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Judgment: Balancing Principle and Policy

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Judgment is an element of decision-making that is of critical importance to both ethics and economics but remains underappreciated in both. In this paper, I describe one conception of moral judgment, drawn from the moral philosophy of Immanuel Kant and the legal philosophy of Ronald Dworkin, in which an agent weighs and balances the various moral duties and principles relevant to a choice situation in a way that maintains the integrity of her moral character. After explaining the foundations and uses of judgment in ethics, I discuss its importance to two areas of economic modeling, individual choice and policy-making, both of which can be enhanced by incorporating judgment alongside more basic ethical motivations and concerns.
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Keywords: Immanuel Kant; Ronald Dworkin; ethics; judgment; principle

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Philosophy, College of Staten Island, 2800 Victory Blvd, Staten Island, NY, 10314, USA

Publication date: July 3, 2015

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