Restoring Responsibility: Ethics in Government, Business, and Healthcare, Volume 575

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Cambridge University Press, 2005 - Philosophy - 349 pages
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In this important collection of essays Dennis Thompson argues for a more robust conception of responsibility in public life than prevails in contemporary democracies. He suggests that we should stop thinking so much about public ethics in terms of individual vices (such as selfishness or sexual misconduct) and start thinking about it more in terms of institutional vices (such as abuse of power and lack of accountability).
  

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Contents

The Problem of Many Hands
11
The Responsibility of Advisers
33
Bureaucracy and Democracy
50
Judicial Responsibility
71
Representatives in the Welfare State
99
Democratic Secrecy
129
Mediated Corruption
143
Election Time
174
Restoring Distrust
245
The Institutional Turn in Professional Ethics
267
Hospital Ethics
278
Conflicts of Interest in Medicine
290
The Privatization of Business Ethics
300
Democratic Theory and Global Society
318
Credits
337
Index
339

Hypocrisy and Democracy
209
Private Life and Public Office
227

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Page 7 - House or within my campaign organization, the easiest course would be for me to blame those to whom I delegated the responsibility to run the campaign. But that would be a cowardly thing to do.
Page 4 - The principles of office hierarchy and of levels of graded authority mean a firmly ordered system of super- and subordination in which there is a supervision of the lower offices by the higher ones.
Page 5 - The honor of the civil servant is vested in his ability to execute conscientiously the order of the superior authorities, exactly as if the order agreed with his own conviction. This holds even if the order appears wrong to him and if, despite the civil servant's remonstrances, the authority insists on the order.

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About the author (2005)

Dennis F. Thompson is Alfred North Whitehead Professor of Political Philosophy and Professor of Government in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, and Professor of Public Policy in the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

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