Just Results

Overview

In Just Results, Ralph E. Ellis provides an authoritative solution to one of the major problems in the field of public policy. Until now, analysts and planners have had no practical or accurate means of incorporating qualitative social concerns into the traditional quantitative formulas used in policymaking. By introducing a justice factor -- a quantitative measure for social values -- Ellis opens the door for more balanced policy decisions.

Using concrete, real-world examples, ...

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Overview

In Just Results, Ralph E. Ellis provides an authoritative solution to one of the major problems in the field of public policy. Until now, analysts and planners have had no practical or accurate means of incorporating qualitative social concerns into the traditional quantitative formulas used in policymaking. By introducing a justice factor -- a quantitative measure for social values -- Ellis opens the door for more balanced policy decisions.

Using concrete, real-world examples, Ellis shows how policy analysts can better account for the use value -- or practical measurable utility -- of universally agreed-upon social benefits such as life, health, safety, and environmental preservation when making cost-benefit analyses. In this way, policymakers, and by extension, society as a whole, can avoid making unjust tradeoffs between important social values and comparatively frivolous economic benefits.

Drawing on philosophical works on justice from Kant through John Rawls, this book is informed by a theoretical defense of distributive justice that emphasizes diminishing marginal utility, thus favoring the poor. Just Results is a stimulating and highly applicable book that will be of great interest to philosophers, political scientists, policy analysts and planners.

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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Informing and stimulating the philosophical thinking of policy analysts, the book develops a concretely applicable way of reasoning about the conflict between considerations of justice (which traditionally have been framed in qualitative terms) and considerations of aggregate utility (which have been framed in quantitative terms). A central argument is that without value assumptions, no public policy would be possible. Paper edition (unseen), $21.95. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780878406678
  • Publisher: Georgetown University Press
  • Publication date: 3/31/1998
  • Pages: 224
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.51 (d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction 1
1 The Value Component of Policy Analysis 7
2 Why There Is No 'Incommensurable Pluralism' of Value Systems 33
3 Crucial Problems with Utilitarian Decision Principles 57
4 Crucial Problems with Rights-Based Decision Principles 86
5 Toward a Nonutilitarian Consequentialist Concept of Distributive Justice 123
6 A Method for Quantifying Distributive Justice 143
7 The Problem of Empirical Uncertainties 173
References 201
Index 211
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