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http://ssrn.com/abstract=1422247
 
 

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Private and Public Morality


Eyal Zamir


Hebrew University of Jerusalem - Faculty of Law

Barak Medina


Hebrew University of Jerusalem - Faculty of Law

June 19, 2009

LAW, ECONOMICS AND MORALITY, Oxford University Press, Forthcoming

Abstract:     
This is a chapter of a book titled Law, Economics, and Morality, which proposes to integrate threshold deontological constraints (and options) with cost-benefit analysis, thus combining economic methodology with deontological morality. The chapter discusses the claim that even if moderate deontology is the correct moral theory for individuals, consequentialism is the appropriate moral theory for legal policymakers such as legislators, judges, and regulators, and for academic policy-analysts. It refutes the argument, made in this context by Cass Sunstein and Adrian Vermeule, that the distinction between actively doing harm and passively allowing it is inapplicable in the public sphere. It similarly counters the argument that the distinction between intending harm and merely foreseeing it is only applicable in the private sphere. The chapter contends that these arguments confuse, among other things, between constraints and options and between the actor’s perspective and the perspective of an external reviewer. It ultimately rejects the alleged dichotomy between personal and public morality.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 23

Keywords: cost-benefit analysis, deontology, consequentialism, economic analysis of law

JEL Classification: A11, B40, D61, D63, D72, H00, K00, K40

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Date posted: June 22, 2009 ; Last revised: June 25, 2009

Suggested Citation

Zamir, Eyal and Medina, Barak, Private and Public Morality (June 19, 2009). LAW, ECONOMICS AND MORALITY, Oxford University Press, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1422247

Contact Information

Eyal Zamir (Contact Author)
Hebrew University of Jerusalem - Faculty of Law ( email )
Mount Scopus, 91905
Israel
+972 2 582 3845 (Phone)
+972 2 582 9002 (Fax)

Barak Medina
Hebrew University of Jerusalem - Faculty of Law ( email )
Mount Scopus, 91905
Israel

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