Morality, Leadership, and Public Policy: On Experimentalism in Ethics

Overview

In Morality, Leadership, and Public Policy, Eric Weber argues for an experimentalist approach to moral theory in addressing practical problems in public policy. The experimentalist approach begins moral inquiry by examining public problems and then makes use of the tools of philosophy and intelligent inquiry to alleviate them.

Part I surveys the uses of practical philosophy and answers criticisms - including religious challenges - of the approach, presenting a number of areas in...

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Morality, Leadership, and Public Policy: On Experimentalism in Ethics

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Overview

In Morality, Leadership, and Public Policy, Eric Weber argues for an experimentalist approach to moral theory in addressing practical problems in public policy. The experimentalist approach begins moral inquiry by examining public problems and then makes use of the tools of philosophy and intelligent inquiry to alleviate them.

Part I surveys the uses of practical philosophy and answers criticisms - including religious challenges - of the approach, presenting a number of areas in which philosophers' intellectual efforts can prove valuable for resolving public conflicts.

Part II presents a new approach to experimentalism in moral theory, based on the insights of John Dewey's pragmatism. Focusing on the elements of good public inquiry and the experimentalist attitude, Weber discusses ways of thinking about the effective construction and reconstruction of particular problems, including practical problems of public policy prioritization.

Finally, in Part III the book examines real-world examples in which the experimentalist approach to ethics proves useful, including instances of "bandwidth theft" and the controversies surrounding activist judges in the US Supreme Court.

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Product Details

Meet the Author

Eric Thomas Weber is assistant professor of Public Policy Leadership at the University of Mississippi, USA. He has published in Human Studies, Review of Policy Research, Skepsis, William James Studies, Contemporary Pragmatism, and Transactions of the Charles S. Peirce Society. He is the author of Rawls, Dewey, and Constructivism (Continuum, 2010).

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Table of Contents

1. Introduction \ Part I: Philosophy and Religion in Public Policy \ 2. On Applying Ethics: Who's Afraid of Plato's Cave \ 3. Religion, Public Reason and Humanism: Kurtz on Fallibilism and Ethics \ Part II: Experimentalism, Problem Construction and Priorities \ 4. What Experimentalism Means in Ethics \ 5. Construction, Art and Politics \ 6. Philosophy and Public Policy Prioritization \ Part III: New Technologies and Experiments in Judging \ 7. Stop Him! He Stole My Internet Connection! \ 8. Activist vs Active Judges: Examples of Experimentalists \ 9. Conclusion \ Bibliography \ Index.

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