The public role of ethics and public policy

Authored by: Jeffrey Howard

The Routledge Handbook of Ethics and Public Policy

Print publication date:  November  2018
Online publication date:  October  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138201279
eBook ISBN: 9781315461731
Adobe ISBN:


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How should we undertake scholarly work about the kinds of policies that the state morally ought to enact? My thesis is that we should regard “ethics and public policy” (EPP) as a special subfield of political philosophy, marked by a particular methodological commitment: to assist citizens and policymakers in their actual deliberations about public policy. EPP can assist the task of public deliberation on public policy in many ways. Most crucially, it can help to craft the normative menu of various policy options, and the arguments that underlie them, from which both policymakers and ordinary citizens can choose. In this way, EPP aspires to increase the intelligence of public debate.

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