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Ethics, politics, and types of justice

Murphy, Timothy John (2011) Ethics, politics, and types of justice. Transnational Legal Theory, 2 (1). pp. 135-143. ISSN 2041-4005

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‘Morality’ and ‘ethics’ are rarely distinguished but, when they are, it is sometimes said that morality addresses the question, in the context of a set of codified norms, ‘What must I do?’, whereas ethics addresses the broader question, ‘How should I live?’1 Even in these formulations, which are controversial and expressed differently in different writers, it is clear that both morality and ethics refer to the domain of individual deliberation and choice. It is always the individual who faces moral or ethical questions such as, ‘Should I pay my taxes?’ ‘Should I have an abortion?’ ‘Should I torture this prisoner?’ These questions are related to but distinguishable from questions of political philosophy, which also involve deliberation and choice but in which the decision-making relates to the collective affairs of the polis: Is the taxation system just? Should there be an entitlement to choose whether or not to have an abortion? Should torture by state actors be permitted on some occasions? Obviously, given that individuals live in society, there is overlap and interdependence between the individual and collective domains, but an important distinction in normative philosophy remains.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: K Law > K Law (General)
Divisions: College of Law, Government and International Studies
Depositing User: Mrs. Norazmilah Yaakub
Date Deposited: 25 Feb 2012 00:56
Last Modified: 25 Feb 2012 00:56
URI: http://repo.uum.edu.my/id/eprint/4541

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