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Law, Economics, and Morality$
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Eyal Zamir and Barak Medina

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780195372168

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195372168.001.0001

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Private and Public Morality

Private and Public Morality

(p.57) three Private and Public Morality
Law, Economics, and Morality



Oxford University Press

This chapter discusses the claim that even if moderate deontology is the correct moral theory for individuals, consequentialism is the appropriate moral theory for legal policymakers such as legislators, judges, and regulators, and for academic policy-analysts. It refutes the argument that the distinction between actively doing harm and passively allowing it is inapplicable in the public sphere. It similarly counters the argument that the distinction between intending harm and merely foreseeing it is only applicable in the private sphere. The chapter contends that these arguments confuse, among other things, between constraints and options, and between the actor's perspective and the perspective of an external reviewer. It ultimately rejects the alleged dichotomy between personal and public morality.

Keywords:   public morality, constraints, options, doing, allowing, intending, foreseeing, legislation

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