Chapter 1: What is the right thing to do? (Sandel 2009) (Welfare, freedom…
Chapter 1: What is the right thing to do? (Sandel 2009)
Price Gouging- is it wrong to capitalise on people's hardship and misery. The exchange of goods should be determined by a 'just price'. However in market societies, economists believe prices are set by supply and demand
They simply reflect the value buyers and sellers choose to place on things they exchange
Its how goods and services are allocated in a free society
Hurricane not normal times, people forced to buy comodities
Is it wrong for the sellers of goods and services to take advantage of natural disasters by charging what the market will bear?
Welfare, freedom and virtue
About how the law should be and how society should be organised?
standard case for unfettered markets based on welfare and freedom- competing accounts
What about those on limited incomes, plus the free market is never truly free
moral argument- outrage, anger at injustice
Price-gauging laws can limit greed's most barren expression
Punishing greedy behaviour, society affirms the civic virtue of shared sacrifice for the common good
Does a just society seek to promote the virtue of its citizens?
Aristotle- people deserve what they get, need to determine what virtues are worthy of value and reward- what determines a good life?
Kant to Rawls- a just society respects each individual freedom to choose his or her own conception of the good life
Modern justice arguments are about promoting prosperity and freedom. Underlying this is what virtues are worthy of honour and reward, and the way of life a good society should promote
Thinking about justice is about thinking about the best way to live
What woulds deserve the purple heart?
Pentagon announced the purple heart should be reserved for those with physical injuries
Real issue about the meaning of the medal and the virtue it honours
awarding the medal for physiological injuries would debase the honour
Heart of the disagreement is conceptions of moral character andn military valour
Aristotle theory of justice- What virtues the model properly honours?
October 2008- $700bn bailout for the US biggest banks and financial institutions
Giving out millions of dollars in bonuses to executives- didn't deserve it because of greed and failure
Do they deserve the money any more now than then did then?
The bailout rewards failure and greed means taxpayer money is not the moral objection
Ceo's insisted they were victims of a financial tsunami beyond their control, could they have done more to prevent it?
Far reaching questions about failure, success and justice
Raises questions about who deserves what when times are good?
Three approaches to justice
A just society distributes the things we value in a just way
Three ways of approaching the distribution of goods: welfare, freedom and virtue
How to maximise the welfare i.e. prosperity of society
Justice means respecting freedom and individual rights
Laisser faire camp and the fairness camp- different belies of justice
Justice bound up with the virtues of a good life
Moral and political reflections finds its occasion in disagreement
The runaway trolley
Track- one life to save five or push the man onto the track. The deliberate choice to take ones life to prevent an even greater loss of life
Is moral reasoning a way of sorting out our moral convictions, what we believe and why?
The Afghan Goatgerds
Killing Goatherds that might inform the Taliban of US Navy SEALs location
Let them go, the Taliban returned and killed over 18 comrades.
Life in democratic societies rife with disagreements about right and wrong, justice and injustice
Reason our way through the contested terrain of justice and injustice, equality and inequality, individual rights and the common good?
We move back and forth between our judgements and principles revising each in the light of the other
Debates over bailouts, price-gouging, income inequality, and affirmative action, military service and same-sex marriage
A journey of moral and political reflection through the theories of Aristotle, Kant, Rawls and Mills