The Phaserl


Policy Sans Ethics

by Tibor Machan, The Daily Bell:

Yet another ancient political debate concerns whether public policy needs to be based on certain norms, or ethical principles.?Classical and a few modern political philosophers – e.g., Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, Aquinas, Spinoza, John Locke, et al. – argued that to learn how to govern, one must have certain values for which governing needs to aim. These would be justice, peace, equality, or liberty. The source of these values might be one or another conception of the divine, human nature, intuition, majority sentiment or something like these.

This approach was referred to as foundationalism and the debates concerned how to achieve the values, not whether such values are needed to guide public affairs.

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