The common morality in communitarian thought: Reflective consensus in public policy

Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 30 (1):45-54 (2009)
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Abstract

I explore the possible meanings that the notion of the common morality can have in a contemporary communitarian approach to ethics and public policy. The common morality can be defined as the conditions for shared pursuit of the good or as the values, deliberations, traditions, and common construction of the narrative of a people. The former sense sees the common morality as the universal and invariant structures of morality while the second sense is much more contingent in nature. Nevertheless, the communitarian sees both aspects as integral in devising solutions to public policy problems. I outline how both meanings follow from communitarian philosophical anthropology and illustrate how they work together when addressing a question such as that of providing universal health insurance in the United States. The common morality forms the basis of building an implicit consensus that is available to and reaffirmed by the shared reflections of the citizenry.

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References found in this work

After virtue: a study in moral theory.Alasdair C. MacIntyre - 1981 - Notre Dame, Ind.: University of Notre Dame Press.
Just Health Care.Norman Daniels - 1985 - New York: Cambridge University Press.
Liberalism and the Limits of Justice.Michael J. Sandel - 1982 - New York: Cambridge University Press.
Liberalism and the limits of justice.Michael Sandel - 2002 - Journal of Philosophy 81 (6):336-343.

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