to an official group in Germany. We distinguish clear sectoral similarities across the countries, and indications that certain personality types will seek out engagement and find time beyond busy work life schedules, often merging work/home/leisure life and friends. Some of our cases illustrate that formal institutions, networks and mutual relationships can develop social capital for the SME, although we should take care not to assume a universal win-win situation for those who are engaged and contribute to the commongood. Some of the obstacles to cooperation and civic engagement are outlined. (shrink)
In a previous essay (Sison and Fontrodona 2012), we defined the commongood of the firm as collaborative work, insofar as it provides, first, an opportunity to develop knowledge, skills, virtues, and meaning (work as praxis), and second, inasmuch as it produces goods and services to satisfy society’s needs and wants (work as poiesis). We would now like to focus on the participatory aspect of this commongood. To do so, we will have to identify the (...) different members of the firm as a community, drawing from corporate citizenship literature and stakeholder theory. Afterward, we will explore both the manner and the intensity of these different members’ participation and its impact on the firm’s commongood. (shrink)
Some virtue ethicists are reluctant to consider principles and standards in business ethics. However, this is problematic. This paper argues that realistic Personalism can be integrated into virtue-based business ethics, giving it a more complete base. More specifically, two principles are proposed: the Personalist Principle (PP) and the CommonGood Principle (CGP). The PP includes the Golden Rule and makes explicit the duty of respect, benevolence, and care for people, emphasizing human dignity and the innate rights of every (...) human being. The CGP entails cooperation to promote conditions which enhance the opportunity for the human flourishing of all people within a community. Both principles have practical implications for business ethics. (shrink)
In our contemporary post-modern context, it has become increasingly awkward to talk about a good that is shared by all. This is particularly true in the context of mammoth multi-national corporations operating in global markets. Nevertheless, it is precisely some of these same enormous, aggrandizing forces that have given rise to recent corporate scandals. These, in turn, raise questions about ethical systems that are focused too myopically on self-interest, or the interest of specific groups, locations or cultures. The obvious (...) traditional alternative to moral bellybutton gazing is the commongood, which challenges the modern business enterprise to realize non-instrumental values that can only be attained in our life together. The commongood dictates that leadership should be judged, first of all, according to moral criteria rather than professional competence. It helps correct the distorted prioritization of the maximization of profit in every business decision, recognizing that businesses have a multitude of rights and responsibilities, and the commongood reminds us that the first of these is not always profit-making. (shrink)
The CommonGood and Christian Ethics rethinks the ancient tradition of the commongood in a way that addresses contemporary social divisions, both urban and global. David Hollenbach draws on social analysis, moral philosophy, and theological ethics to chart new directions in both urban life and global society. He argues that the division between the middle class and the poor in major cities and the challenges of globalisation require a new commitment to the common (...) class='Hi'>good and that both believers and secular people must move towards new forms of solidarity if they are to live good lives together. Hollenbach proposes a positive vision of how a reconstructed understanding of the commongood can lead to better lives for all today, both in cities and globally. This interdisciplinary study makes both practical and theoretical contributions to the developing shape of social, cultural, and religious life today. (shrink)
The ongoing global economic and financial crisis has exposed the risks of considering market and business organizations only as instruments for creating economic wealth while paying little heed to their role in ethics and values. Catholic Social Teaching (CST) could provide a useful contribution in rethinking the role of values in business organizations and markets because CST puts forward an anthropological view that involves thinking of the marketplace as a community of persons with the aim of participating in the (...) class='Hi'>CommonGood (CG) of society. In the light of the CST tradition, and in particular Caritas in Veritate , this article investigates the thinking of some of the historical scholars of the Italian Economia Aziendale ( EA ), by focusing on the concept of azienda , in order to reinterpret in a more humanistic way the role of business organizations in society. By linking CST and EA , the dichotomy between for-profit and not-for-profit organizations and the stereotype of the so-called business amorality that has, for a long time, driven business managers can be transcended. The conclusions imply a forward-looking application of the ethical concepts embedded in the Italian science of EA. (shrink)
Caritas in Veritate (CV) poses a challenge to the business community when it asks for “a profoundly new way of understanding business enterprise” (CV 40). The paper proposes the concept of the “commongood” as a starting point for the discussion and sketches a definition of the commongood of business as the path toward an answer for this challenge. Building on the distinction between the material and the formal parts of the commongood, (...) the authors characterize profit as the material part of the commongood of business and work as the formal part that expresses the essential significance of business. (shrink)
The author poses a question: which of the two fundamental, constitutional values – commongood or human dignity – can be considered to be the cornerstone, the unifying value in the Constitution of the Republic of Poland from 1997. The paper shows the crucial reasons for accepting each of these values as primary and also presents the underlying relationships between these values . The prominence of a given value for defining the aim of the constitution and the legal (...) order based on it was accepted as the most important aspect for determining the order of primacy. In respect of the direct aims of activities of public authorities and more broadly – of the aims of subjects whose activities are defined by the constitution – the primary value should be commongood understood as certain social conditions of life which support human development. It defines the space in which other constitutional values, also human dignity, are integrated. Human dignity, however, the primary value defining human being, gives the reason why human development is a first and autonomous aim of the constitutional order. In this respect dignity has priority before commongood. -/- Autor stawia pytanie o to, którą z fundamentalnych wartości konstytucyjnych – dobro wspólne czy godność człowieka – można uznać za wartość pierwszą i stanowiącą podstawę spójności aksjologicznej Konstytucji RP z 2 kwietnia 1997 roku. Wskazane są zasadnicze racje przemawiające za uznaniem każdej z tych wartości za wartość pierwszą i identyfikowane są zasadnicze relacje zachodzące między tymi wartościami. Za aspekt najistotniejszy dla ustalenia pierwszeństwa którejś z tych wartości uznana jest doniosłość danej wartości dla określenia celu konstytucji i opartego na niej porządku prawnego. Z punktu widzenia bezpośredniego celu działań władzy publicznej i szerzej – podmiotów, których działanie wyznaczone jest porządkiem konstytucyjnym, wartością tą jest dobro wspólne wyznaczające przestrzeń, w której integrowane są inne wartości konstytucyjne, z godnością włącznie. Dobro wspólne jest celem porządku konstytucyjnego ze względu na godność człowieka, która czyni jego rozwój pierwszym i szczególnym – autotelicznym dobrem. W tej perspektywie godność ma pierwszeństwo przed dobrem wspólnym. (shrink)
The importance of corporate governance in ensuring reliable financial reporting is examined in this article, and the roles of individuals involved in the governance process are examined from the perspective of ensuring the commongood. Initially, adopting the positivist tradition that dominates the academic literature in accounting, the relations between financial reporting quality and the activities of senior management, the board of directors and its audit committee, and external auditors are examined. Unlike much of the academic literature, this (...) article also adopts a normative perspective and offers suggestions as to the proper roles of these parties. Finally, suggestions for future research are offered. (shrink)
The encyclical proclaims the centrality of human development, which includes acting with gratuitousness and solidarity in pursuing the commongood. This paper considers first whether such relationships of gratuitousness and solidarity can be analysed through the prism of traditional theories of social psychology, which are highly influential in current management research, and concludes that certain aspects of those theories may offer useful tools for analysis at the practical level. This is contrasted with the analysis of such relationships through (...) Aristotelian virtue ethics (in particular as interpreted by MacIntyre 1985 , 1998 , 1999 ), which is emerging as a strong force in the field of business ethics, and which has strong conceptual similarities with the ideas put forward by Benedict XVI. Aristotelian virtue ethics offers a better fit with the aims of the encyclical at the theoretical level but it presents a number of challenges at the practical level, which the paper suggests may be addressed through the integration in its analysis of human action of models derived from social psychology. (shrink)
This paper draws from the work of sixteenth century theologian, philosopher, and ethicist Domingo de Soto and considers his virtue-based approach to the ethical evaluation of commerce within an Aristotelian–Thomistic framework for the articulation of business and the commongood. Particular attention is given to the fundamental emphasis placed by Soto in distinguishing between commerce as an activity and the specific conduct of persons engaging in commercial activity. The distinction between the material and the formal parts of the (...)commongood is then employed to shed light on the way Soto articulates commercial practices, virtuous character, and the commongood. It is concluded that Soto’s major contribution for business ethics is clarifying that the key element for the ethical evaluation of commerce is the embodiment of virtuous personal conduct in the exercise of commercial activity. In this framework, the fulfillment of commerce’s potential to contribute to the commongood is thus fundamentally interconnected with putting virtues into practice. (shrink)
In genomic research the ideal standard of free, informed, prior, and explicit consent is believed to restrict important research studies. For certain types of genomic research other forms of consent are therefore proposed which are ethically justified by an appeal to the commongood. This notion is often used in a general sense and this forms a weak basis for the use of weaker forms of consent. Here we examine how the notion of the commongood (...) can be related to individual health, health care, and genomic research and we use this analysis to propose more precise criteria to justify forms of consent which diverge from the ideal standard. (shrink)
It is notable how some papal social encyclicals have interchangeably used the terms ' commongood ' and 'human rights.' This article analyzes the papal commongood teaching and its contemporary shift to include human rights. I also explore the differential nuances between the commongood and the human rights. Human rights as advocated by civil societies are understood as arising from a conception of the nature of the human person. The common (...) class='Hi'>good has been expressed in practical ways through human rights, especially the right to work and receive a just wage. The papal social encyclicals are viewed here as relevant to our contemporary world where extreme capitalism and unrestrained consumerism have led to the accumulation of wealth and power in the hands of a few people. (shrink)
This book offers a major reinterpretation of the `secularization' of medieval ideas by examining scholastic discussions on the nature of the commongood. It challenges the view that the rediscovery of Aristotle was the primary catalyst for the emergence of a secular theory of the state. A detailed exposition of the content and the context of late scholastic political and ethical thought reveals that the roots of medieval 'secularization' were profoundly theological.
Muslim communities in principally non-Muslim nation states (e.g. South Africa, United States of America, the United Kingdom and the Netherlands) established a plethora of Muslim theological institutions. They have done so with the purpose of educating and reinforcing their Muslim identity. These educational structures have given rise to numerous questions that one encounters as one explores the rationale for their formation. Some are: have these institutions contributed towards the growth of Muslim extremism as argued by American and European Think Tanks? (...) If so, then in which and why did they do so? If not, then why have they been falsely accused, and how should Muslims counter these erroneous criticisms? And, more importantly, have some of these educational institutions—as agents of ‘social change’—contributed towards the ‘commongood’ of the society? In response, the article attempts to investigate the reasons for the formation of these Muslim educational institutions within a broad Southern Africa democratic context. It prefaces the discussion by first constructing ‘social change’ as a viable theoretical frame and it thereafter places the madrasas and Dar ul-‘Ulums within the mentioned context prior to reflecting upon the notion of the ‘commongood.’ It then proceeds by making reference to the Dar ul-‘Ulum curriculum that plays a significant role in shaping and moulding the theologians’ thinking and behaviour. It concludes by questioning to what extent the type of theological curriculum that they constructed assists them to contribute towards the ‘commongood’ of Southern Africa’ societies. (shrink)
Definition of the problem: The question whether a prohibition of physician-assisted suicide is justifiable plays a prominent role in recent debate about this practice. Many authors argue that assisted suicide is an issue of individual choice, that a prohibition would base on particular conceptions of the good and that such a justification is not acceptable in a liberal society. Arguments: Within the frame of a communitarian approach the article demonstrates that the handling of dying and what physicians are allowed (...) to do is central for society and the professional identity of physicians and that every ethical position within this debate unavoidably rests upon certain conceptions of the good. Conclusion: Therefore it is necessary to deal with these conceptions in a transparent way and it is justifiable to impose a prohibition of physician-assisted suicide based on a conception of the commongood that does not consult supposed social consequences. (shrink)
Whereas the chief development question of the past has been "how much is a nation producing?" the human development perspective that characterizes the United Nations Human Development Reports shifts the question to "how are its people faring?" This shift reflects the fundamental moral orientation of the human development perspective which makes a case for the commongood in a global economy. Relating the themes and claims of the human development reports to Brian Stiltner's recent study on religion and (...) the commongood, the author shows a variety of ways in which the commongood as a moral norm is embedded in the human development perspective, without the context of religion. She explicates the presence and utility of this norm in these United Nations reports written by economists, development specialists, and policy advisors who seek to present and assess the humanizing and dehumanizing features of globalization. (shrink)
Preface Leadership, Spirituality and the CommonGood East and West Approaches Henri-Claude de Bettignies & Mike J. Thompson For many, to bring together “ leadership”, “spirituality” and “the CommonGood” will be seen more as a ...
Aquinas, Aristotle, and the Promise of the CommonGood, first published in 2006, claims that contemporary theory and practice have much to gain from engaging Aquinas's normative concept of the commongood and his way of reconciling religion, philosophy, and politics. Examining the relationship between personal and common goods, and the relation of virtue and law to both, Mary M. Keys shows why Aquinas should be read in addition to Aristotle on these perennial questions. She (...) focuses on Aquinas's Commentaries as mediating statements between Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics and Politics and Aquinas's own Summa Theologiae, showing how this serves as the missing link for grasping Aquinas's understanding of Aristotle's thought. Keys argues provocatively that Aquinas's Christian faith opens up new panoramas and possibilities for philosophical inquiry and insights into ethics and politics. Her book shows how religious faith can assist sound philosophical inquiry into the foundation and proper purposes of society and politics. (shrink)
The theme of this book is the crisis of the early modern state in eighteenth-century Britain. The revolt of the North American colonies and the simultaneous demand for wider religious toleration at home challenged the principles of sovereignty and obligation that underpinned arguments about the character of the state. These were expressed in terms of the 'commongood', 'necessity', and 'community' - concepts that came to the fore in early modern European political thought and which gave expression to (...) the problem of defining legitimate authority in a period of increasing consciousness of state power. The Americans and their British supporters argued that individuals ought to determine the commongood of the community. A new theory of representation and freedom of thought defines the cutting edge of this revolutionary redefinition of the basic relationship between individual and community. (shrink)
Tasubinsa is a "Special Employment and Occupational Center" constituted in accordance with Spanish Law where 90% of the workers have mental, sensorial or physical impairments of at least 30%. Its positive experience of more than 15 years provides entirely different responses from mainstream neoclassical theory (transaction cost theory, agency theory, and shareholder theory) to basic questions such as "What is a firm?", "What is its purpose?", "Who owns a firm?", and "What do a firm's owners seek?". The article discusses how (...) these different premises give rise to a distinctive corporate culture centered on the handicapped person. (shrink)
Opracowanie dotyczy relacji konstytucyjnego pojęcia „dobro wspólne” z art. 1 Konstytucji RP, do pozaprawnych pojęć dobra wspólnego. Bezpośredni asumpt do jego przygotowania dało zdanie odrębne sędziego Trybunału Konstytucyjnego Zbigniewa Cieślaka do wyroku TK z dnia 20 kwietnia 2011 r. w sprawie Kp 7/09, dotyczącej zmian w prawie budowlanym. Jest to w ogóle najobszerniejsza wypowiedź w całym dotychczasowym orzecznictwie TK poświęcona wprost problematyce dobra wspólnego. Sędzia Z. Cieślak wyraźnie odróżnił prawne pojęcie dobra wspólnego – jego zdaniem właściwe dla interpretacji klauzuli dobra (...) wspólnego z art. 1 Konstytucji RP z 1997 r. – od pojęć pozaprawnych, uznając te ostatnie za źródło nieporozumień w prawniczych dyskusjach na temat rozumienia wyrażenia „dobro wspólne” w prawie i jako kategorii konstytucyjnej. Argumentować będę, że zrekonstruowane przez Z. Cieślaka prawne pojęcie dobra wspólnego nie nadaje się do interpretacji klauzuli dobra wspólnego z art. 1 konstytucji z 1997 r., i że pojęcia pozaprawne powinny być postrzegane nie jako źródło nieporozumień, ale jako nieodzowna pomoc w ustalaniu treści konstytucyjnego pojęcia dobra wspólnego. Problematyka ta prowadzi do podjęcia pewnego – kluczowego dla stosowania art. 1 – zagadnienia relacji między dobrem wspólnym a prawami człowieka (wolnościami i prawami człowieka), zagadnienia, które ostro zarysowało się w orzecznictwie trybunalskim po raz pierwszy właśnie w tym zdaniu odrębnym. Chodzi mianowicie o związki zachodzące między dwoma zasadniczymi tradycjami pojmowania dobra wspólnego i odpowiadającymi tym tradycjom dwoma typami pojęć dobra wspólnego – tradycji klasycznej, znajdującej swój wyraz w Konstytucji 3 maja z 1791 r., i tradycji, w której dobro wspólne pojmowane jest przede wszystkim jako dobro państwa i która znalazła wyraz w konstytucji kwietniowej z 1935 r. Dla pierwszej tradycji charakterystyczne jest uznanie praw człowieka za zasadniczy element dobra wspólnego – i tę tezę Z. Cieślak akceptuje. Analiza jego propozycji pokazuje jednak, że należy ona do tradycji konstytucji kwietniowej, a przyjęcie pojęcia dobra wspólnego należącego do tej tradycji prowadziłoby do niespójności z niektórymi fundamentalnymi rozstrzygnięciami ustrojodawcy, dotyczącymi tak interpretacji art. 1 konstytucji i przyjętej w nim koncepcji dobra wspólnego, jak i konstytucyjnej koncepcji wolności i praw człowieka. (shrink)
This paper applies aspects of Hugo Grotius's theologically informed theory of property to contemporary issues concerning access to the human DNA sequence and patenting practices. It argues that Christians who contribute to public debate in these areas might beneficially employ some of the concepts with which he worked--notably "common right," the "right of necessity," and "use right." In the seventeenth century, wars were fought over trading rights and access to the sea. In the twenty-first century, information and intellectual property (...) are the issues of the day. Grotius's writings serve to correct the overemphasis in modern liberalism on individual rights, and have practical application to the debate concerning the reduction of the human genome to the status of private property. (shrink)
Opracowanie dotyczy fragmentu preambuły Konstytucji RP z 1997 r.: „równi w prawach i w powinnościach wobec dobra wspólnego - Polski”. Zmierza ono przede wszystkim do uwyraźnienia i analizy wskazanych w tym fragmencie wartości, które mogą pomóc w dookreśleniu celów konstytucji i ujęciu czegoś, co określa się niekiedy mianem „ducha konstytucji”. Analizowane jest umiejscowienie komentowanego akapitu w całości preambuły, oraz prace nad projektem Konstytucji, które prowadzą ku refleksji nad kategorią dobra wspólnego w artykule 1. W centrum moich analiz jest argumentacja na (...) rzecz tezy, że dobrem wspólnym są warunki życia społecznego służące rozwojowi jednostek i że jednym z istotnych elementów dobra wspólnego jest poszanowanie praw człowieka. (shrink)
W NINIEJSZYM opracowaniu analizuję klauzulę dobra wspólnego zawartą w art. 1 Konstytucji Rzeczypospolitej Polskiej z 2 kwietnia 1997 r., zmierzając do uwyraźnienia, w jakim sensie można mówić o jej prawnonaturalnym charakterze (zatem i do zarysowania możliwych znaczeń zwrotu "prawnonaturalny charakter klauzuli dobra wspólnego") oraz do ujawnienia „momentów" prawnonaturalnych, które mogą wchodzić w grę przy interpretacji tej klauzuli.
This article proposes a theory of the firm based on the commongood. It clarifies the meaning of the term “commongood” tracing its historical development. Next, an analogous sense applicable to the firm is derived from its original context in political theory. Put simply, the commongood of the firm is the production of goods and services needed for flourishing, in which different members participate through work. This is linked to the political (...) class='Hi'>commongood through subsidiarity. Lastly, implications and challenges arising from the positing of work as the commongood of the firm are explored. (shrink)
The theory of the social responsibility of the firm oscillates between two extremes: one that reduces the firm's responsibility to the obtainment of (the greatest possible) profit for its shareholders, and another that extends the firm's responsibility to include a wide range of actors with an interest or "stake" in the firm. The stakeholder theory of the social responsibility of business is more appealing from an ethical point of view, and yet it lacks a solid foundation that would be acceptable (...) to a variety of schools of thought.In this paper I argue that the stakeholder theory could be founded on the concept of the commongood. First, I explain the foundations of the theory of the commongood, the concept itself, how it relates to the individual good, and its role in the firm. Following that, I explain how the theory of the commongood could be applied to the stakeholder theory. Finally, I draw some conclusions. (shrink)
This article offers an integrated account of two strands of global health justice: health-related human rights and health-related common goods. After sketching a general understanding of the nature of human rights, it proceeds to explain both how individual human rights are to be individuated and the content of their associated obligations specified. With respect to both issues, the human right to health is taken as the primary illustration. It is argued that the individuation of the right to health is (...) fixed by reference to the subject matter of its corresponding obligations, and not by the interests it serves, and the specification of the content of that right must be properly responsive to thresholds of possibility and burden. The article concludes by insisting that human rights cannot constitute the whole of global health justice and that, in addition, other considerations—including the promotion of health-related global public goods—should also shape such policy. Moreover, the relationship between human rights and common goods should not be conceived as mutually exclusive. On the contrary, there sometimes exists an individual right to some aspect of a commongood, including a right to benefit from health-related common goods such as programmes for securing herd immunity from diphtheria. (shrink)
There is a tendency in contemporary jurisprudence to regard political authority and, more particularly, legal intervention in human affairs as having no justification unless it can be defended by what Laing calls the principle of modern liberal autonomy (MLA). According to this principle, if consenting adults want to do something, unless it does specific harm to others here and now, the law has no business intervening. Harm to the self and general harm to society can constitute no justification for legal (...) regulation or prohibition. So pervasive is this understanding of legal intervention in human affairs, that it is common now to encounter arguments in favour of permissive laws on, for example, private drug use, pornography, sexual and reproductive choice, based on the idea that to intervene in these areas would constitute a breach of the liberal ideal. The only alternative to modern liberal autonomy is assumed to be radical oppression, in which the State intervenes in the individual’s life to impose unwarranted measures designed to further its own ends. The legacy of Stalin, Hitler and other modern tyrants has undermined conceptual appeals to the commongood. So widespread is this liberal assumption in the Western, English-speaking world that critics of the outlook embodied by MLA are customarily regarded with suspicion and charged with paternalism, narrow-mindedness and intolerance. Laing highlights contradictions inherent in the modern liberal tradition. She argues that there is a certain reliance on the notion of the commongood within the natural law tradition that is instructive. According to this view, the commongood constitutes a mean between two extremes: on the one hand, contemporary liberalism’s over-insistence on radical individual autonomy and, on the other hand, totalitarianism’s over-emphasis on collective social benefit. There is, I will argue, substantial terrain between the conceptual excesses of modern liberalism and oppressive tyranny that needs to be acknowledged and discussed. (shrink)
Speaking freely is considered an essential component of academic freedom and freedom of inquiry. Unfortunately, historically as well as currently, the right to speak freely has often resulted in polemics and disputes between scholars. But the entire purpose of frankness in speech, whether in the academic or the political realm, is to persuade the person or people addressed to adopt a particular course of action. The concept of frank speaking, or parrhesia, first appeared among the Greeks as a political virtue, (...) one exercised among free men in the public assembly for the commongood. But parrhesia also was prized in the more private arena of the philosophical schools, where it was associated with the art of moral guidance. The philosophers were united in regarding frank criticism as the mark of true friendship. The consensus among them appears to have been that frank criticism was best employed with sensitivity to the situation, privately in the context of the philosophical community, and with due attention to the abilities, vulnerabilities, and needs of the person being corrected, so that he or she might heed the advice given. Modern academics likewise should strive to express their frank opinions in a way that will commend their ideas to others, speaking freely in the explicit service of persuasion for the commongood. When frankness is teamed with persuasion, academic freedom finds its true purpose, and this article recommends the long-forgotten concept of parrhesia as a means to these ends. (shrink)
This article challenges the view most recently expounded by Emily Jackson that ‘decisional privacy’ ought to be respected in the realm of artificial reproduction (AR). On this view, it is considered an unjust infringement of individual liberty for the state to interfere with individual or group freedom artificially to produce a child. It is our contention that a proper evaluation of AR and of the relevance of welfare will be sensitive not only to the rights of ‘commissioning parties’ to AR (...) but also to public policy considerations. We argue that AR has implications for the commongood, by involving matters of human reproduction, kinship, race, parenthood and identity. In this paper we challenge presuppositions concerning decisional privacy. We examine the essential commodification of human life implicit in AR and the systematicity that makes this possible. We address the objection that it is an ethically neutral way of having children and consider the problem of ‘existential debt’. After examining objections to the thesis that AR is illegitimate for reasons of public policy and the commongood, we return to the issue of decisional privacy in the light of considerations concerning the legitimate role of the state in matters affecting human reproduction. (shrink)
To reduce the spread of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), Granich et al. 1 ( 2009 ) have proposed a new strategy for universal voluntary HIV testing immediately followed by antiretroviral therapy. Although this proposal is likely to benefit the partners of those affected and thus promote public health, it is by no means clear that it benefits the infected people themselves and indeed it may be harmful. Since the proposal involves an intervention that is not clinically indicated, it falls (...) foul of the normal ethical standards of clinical medicine, which is to act in the best interests of patients. Neither is it a measure that would be imposed under the protection of public health law on people who are seen as representing such danger to others that significant restrictions in liberty are appropriate. Thus, the proposal represents a third category of public health measure. We argue that a coherent ethical framework including a robust process is appropriate to proposals of this kind and that medical research offers a useful model since some research, like this proposal, is motivated not by the interests of the individual participants but by the commongood. We outline some possible elements of such an ethical framework. (shrink)
The proper object of global health governance should be the commongood, ensuring that all people have the opportunity to flourish. A well-organized global society that promotes the commongood is to everyone’s advantage. Enabling people to flourish includes enabling their ability to be healthy. Thus, we must assess health governance by its effectiveness in enhancing health capabilities. Current GHG fails to support human flourishing, diminishes health capabilities and thus does not serve the common (...) class='Hi'>good. The provincial globalism theory of health governance proposes a Global Health Constitution and an accompanying Global Institute of Health and Medicine that together propose to transform health governance. Multiple lines of empirical research suggest that these institutions would be effective, offering the most promising path to a healthier, more just world. (shrink)
The expression “commongood” usually conjures up benevolent associations: it is something to be desired, a worthy goal, and it would be a brave person who declared he or she was against the commongood. Yet modern times have taught us to be critical and even suspicious of such grand rhetoric, leading us to query what lies behind this ambitious notion, who formulates what it stands for, and how such formulations have been reached.
The author sets out a realist defense of the claim that in the absence of an international enforcement agency, multinational corporations operating in a competitive international environment cannot be said to have a moral obligation to contribute to the international commongood, provided that interactions are nonrepetitive and provided effective signals of agent reliability are not possible. Examples of international common goods that meet these conditions are support of the global ozone layer and avoidance of the global (...) greenhouse effect. Pointing out that the conclusion that multinationals have no moral obligations in these areas is deplorable, the author urges the establishment of an international enforcement agency. (shrink)
The weak natural law thesis asserts that any instance of law is either a rational standard for conduct or defective. At first glance, the thesis seems compatible with the proposition that the validity of a law within a legal system depends upon its sources rather than its merits. Mark C. Murphy has nonetheless argued that the weak natural law thesis can challenge this core commitment of legal positivism via an appeal to law’s function and defectiveness conditions. My contention in the (...) current paper is that in order to make good on the challenge, the defender of the weak natural law thesis should appeal explicitly to the commongood, understood as the principal normative reason in the political domain. In section I I outline the main implications of the weak natural law thesis and clarify a common misunderstanding regarding its explanatory role. Section II then argues for the indispensability of the commongood to the natural law jurisprudential thesis on the grounds that it has an essential role to play in a natural law account of law’s defectiveness conditions and the presumptive moral obligatoriness of legal norms. Finally, in section III I examine the compatibility of a strengthened version of the weak natural law thesis with legal positivism in light of the centrality of the commongood to the natural law jurisprudential position. (shrink)
Biobanks are currently archiving human materials for medical research at a hitherto unprecedented rate. These valuable resources will be essential for developing ‘personalized’ medicines and for a better understanding of disease susceptibilities. However, for such scientific advances to benefit everyone, it is crucial that biobanks recruit donations from all sections of the community. Unfortunately, other initiatives, such as transplant programmes, have clearly demonstrated that ethnic minorities are under-represented. Here we suggest that this issue deserves serious consideration to avoid biobanks evolving (...) into ethnically biased archives which unwittingly promote race-specific research. Specifically, this necessitates research ethics committees engaging in a re-assessment of the relative merits of individual personal sovereignty and the commongood. (shrink)
This study investigates the educative process in restorative justice reforms, revealing three characteristics effective in facilitating moral learning for the commongood. These three characteristics can be formulated as principles to guide the theory and practice of communitybased moral education. First, restorative justice brings the moral authority in personal communal traditions and the moral authority in impersonal universal norms together in a mutually reinforcing combination. Secondly, restorative justice processes focus on the "space between places" in social relations-not on (...) individuals or families or particular institutions, but on the space where these important social bodies intersect. Thirdly, restorative justice harnesses the resources of whole communities to take the actions and make the changes that can successfully address the problems that emerge as crime, rather than continuing the criminal justice system's focus on individual offenders or individual victims. These characteristics can be translated into three educational principles to guide the theory and practice of community-based moral education: (a) the complementarity between communal and universal moral norms; (b) the locus of moral education at the intersection between multiple levels of social experience; and (c) community development as a model of moral development. (shrink)
The main purpose of the paper is to investigate the relevance and significance of the concept of commongood in contemporary society. First, I make a brief historical remark about the philosophical concept of commongood. I will argue that the concept is rooted in the ancient Greek philosophical understanding of society, namely as polis, whereby human being is thought to have an end that is not merely individual but also collective. I then discuss how societies (...) have significantly changed over the years and how the current global order resembles the situation during the time of Alexander the Great, whose vision it was to establish a cosmopolis, literally a global city. In the end, I consider whether the notion of commongood in itself has lost its relevance in the face of the manifold social changes. I bring my discussion to a close with a note on the universality and naturality of the commongood of humankind. (shrink)
Analysis of 'the commongood' reveals moral elements in the concept. The commongood, Traditionally regarded as a major political goal, Is served by measures that promote the interests of all citizens equitably, Within the limitations of 'the accepted morality'. Measures for the commongood thus often impose moral restraints on individuals' interests, As numerous examples show. Positivist analyses are generally defective because they do not give the normative elements their proper place.
Traditional Chinese culture, Confucianism, in particular, has a non-individualist conception of what it is to be human. It conceives of people fundamentally as members of social groups—specifically, the family, the clan, the political community and the state—not as atomic individuals as perceived in modern society. The communist ideology since the middle of the last century also emphasizes the significance of ‘the commongood’ of the state which describes a specific ‘good’ that is shared and beneficial for all (...) (or most) members of a given community. Nevertheless, marketization and decentralization in China today have significantly challenged the notion of a state-oriented community that directly impacts China's healthcare system, beginning with the dismantling of the rural collectives and state-owned enterprises as part of the reform and opening process. This article will address healthcare challenges in China today, examining the conceptual/ethical issues raised by public healthcare, and contending that public health concerns should go beyond the dichotomy between individualism and collectivism. The article will argue that the family-oriented model of Confucianism offers an alternative way to look at what constitute a community and common goods. The Confucian approach to ethics is relevant to healthcare today. For example, it will be much easier to find a shared idea of commongood in terms of complicated issues like healthcare; it would make sense to give a larger role to families via family savings accounts, and not have everything determined by the government. (shrink)