Justice and Justification: Reflective Equilibrium in Theory and Practice

Front Cover
We all have beliefs, even strong convictions, about what is just and fair in our social arrangements. How should these beliefs and the theories of justice that incorporate them guide our thinking about practical matters of justice? This wide-ranging collection of essays by one of the foremost medical ethicists in the United States explores the claim that justification in ethics, whether concerning matters of theory or practice, involves achieving coherence or "reflective equilibrium" (as Rawls has called it) between our moral and nonmoral beliefs. Among the practical issues the volume addresses are the design of health-care institutions, the distribution of goods between the old and the young, and fairness in hiring and firing practices. In combining ethical theory and practical ethics this volume will prove especially valuable to philosophers concerned with ethics and applied ethics, political theorists, bioethicists, and others involved in the study of public policy.
 

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Contents

Introduction Reflective equilibrium in theory and practice
1
PART I
19
Wide reflective equilibrium and theory acceptance in ethics
21
Reflective equilibrium and Archimedean points
47
On some methods of ethics and linguistics
66
Two approaches to theory acceptance in ethics
81
An argument about the relativity of justice
103
Moral theory and the plasticity of persons
120
Equality of what Welfare resources or capabilities?
208
Determining medical necessity in mental health practice with James E Sabin
232
More on capabilities and the goals of medicine
251
The prudential lifespan account of justice across generations
257
Problems with prudence
284
Merit and meritocracy
302
Rationing fairly Programmatic considerations
317
Fair procedures and just rationing
327

Reflective equilibrium and justice as political
144
PART II
177
Healthcare needs and distributive justice
179
Wide reflective equilibrium in practice
333
Index
353
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