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Practices and Principles : Approaches to Ethical and Legal Judgment - Mark Tunick

Practices and Principles

Approaches to Ethical and Legal Judgment

Paperback Published: 10th December 2000
ISBN: 9780691070797
Number Of Pages: 256

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A Japanese woman living in California attempts parent-child suicide, an ancient Japanese custom called "oyako-shinju," in order to rid herself of shame upon learning that her husband has a mistress. She survives, but her two children are drowned in the attempt. Since her attempt was made in accordance with the standards of Japanese culture, should she be tried by the standards and laws of the United States? Are there universally valid moral principles that dictate what is right? Or are moral judgments culturally relative, ultimately dictated by conventions and practices that vary among societies? In "Practices and Principles," Mark Tunick takes up the debate between universalists and relativists, and, in political philosophy, between communitarians and liberals, each of which has roots in an earlier debate between Kant and Hegel.

Tunick focuses on three case studies: promises, contract law, and the Fourth Amendment issue of privacy. In his analysis, he rejects both uncritical deference to social practice and draconian adherence to principles when making legal and ethical judgments. He argues that we do not always need to choose between abstract principles and social practices. Sometimes we appeal to both; sometimes we need to appeal to shared social norms; and sometimes, where there is no ethical community, we can appeal only to principles. Ultimately, Tunick rejects simplified arguments that force us to choose between either practices "or" principles, universalism "or" relativism, and liberalism "or" communitarianism.

Industry Reviews

"The central question in this lucid and thoughtful book is, what force do the existence of practices, customs, and traditions have when we make legal and ethical judgments? Tunick's answer is that as much as we need principles to criticize our practices, practices still matter for legal and ethical judgement."--Ethics "Practical and beneficial as a reference for research. As a whole, anyone with strong affection for the area of philosophy will likely enjoy the style and substance offered in Practices and Principles."--New York Law Journal "Tunick ... does a fine job of arguing against those approaches that reify absolute principles and those that rely solely on the justifying power of agreed-upon social practice... The truth, asserts Tunick, lies somewhere in between, in the unresolvable tension that arises when practice and principle collide and transform each other... [Tunick's] writing style is clear and relatively jargon-free... Recommended."--Choice

Introductionp. 3
Kant versus Hegelp. 19
Kant's Principle Conceptionp. 21
Hegel's Criticism of Kant's Principle Conceptionp. 30
Hegel on the Importance of Social Practicep. 34
Implicationsp. 43
Kant or Hegel: Principles without Practice or Principles Immanent in Practice?p. 48
Promisesp. 50
The Problemp. 50
Scanlon's Examplep. 54
Principle Conceptions of Promisingp. 58
Scanlon's Principles M and Fp. 83
Conclusion: Practices and the Obligation to Keep Promisesp. 90
Contractsp. 96
Problems in Contract Lawp. 96
Principlesp. 104
Practices and Principles in Contract Lawp. 133
Privacyp. 137
The Problemp. 137
Determining the Reasonableness of Expectations of Privacy: Practice or Principles?p. 144
Incorporating Practice and Principle in Fourth Amendment Reasonable-Expectation-of-Privacy Analysis: The Mischance Principle Appliedp. 172
Practices, Principles, and Contemporary Political Theoryp. 191
The Role of Social Practice in Ethical and Legal Judgingp. 193
Contemporary Political Theorists on the Role of Social Practicep. 199
Practices and Principlesp. 204
Practices, Principles, and the Liberal-Communication Debatep. 209
Practices, Principles, and the Relativism-Universalism Debatep. 217
Bibliographyp. 223
Index of Casesp. 235
General Indexp. 237
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780691070797
ISBN-10: 0691070792
Audience: Tertiary; University or College
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 256
Published: 10th December 2000
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 22.86 x 15.24  x 1.45
Weight (kg): 0.37