It is commonly assumed that when we assign different credences to a proposition, a perfect compromise between our opinions simply ‘splits the difference’ between our credences. I introduce and defend an alternative account, namely that a perfect compromise maximizes the average of the expected epistemic values that we each assign to alternative credences in the disputed proposition. I compare the compromise strategy I introduce with the traditional strategy of compromising by splitting the difference, and I argue that (...) my strategy is a reasonable characterization of epistemic compromise. (shrink)
Could the notion of compromise help us overcoming – or at least negotiating – the frequent tension, in normative political theory, between the realistic desideratum of peaceful coexistence and the idealistic desideratum of justice? That is to say, an analysis of compromise may help us moving beyond the contrast between two widespread contrasting attitudes in contemporary political philosophy: ‘fiat iustitia, pereat mundus’ on the one side, ‘salus populi suprema lex’ on the other side. More specifically, compromise may (...) provide the backbone of a conception of legitimacy that mediates between idealistic (or moralistic) and realistic (or pragmatic) desiderata of political theory, i.e. between the aspiration to peace and the aspiration to justice. In other words, this paper considers whether an account of compromise could feature in a viable realistic conception of political legitimacy, in much the same way in which consensus features in more idealistic conceptions of legitimacy (a move that may be attributed to some realist theorists, especially Bernard Williams). My conclusions, however, are largely sceptical: I argue that grounding legitimacy in any kind of normatively salient agreement does require the trappings of idealistic political philosophy, for better or – in my view – worse. (shrink)
International business faces a host of difficult moral conflicts. It is tempting to think that these conflicts can be morally resolved if we gained full knowledge of the situations, were rational enough, and were sufficiently objective. This paper explores the view that there are situations in which people in business must confront the possibility that they must compromise some of their important principles or values in order to protect other ones. One particularly interesting case that captures this kind of (...) situation is that of Google and its operations in China. In this paper, I examine the situation Google faces as part of the larger issue of moral compromise and integrity in business. Though I look at Google, this paper is just as much about the underlying or background views Google faces that are at work in business ethics. In the process, I argue the following: First, the framework Google has used to respond to criticisms of its actions does not successfully or obviously address the important ethical issues it faces. Second, an alternative ethical account can be presented that better addresses these ethical and human rights questions. However, this different framework brings the issue of moral compromise to the fore. This is an approach filled with dangers, particularly since it is widely held that one ought never to compromise one’s moral principles. Nevertheless, I wish to propose that there may be a place for moral compromise in business under certain conditions, which I attempt to specify. (shrink)
In a recent article in this journal, Savulescu and Schuklenk defend and extend their earlier arguments against a right to medical conscientious objection in response to criticisms raised by Cowley. I argue that while it would be preferable to be less accommodating of medical conscientious than many countries currently are, Savulescu and Schuklenk's argument that conscientious objection is ‘simply unprofessional’ is mistaken. The professional duties of doctors should be defined in relation to the interests of patients and society, and for (...) reasons set out in this article, these may support limited accommodation of conscientious objection on condition that it does not impede access to services. Moreover, the fact that conscientious objection appears to involve unjustifiable compromise from the objector's point of view is not a reason for society not to offer that compromise. Arguing for robust enforcement of the no-impediment condition, rather than opposing conscientious objection in principle, may be a more effective way of addressing the harms resulting from an over-permissive conscientious objection policy. (shrink)
In Liberalism and Pluralism, Richard Bellamy explores the challenges posed by conflicting values, interests and identities to liberal democracy. Conventional liberal thought is no longer suited to the complex, plural societies of today. By analyzing the three major strands of liberal thought as represented by Hayek, Rawls and Walzer, the author reveals how standard liberalism has tried to circumvent unstable settlements. This book establishes a more satisfactory alternative: namely, negotiated compromise.
Compromise arises in contexts where irreconcilable claims must nonetheless somehow be resolved. Ordinary people in everyday life, politicians and artists, doctors engaging in research, humanitarian workers providing aid in the midst of war – all of them will have faced situations where compromise appeared to be the only reasonable option, and yet will have felt that there was nevertheless something deeply wrong with it. The aim of this paper is to help make sense of that sentiment. The focus (...) of this paper will be on some aspects of the morality of compromise. Its lynchpin will be to construe compromise as a joint action, in particular, a joint wrongdoing – taking part in, and sharing responsibility for, the doing of things that are wrong from the point of view of those who are the parties to the compromise. The question of ‘what is wrong with compromise?’ is thus recast as a question of ‘what is my part in the wrongs being done as part of the compromise?’ It is tempting to suppose that a compromise serves to dilute personal responsibility, parsing it out among parties to the compromise. Viewing a compromise as a joint action, in contrast, will help us to see how a compromise actually increases responsibility among parties to it. They are now jointly collaborating in some action that each of them sees as wrong, at least in part (albeit in differing parts). Discussions of compromise traditionally prioritize the inter-personal aspect – compromise, in the transitive form of ‘compromising with’ someone. But I argue that the intransitive form – ‘compromise of’ – deserves pride of place. The reason for prioritizing the intransitive ‘compromise of’ is simple: that is what is involved in the intra-personal calculation that must, of necessity, go on inside one's own head in the process of deciding whether or not to agree to a 'compromise with' someone else. In this paper I shall concentrate specifically on compromises of principles, or (more precisely) on ‘matters of principled concern to the compromising parties’. Not only is that the most troubling and morally problematic sort of compromise, it is also logically the most central case. I demonstrate that that is so by shifting the focus from inter-personal compromise to the more fundamental intra-personal process underlying it – the compromise we are involved in when adjudicating among our own conflicting values, to decide whether or not to agree to a compromise of the inter-personal sort. This is the subject of the first section of the paper below. Compromise involves resolving conflicts of principles through mutual concessions that are accepted and undertaken by all parties. Doing so may be on-balance desirable, not only from some larger perspective (of social peace, or whatever) but also from each party's own perspective. Nevertheless, from each party's perspective, compromise necessarily involves interacting with, and sometimes contributing to, wrongdoing. Morally, something is lost, even if more is gained on balance. (shrink)
Instrumentalism about moral compromise in politics appears inconsistent with accepting both the existence of non-instrumental or principled reasons for moral compromise in close personal friendships and a rich ideal of civic friendship. Using a robust conception of political reconciliation during democratic transitions as an example of civic friendship, I argue that all three claims are compatible. Spouses have principled reasons for compromise because they commit to sharing responsibility for their joint success as partners in life, and not (...) because their relationship involves strong affective attitudes of goodwill, solidarity, trust, and the like. Since shared responsibility for ends is an inappropriate element in the political relationship between citizens, the members of a divided society may manifest the constitutive attitudes of political reconciliation without any commitment to principled reasons for moral compromise. (shrink)
The article defends the claim that if some laws are (or would be) widely accepted, this provides pro tanto moral reasons to support these laws and not to support otherwise better laws that are not widely accepted. In that sense the value of having widely accepted laws provides moral reasons to make compromises in politics, and it justifies a modest and qualified status quo bias. Widely accepted laws are valuable because they reduce enforcement costs, have symbolic value, help to maintain (...) peace, and realize the value of non-subjugation. (shrink)
Compromise on moral matters attracts ambivalent reactions, since it seems at once laudable and deplorable. When a hotly-contested phenomenon like assisted dying is debated, all-or-nothing positions tend to be advanced, with little thought given to the desirability of, or prospects for, compromise. In response to recent articles by Søren Holm and Alex Mullock, in this article I argue that principled compromise can be encouraged even in relation to this phenomenon, provided that certain conditions are present . In (...) order to qualify as appropriately principled, the ensuing negotiations require disputants to observe three constraints: they should be suitably reflective, reliable and respectful in their dealings with one another. The product that will result from such a process will also need to split the difference between the warring parties. In assisted dying, I argue that a reduced offence of ‘compassionate killing’ can achieve this. I acknowledge, however, that splitting the difference can induce splitting headaches, as there remain certain questions to be answered. Hopefully, however, sufficient work is done here to defend attempts to occupy the middle ground, whether these relate to assisted dying specifically or to other disputed moral matters. (shrink)
Amongst the latest, and ever-changing, pathways of death and dying, “suicide tourism” presents distinctive ethical, legal and practical challenges. The international media report that citizens from across the world are travelling or seeking to travel to Switzerland, where they hope to be helped to die. In this paper I aim to explore three issues associated with this phenomenon: how to define “suicide tourism” and “assisted suicide tourism”, in which the suicidal individual is helped to travel to take up the option (...) of assisted dying; the legality of assisted suicide tourism, particularly in the English legal system where there has been considerable recent activity; and the ethical dimensions of the practice. I will suggest that the suicide tourist—and specifically any accomplice thereof—risks springing a legal trap, but that there is good reason to prefer a more tolerant policy, premised on compromise and ethical pluralism. (shrink)
Machine generated contents note: 1. Introduction: 'in politics we have an art...'; 2. No compromise about compromise; 3. The genealogy of compromise and its vagaries; 4. The dialectic of the individual; 5. Compromise and centripetal individualism; 6. Compromise and centrifugal individualism; 7. The forgotten road of representation: continental contractarian theories; 8. The British contract as com-promise; 9. Conclusions: compromising the art of compromise - the one-dimensional man.
This book explores the morality of compromising. The author argues that peace and public justification are values that provide moral reasons to make compromises in politics, including compromises that establish unjust laws or institutions. He explains how it is possible to have moral reasons to agree to moral compromises and he debates our moral duties and obligations in making such compromises. The book also contains discussions of the sources of the value of public justification, the relation between peace and justice, (...) the nature of modus vivendi arrangements and the connections between compromise, liberal institutions and legitimacy. In exploring the morality of compromising, the book thus provides some outlines for a map of political morality beyond justice. (shrink)
Bioethicists sometimes defend compromise positions, particularly when they enter debates on applied topics that have traditionally been highly polarised, such as those regarding abortion, euthanasia and embryonic stem cell research. However, defending compromise positions is often regarded with a degree of disdain. Many are intuitively attracted to the view that it is almost always problematic to defend compromise positions, in the sense that we have a significant moral reason not to do so. In this paper, we consider (...) whether this common sense view can be given a principled basis. We first show how existing explanations for the problematic nature of compromise fall short of vindicating the common sense view, before offering our own explanation, which, we claim, comes closer to vindicating that view. We argue that defending a compromise will typically have two epistemic costs: it will corrupt attempts to use the claims of ethicists as testimonial evidence, and it will undermine standards that are important to making epistemic progress in ethics. We end by suggesting that the epistemic costs of compromise could be reduced by introducing a stronger separation between ethical debate aimed at fulfilling the epistemic role of ethics, and ethical debate that aims to directly produce good policy or practice. (shrink)
In the US, stem cell research is at a moral impasse—many see this research as ethically mandated due to its potential for ameliorating major diseases, while others see this research as ethically impermissible because it typically involves the destruction of embryos and use of ova from women. Because their creation does not require embryos or ova, induced pluripotent stem cells offer the most promising path for addressing the main ethical objections to stem cell research; however, this technology is still in (...) development. In order for scientists to advance induced pluripotent stem cell research to a point of translational readiness, they must continue to use ova and embryos in the interim. How then are we to ethically move forward with stem cell research? We argue that there is personal integrity and value in adopting a ‘moral compromise’ as a means for moving past the moral impasse in stem cell research. In a moral compromise, each party concedes part of their desired outcome in order to engage in a process that respects the values and desires of all parties equitably. Whereas some contend that moral compromise in stem cell research necessarily involves self-contradiction or loss of personal integrity, we argue that in the US context, stem cell research satisfies many of the key pre-conditions of an effective moral compromise. To illustrate our point, we offer a model solution wherein eggs and embryos are temporarily used until non-egg and non-embryonic sources of pluripotent stem cells are developed to a state of translational readiness. (shrink)
Our societies are marked not only by disagreements on the good life, but also by disagreements on justice. This motivates philosophers as divergent as John Gray and Chandran Kukathas to focus their normative political theories on peace instead of justice. In this article, I discuss how peace should be conceived if peace is to be a more realistic goal than justice, not presupposing any moral consensus. I distinguish two conceptions of peace to be found in the literature. One, ordinary peace, (...) conceives of peace as non-violent coexistence based on modus vivendi arrangements. Modus vivendi arrangements, in turn, are explained as a special kind of compromise. Ordinary peace does not presuppose any moral consensus and is therefore realistic, but at the same time it is too minimalist and undemanding to be satisfying. The other conception of peace, ambitious peace, can be found in Kukathas’s work. It is a conception of peace ‘beyond compromise’, not minimalist and undemanding, but, I will argue, not realistic because presupposing at least a second-order moral consensus. In the end, I advocate a division of labour between both conceptions of peace under the umbrella of an overarching ideal of peace. (shrink)
The current debate on recreational drug policy is roughly a contest between prohibition advocates and legalization advocates. This paper offers a third alternative that is a compromise between those two. The centralized-use compromise can secure the autonomy interests that are important to defenders of legalization, and it can prevent harms to others that are the focus of prohibition arguments. The centralized-use compromise also offers a possible way to reduce the black market while also reducing the rate of (...) addiction and the associated debasing harms to self. (shrink)
A central idea of public reason liberalism is that the exercise of political power is legitimate when supported only by reasons which all citizens accept. Public reason serves as a necessary standard for evaluating the legitimacy of political decisions. In this paper, I examine the directive to employ public reason from the citizens’ perspective. I suggest that employing public reason potentially involves them engaging in different types of compromise. I consider how acknowledging these compromises sheds light on public reason (...) liberalism. Public reason may not offer a necessary standard for evaluating the legitimacy of decisions, and the evaluation it offers may not have great weight relative to other moral and political considerations. (shrink)
In this paper I present a criticism of Sarah Moss‘ recent proposal to use scoring rules as a means of reaching epistemic compromise in disagreements between epistemic peers that have encountered conflict. The problem I have with Moss‘ proposal is twofold. Firstly, it appears to involve a double counting of epistemic value. Secondly, it isn‘t clear whether the notion of epistemic value that Moss appeals to actually involves the type of value that would be acceptable and unproblematic to regard (...) as epistemic. (shrink)
In modern society, democracy as a symbol of social civilization and progress is cherished. Any government or organization, whether truly democratic or not, will claim that it is democratic while its opponents are not. However, as a historical notion, democracy does not possess the quality of absoluteness. In my view, democracy, in its original meaning, should be understood as a way to social compromise, whose aim is to guarantee a relatively fair political life.
Integrity looks dangerous. Passionate willpower, focused devotion and driving self-belief nestle all-too-closely to extremism, narcissism and intolerant hubris. How can integrity skirt such perils? This question opens the perennial issue of whether devout, driven devotees can guard themselves from antisocial extremes. Current proposals to inoculate integrity from moral danger hone in on integrity’s reflective side. I argue that this epistemic approach disarms integrity’s dangers only by stripping it of everything that initially made it worthwhile. Instead, I argue that integrity contains (...) substantive moral principles serving to surgically target the dangers the trait would otherwise pose. The person of integrity avoids extremism not by questioning whether her values are right, but by recognizing that in a social world whether her values are right is not the only factor that bears on how she should act. Normatively, the proposed account allows integrity to retain its intuitive allures of willpower, direction and unified character. Descriptively, it explains the surprising capacity for principled compromise displayed by canonical figures of integrity. Ultimately, integrity empowers us to be fit for society, even as we are true to ourselves. (shrink)
Becoming Langston Hughes -- Producing authentic Blackness -- Authenticity in the blues poetry -- The ethics of compromise -- Simple goes to Washington: Hughes and the McCarthy committee -- "Speak to me now of compromise" : Hughes and the specter of Booker T. -- Appendix A: Hughes's senate testimony in executive session -- Appendix B: Hughes's public testimony.
I examine how co-parents should handle differing commitments about how to raise their child. Via thought experiment and the examination of our practices and affective reactions, I argue for a thesis about the locus of parental authority: that parental authority is invested in full in each individual parent, meaning that that the command of one parent is sufficient to bind the child to act in obedience. If this full-authority thesis is true, then for co-parents to command different things would be (...) for them to contest one another’s authority. The only course that respects the authority of both parents is for co-parents to agree to command the same thing. Further, what is commanded must not result from a ‘capitulation’ by one co-parent, rather, it should result from a compromise. Parental authority involves a duty to deliberate about which commands it is best to give the child. If a command results from a capitulation, one parent will rightly think of themselves as not having fulfilled their parental duty. Parental compromises are not best understood as bargains or conflicts, but by the metaphor of gifts given by each parent out of respect for the other’s authority. (shrink)
When is political compromise acceptable--and when is it fundamentally rotten, something we should never accept, come what may? What if a rotten compromise is politically necessary? Compromise is a great political virtue, especially for the sake of peace. But, as Avishai Margalit argues, there are moral limits to acceptable compromise even for peace. But just what are those limits? At what point does peace secured with compromise become unjust? Focusing attention on vitally important questions that (...) have received surprisingly little attention, Margalit argues that we should be concerned not only with what makes a just war, but also with what kind of compromise allows for a just peace. Examining a wide range of examples, including the Munich Agreement, the Yalta Conference, and Arab-Israeli peace negotiations, Margalit provides a searching examination of the nature of political compromise in its various forms. Combining philosophy, politics, and history, and written in a vivid and accessible style, On Compromise and Rotten Compromises is full of surprising new insights about war, peace, justice, and sectarianism. (shrink)
Epistemic utility theory seeks to establish epistemic norms by combining principles from decision theory and social choice theory with ways of determining the epistemic utility of agents’ attitudes. Recently, Moss, 1053–69, 2011) has applied this strategy to the problem of finding epistemic compromises between disagreeing agents. She shows that the norm “form compromises by maximizing average expected epistemic utility”, when applied to agents who share the same proper epistemic utility function, yields the result that agents must form compromises by splitting (...) the difference between their credence functions. However, this “split the difference” norm is in conflict with conditionalization, since applications of the two norms don’t commute. A common response in the literature seems to be to abandon the procedure of splitting the difference in favor of compromise strategies that avoid non-commutativity. This would also entail abandoning Moss’ norm. I explore whether a different response is feasible. If agents can use epistemic utility-based considerations to agree on an order in which they will apply the two norms, they might be able to avoid diachronic incoherence. I show that this response can’t save Moss’ norm, because the agreements concerning the order of compromising and updating it generates are not stable over time, and hence cannot avoid diachronic incoherence. I also show that a variant of Moss’ norm, which requires that the weights given to each agent’s epistemic utility change in a way that ensures commutativity, cannot be justified on epistemological grounds. (shrink)
Drawing on philosophy, law and political science, and on a wealth of practical experience delivering emergency medical services in conflict-ridden settings, Lepora and Goodin untangle the complexities surrounding compromise and complicity.
The claim that democratic politics is the art of compromise is a platitude but we seem allergic to compromise in politics when it happens. This essay explores this paradox. Taking my cue from Machiavelli’s claim that there exists a rift between a morally admirable and a virtuous political life, I argue that: a ‘compromising disposition’ is an ambiguous virtue—something which is politically expedient but not necessarily morally admirable; whilst uncongenial to moral integrity, a ‘compromising disposition’ constitutes an essential (...) aspect of political integrity. In so doing, I question certain moralistic assumptions which fuel contemporary vilifications of compromise—that, in theory, democratic politics should be inhospitable to compromise and that political integrity should be akin to moral integrity—and which are shared by Walzer’s Dirty Hands thesis which professes to be sensitive to the realities of politics. These assumptions displace the complex realities of politics and misconstrue the standards of political excellence; they unsatisfactorily idealize political integrity and the messy context in which democratic politicians operate—a context characterized by a plurality of incompatible traditions, each with its own values and principles. Whilst commitment to a set of principles stemming from one’s tradition or pre-election promises implies commitment to realize these, leading a virtuous political life amidst such a grubby domain often requires abandoning some of these. An innocent, all-or-nothing pursuit of one’s principles in politics might prompt political disaster or defeat: an uncompromising disposition entails the entire abandonment of any hope of realizing all of those principles. (shrink)
This article examines the relationship between compromise and fairness, and considers in particular why, if a fair outcome to a conflict is available, the conflict should still be subject to compromise. It sets out the defining features of compromise and explains how fair compromise differs from both principled and pragmatic compromise. The fairness relating to compromise can be of two types: procedural or end-state. It is the coherence of end-state fairness with compromise that (...) proves the more puzzling case. We offer reasons why people should be allowed to resolve conflicting or competing claims through compromise, even if compromise comes at the expense of end-state fairness, but we resist the suggestion that the primary rationale for compromise is to be found in non-ideal circumstances. (shrink)
In an influential article, Simon C. May forcefully argued that, properly understood, there can never be principled reasons for moral compromise. While there may be pragmatic reasons for compromising that involve, for instance, concern for political expediency or for stability, there are properly speaking no principled reasons to compromise. My aim in the article is to show how principled moral compromise in the context of moral disagreements over policy options is possible. I argue that when we disagree, (...) principled reasons favoring compromises or compromising can assume a more significant part of what makes a position all things considered best, and in this way disagreement can ground moral compromise. (shrink)
In this paper I explore the topic of moral compromise in institutional settings and highlight how moral compromise may affirm,rather than undermine, personal integrity. Central to this relationship between moral compromise and integrity is a view of the self that is responsive to multiple commitments and grounded in an ethic of responsibility. I elaborate a number of virtues that are related to thisnotion of the self and highlight how these virtues may support the development of individuals who (...) are responsive and reasonable inmoral discourse and discerning in establishing moral limits on compromise. I look at how moral regret is closely connected to moralcompromise and emphasize its significance for reinforcing personal integrity. The paper closes with a discussion of the relevance of these topics to the field of business ethics. (shrink)
Compromise is a pervasive fact of life. It occurs when obligations conflict and repudiating one obligation entirely to satisfy another entirely is unacceptable—for example, when a single parent cannot both raise a child satisfactorily and earn the income that living together demands. Compromise is unsettling, but properly negotiating difficult circumstances develops moral and emotional maturity. Yet compromise has no place in moral philosophy, where it is logically anathematized and deemed to violate integrity. This paper defends compromise (...) with more expansive accounts of reason and integrity that comport with our finite moral agency and infuse our moral lives. (shrink)
This paper addresses the problem of pluralism in democratic societies, by exploiting some insights from the debate about the epistemology of disagreement. First, by focusing on the permissibility of experiments on nonhuman animals for research purposes, we provide an epistemic analysis of deep normative disagreements. We understand that to mean disagreements in which epistemic peers disagree about both the substantive content of an ethical issue and the correct justificatory reasons for their contrary claims. Second, we argue for a compromise (...) solution in which the reasons for reaching it are not prudential but grounded on the recognition of epistemic peerhood. (shrink)
ABSTRACT The agonistic vs. epistemic dichotomy is fairly widespread in contemporary democratic theory and is endorsed by scholars as outstanding as Luis Felipe Miguel, Chantal Mouffe, and Nadia Urbinati. According to them, the idea that democratic deliberation can work as a rational exchange of arguments that aims at truth is incompatible with the recognition of conflict as a central feature of politics. In other words, the epistemic approach is bound to obliterate the agonistic and conflictive dimension of democracy. This article (...) takes this dichotomized way of thinking to task by reconstructing the association between democracy and compromise made by John Stuart Mill, John Morley, and Hans Kelsen. It concludes that the conceptualization of democracy as compromise offers an alternative to the agonistic vs. epistemic divide that disconcerts a significant part of political philosophy today. RESUMO Relativamente difundida na teoria democrática contemporânea, a dicotomia entre democracia epistêmica e democracia agonística é endossada por acadêmicos tão relevantes quanto Luis Felipe Miguel, Chantal Mouffe e Nadia Urbinati. De acordo com eles, a ideia de que a deliberação democrática possa funcionar como uma troca de argumentos racionais que visa à verdade é incompatível com o reconhecimento do conflito como um componente fulcral da política. Posto de outro modo, a abordagem epistêmica está fadada a obliterar a dimensão agonística e conflitiva da política. Por meio da reconstrução da associação entre democracia e compromisso feita por John Stuart Mill, John Morley e Hans Kelsen, este artigo contesta tal dicotomia e conclui que a conceptualização da democracia como compromisso oferece uma alternativa à dicotomia democracia epistêmica vs. agonismo que desconcerta uma parte significativa da filosofia política hodierna. (shrink)
Drawing on the criticisms posed by fraternal egalitarianism against luck egalitarianism, G. A. Cohen proposed a trade-off through the so-called camping-trip model. Since that trade-off was not quite formalized, this article tries to bring up some elements in that direction. To be precise, it will be argued: a) that Cohen wants to bridge his own conception with fraternal egalitarianism by making a distinction between the fairness and legitimacy aspects of justice, together with the affirmation that option luck never preserves justice; (...) b) that the egalitarian and communitarian principles that Cohen considers desirable for socialism operate on the basis of the fairness-legitimacy distinction, so that inequalities generated by genuine choices and bad option luck are just from the perspective of legitimacy but not when seen from fairness, and, as a result, inequalities that hurt the social fabric are causally fundamental whereas the communitarian principle is normatively fundamental; and c) that the communitarian elements that drive Cohen’s compromise are already present in his notions of voluntary equality, egalitarian ethos, strict reading of the Rawlsian difference principle, and justificatory community. (shrink)
In this article, I criticize Véronique Zanetti on the topic of moral compromise. As I understand Zanetti, a compromise could only be called a “moral compromise” if (i) it does not originate under coercive conditions, (ii) it involves conflict whose subject matter is moral, and (iii) “the parties support the solution found for what they take to be moral reasons rather than strategic interests.” I offer three criticisms of Zanetti. First, Zanetti ignores how some parties may not (...) have reason to seek social peace at all. Zanetti’s claim that there is consensus on the aim of social peace can involve idealising away from disagreement in a manner that Zanetti accuses Rawls of. Second, even if there is consensus on the aim of seeking social peace, this leaves open the possibility of disagreement about which society different people should belong to. This idealises away from real world conflict concerning borders. Indeed, Zanetti does not mention that her ‘central example’ of moral disagreement, the German Abortion compromise, was enacted in the wake of German reunification. Third, there are at least two things that can be called the ‘German Abortion compromise.’ The compromise that Zanetti speaks of was imposed by the German Federal Constitutional Court. The court declared unconstitutional a law passed in 1992 that had been negotiated in parliament. Zanetti does not dwell on this lack of democratic credentials. Even the substance of the court-imposed solution is itself a dubious example of a moral compromise between parties based on what is acceptable to their reason. -/- (penultimate version - If you would like the .pdf of the final version for personal scholarly use, please contact me through the email address on my profile or my CV.). (shrink)
Compromise is surprisingly common in the context of religious freedom. In Holt v. Hobbs, for example, a Muslim prison inmate challenged his prison’s no-beards policy on religious freedom grounds. He proposed, and was eventually granted, a compromise that allowed him to grow a half-inch beard rather than the full beard normally required by his beliefs. Some have argued that such a compromise is inconsistent with the purpose of religious freedom, which is to guard against interference with an (...) individual’s religious practices. Accepting a compromise, after all, may require a significant modification to one’s default practices. But this paper argues that compromise can be appropriate if the purpose of religious freedom is to foster the inclusion and acceptance of all people in a diverse political community. Moreover, the benefits of compromise may lend support to the inclusion-based conception of religious freedom as against the more traditional non-interference conception. (shrink)
The contemporary philosophical literature on abortion primarily revolves around three seemingly intractable debates, concerning the moral status of the fetus, scope of women’s rights and moral relevance of the killing/letting die distinction. The possibility of ectogenesis—technology that would allow a fetus to develop outside of a gestational mother’s womb—presents a unique opportunity for moral compromise. Here, I argue those opposed to abortion have a prima facie moral obligation to pursue ectogenesis technology and provide ectogenesis for disconnected fetuses as part (...) of a moral compromise. (shrink)
Nurses are often caught in the middle of what appear to be intractable moral conflicts. For such times, the function and limits of moral compromise need to be explored. Compromise is compatible with moral integrity if a number of conditions are met. Among these are the sharing of a moral language, mutual respect on the part of those who differ, acknowledgement of factual and moral complexities, and recognition of limits to compromise. Nurses are in a position uniquely (...) suited to leadership in fostering an environment that makes compromise with integrity possible. Keywords: compromise, integrity, nursing ethics CiteULike Connotea Del.icio.us What's this? (shrink)
BackgroundIn 2004, patient advocate groups were major players in helping pass and implement significant public policy and funding initiatives in stem cells and regenerative medicine. In the following years, advocates were also actively engaged in Washington DC, encouraging policy makers to broaden embryonic stem cell research funding, which was ultimately passed after President Barack Obama came into office. Many advocates did this because they were told stem cell research would lead to cures. After waiting more than 10 years, many of (...) these same patients are now approaching clinics around the world offering experimental stem cell-based interventions instead of waiting for scientists in the US to complete clinical trials. How did the same groups who were once the strongest supporters of stem cell research become stem cell tourists? And how can scientists, clinicians, and regulators work to bring stem cell patients back home to the US and into the clinical trial process?DiscussionIn this paper, we argue that the continued marketing and use of experimental stem cell-based interventions is problematic and unsustainable. Central problems include the lack of patient protection, US liability standards, regulation of clinical sites, and clinician licensing. These interventions have insufficient evidence of safety and efficacy; patients may be wasting money and time, and they may be forgoing other opportunities for an intervention that has not been shown to be safe and effective. Current practices do not contribute to scientific progress because the data from the procedures are unsuitable for follow-up research to measure outcomes. In addition, there is no assurance for patients that they are receiving the interventions promised or of what dosage they are receiving. Furthermore, there is inconsistent or non-existent follow-up care. Public policy should be developed to correct the current situation.ConclusionThe current landscape of stem cell tourism should prompt a re-evaluation of current approaches to study cell-based interventions with respect to the design, initiation, and conduct of US clinical trials. Stakeholders, including scientists, clinicians, regulators and patient advocates, need to work together to find a compromise to keep patients in the US and within the clinical trial process. Using HIV/AIDS and breast cancer advocate cases as examples, we identify key priorities and goals for this policy effort. (shrink)