Rationality, markets, and morals: RMM Band 0 (2009)

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    Dismissals: A Case for Business Ethics!
    (2009) Hahn, Susanne
    A scenario of dismissal is used to illustrate a business ethical reflection that is guided by the method of reflective equilibrium. Several rules of dismissal are considered with respect to an already proved practice and to the goals of the corporation. The deliberation shows how the demand for coherence between norms and practice and for the achievement of certain purposes works. The limits and chances of business ethical reflection are indicated on the basis of the discussed example. By providing the methodological frame business ethicists support decision makers in making enlightened decisions. They do not supply the decision maker with the `right ethical theory' which provides an algorithm to conclude the `right decision'.
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    ,Aus ökonomischer Sicht ...‘
    (2009) Lübbe, Weyma
    Economists, and notably health economists, very often add to their policy recommendations the formula ,from an economic point of view‘. The contribution starts by exploring what the message of this clause to non-economists might be. The vagueness that it brings about as to the general acceptability of claims to ,rational‘ allocation, ,best‘ outcomes etc. is then, first, assessed with respect to the recent debate about IQWiG’s (the German equivalent to Britain’s NICE) unorthodox methodology of health care evaluation. Weaknesses within the theoretical basis of standard health economist’s evaluations, well-known by theoretical economists but rarely mentioned when it comes to policy advice, are then, second, pointed out. Finally, some consequences are drawn for what has to be done to enhance the quality and impact of policy advice in the area of health resource allocation.
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    Cognitive Limits and the Beginning of Life
    (2009) Huster, Stefan
    The question which moral status the embryo has is of great practical significance because the possibility to justify a governmental prohibition of a set of important therapeutical and scientific measures depends on a special and therefore legal protectable status of the embryo. The identity argument which is often used in this context cannot constitute this status due to its mere epistemic character under the condition of the determinism.
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    Rationing Health Care and the Role of the ‘Acute Principle’
    (2009) Rivera-López, Eduardo
    In several works, Hartmut Kliemt has developed an original account on the necessity of rationing health care and on how a rationing policy should be carried out. While I agree on several important points of that view, there is one important aspect of his account that I do not find plausible: his claim that the so-called `acute principle' (a principle that gives absolute preeminence to rescuing identified lives from dying) should be one of the basic criteria to carry out a rationing policy in a liberal state. After explaining Kliemt's view on rationing health care and, more specifically, the foundations of the acute principle, I argue that the acute principle is not supported by our basic moral intuitions. I then apply the previous argument to the case of rationing, arguing for the necessity of a compromise among intuitions supporting the acute principle and other moral intuitions. Finally, I try to show that a feasible system of public health care services is conceivable. In doing so, I make use, with some relevant modifications, of Kliemt's own ideas.
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    The ‘Rule of Rescue’ in Medical Priority Setting: Ethical Plausibilities and Implausibilities
    (2009) Schöne-Seifert, Bettina
    Not infrequently, the so-called Rule of Rescue gets invoked as an allegedly self-evident constraint to the CBE-goal of maximizing health benefit with a given health budget. In this paper this constraint is critically analyzed. It will be argued that some of its implications are worth considering--but not the inherently vague Rule as such.
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    Rationing in Medicine: A Presupposition for Humanity and Justice
    (2009) Gubernatis, Gundolf
    Limited resources are the permanent condition in health care. Rationing, according to H. Kliemt, is the distribution of limited resources below market prices to all people in need for these resources. Therefore, rationing is a basic component of every kind of human health care system. However, the crucial problem is how to find just and fair rules for this distribution under the premise, that every patient should have the same chance. The allocation of organs for transplant can serve as a paradigmatic example for studying rationing problems, as shortage of organs cannot be denied nor abolished. H. Kliemt compared the situation with the classic decathlon. The selection of factors and the combination and weighing of these factors for `winning a donor organ' should strictly be related to individuals. Non-medical criteria should generally be accepted and authorized as far as they are relevant to the question of justice and fairness. In this paper the so-called `solidarity model', an example of joint research with Hartmut Kliemt, is introduced as an allocation system with the power to enhance justice and fairness.
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    Health Care Rationing and Distributive Justice
    (2009) Breyer, Friedrich
    The rapid progress in medical technology makes it unavoidable to ration health care. In the discussion how to ration many people claim that principles of justice in distributing scarce resources should be applied. In this paper we argue that medical resources are not scarce as such but scarcity is a necessary by-product of collective financing arrangements such as social health insurance. So the right question to ask is the determination of the benefit package of such an institution. Hartmut Kliemt is currently involved in a commendable interdisciplinary research project in which principles of `prioritization' of medical care are studied. This contribution adds a specific perspective to this endeavour: we ask how the goal of distributive justice can be interpreted in this context and compare different approaches to implementing `just' allocation mechanisms.
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    Critical Thinking and Legal Culture
    (2009) Pincione, Guido
    We often lack clear procedures for assessing statements and arguments advanced in everyday conversations, political campaigns, advertisements, and the other multifarious uses to which ordinary language can be put. Critical thinking is a method for evaluating arguments couched in ordinary, non-formal language. Legal education should foster this argumentative skill as an ability to assess the open-end variety of arguments that may arise in legal disputes. I will argue that the ability of critical thinking helps lawyers to thrive even in legal cultures that are hostile to critical thinking. There is, therefore, a happy harmony between professional and moral reasons to teach critical thinking at law schools: it promotes epistemic as well as instrumental rationality.
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    Value Pluralism and the Two Concepts of Rights
    (2009) Spector, Horacio
    Philosophers and legal theorists still disagree about the correct analysis of `rights', both moral and legal. The `Will Theory' and the `Interest Theory'--the two main views--can each account for various features of rights, but neither of them is totally satisfactory. The controversy has now been running for decades and seems irresolvable. I will contend in this paper that the discussion of `value pluralism' in the Berlinian tradition can illuminate the debate over the concept of rights.
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    Niccolò Machiavelli on Power
    (2009) Holler, Manfred J.
    This paper uses the concept of power to analyze Machiavelli's The Prince and the Discourses on the First Ten Books of Titus Livius. This helps to distil the elements that form the Machiavelli program that has its short-term aim in the formation of a national state of Italy. A unification of Italy under the umbrella of a princely family (such as identified with Cesare Borgia) was meant to be the first stage in an evolutionary process which, in the end, could lead to a more or less stable republican system. For the latter, the Roman Republic as described in the Discourses is Machiavelli's model. The use of power, but also the minimization of cruelties, and the participation of the people, either in the form of militia to successfully fight foreign armies or to support the princely government, are major ingredients to this process.
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    How to Safeguard Subsidiarity and Competition in the European Union
    (2009) Bernholz, Peter
    The assignment of rights to as low political levels as possible recommends itself because preferences of citizens are better known at the communal, provincial or state level, because their influence is greater, political powers are more distributed and since decentralization furthers efficiency and innovation in a system. Thus subsidiarity requires that only the necessary framework and those decisions related to cases with strong externalities or to public goods covering the whole society are taken at the highest level. Looking from this perspective at the Lisbon Treaty proposed for the European Community several important shortcomings are found which are mainly related to the fields of overlapping competencies of the Union and the member states. It is shown that the principle of subsidiarity, which has to be safeguarded by introducing adequate institutions, would be much better served by the proposals of the European Constitutional Group.
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    On the Legitimacy of Political Communities
    (2009) Koller, Peter
    The paper consists of two parts. The first part deals with the normative legitimacy of political communities, such as states and confederations, in general, i.e. their acceptability in light of reasonable standards of efficiency, common good, and justice from the viewpoints of their members on the one hand (internal legitimacy) and their social surroundings on the other (external legitimacy). The requirements of both aspects of legitimacy are specified in a twofold way: as normative ideals and as minimum standards. As to the latter, a political community’s legitimacy minimally requires that it effectively guarantees the fundamental human rights of its members and complies with certain basic precepts of a peaceful and generally beneficial international order. On this basis, the second part scrutinizes the legitimacy of the European Union with regard to its internal and external aspects. This attempt leads to a mixed result. Even though the EU can certainly be regarded, by and large, as a desirable project, it also suffers from a number of considerable defects that weaken its legitimacy.
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    Demokratie, Bürgersouveränität und Subsidiarität
    (2009) Vanberg, Viktor J.
    The paper addresses the issue of how the notion of common or public weal can be specified for a democratic polity as a ,,cooperative venture for mutual advantage" (Rawls). It is argued that common weal in democratic politics is to be understood as its capacity to produce mutual advantages for the citizenry and that the measuring rod for this capacity is citizen sovereignty, i.e. the responsiveness of democratic politics to citizens' common interests. Subsidiarity is analyzed as an organizational principle in politics that can serve as an instrument for advancing citizen sovereignty.
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    Vom Wunder der Freiheit: Die subversive Rolle der Person in der modernen Verfassungsgeschichte
    (2009) Becker, Werner
    In the course of the history of democratic voting rights a remarkable development has taken place: collective privileges to vote were completely replaced by a personalisation of voting rights. Today, it is perceived as self-evident that every adult citizen has the right to vote. But neither the classical forms of democracy acknowledged such a right nor is it promoted by the conditions of modern mass society. Therefore, its emergence and dissemination is a historic ,miracle‘ and an achievement that is based on the fundamental political concept of a ,person‘. This concept has to be protected at all tim – and today afresh – against the ever-present dangers of erosion and neglect.
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    Individual Interest and Political Legitimacy
    (2009) Dietrich, Frank
    Criticism of contract theory has always played an important role in Hartmut Kliemt's writings on political philosophy. Notwithstanding his objections to a consent-based justification of the state he has never subscribed to an anarchist position. In Hartmut Kliemt's view, a minimal state which protects the basic liberties of its citizens has to be considered legitimate. The article begins with a brief restatement of the most influential objections that have been raised against the various forms of contract theory. Thereafter interestbased accounts of political legitimacy are critically examined; it is argued that individual interests fail to provide a justification for any kind of political authority. Finally, philosophical anarchism is suggested as a possible alternative to contract theory and interest theory. Although philosophical anarchism holds that no state has a moral right to rule, it can be reconciled with the view that it is in the individual's interest to create and maintain a minimal state.
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    The ‘Justice’ That Overrules the Rules of Justice
    (2009) de Jasay, Anthony
    Justice is intrinsically distributive; it distributes by its rules. `Distributive' or `social' justice redistributes by overruling them. It has theories that do not start `from here'. It has no rules; it makes claims instead. Both its names are fraudulent aliases, `social' perhaps less blatantly so. Satisfaction of a claim in `social' justice depends on politics and tends to favour the poorer half of society. This commands general sympathy, but sympathy does not make it any less unjust.
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    Dignity, Human Rights, and Democracy
    (2009) Garzón Valdés, Ernesto
    In order to analyze what can plausibly be said about the relationship between dignity, human rights, and democracy, I will propose a basic assumption about human dignity (I) and then formulate five theses concerning the justification of democracy (II) which will allow me to conclude (III) that only when human rights are constitutionally established and effectively implemented democracy can be theoretically and practically justified as a political means to guarantee human dignity.
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    (Over-)Stylizing Experimental Findings and Theorizing with Sweeping Generality
    (2009) Güth, Werner; Kliemt, Hartmut; Levati, M. Vittoria
    Human decision making is a process guided by different and partly competing motivations that can each dominate behavior and lead to different effects depending on strength and circumstances. `Over-stylizing' neglects such competing concerns and context-dependence, although it facilitates the emergence of elaborate general theories. We illustrate by examples from social dilemma experiments and inequality aversion theories that sweeping empirical claims should be avoided.
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    A Stochastic Model of the Co-evolution of Networks and Strategies
    (2009) Berninghaus, Siegfried K.; Vogt, Bodo
    We consider a theoretical model of co-evolution of networks and strategies whose components are exclusively supported by experimental observations. We can show that a particular kind of sophisticated behavior (anticipatory better reply) will result in stable population states which are most frequently visited in co-evolution experiments.
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    Commitments by Hostage Posting
    (2009) Raub, Werner
    We survey research on incurring commitments by voluntary hostage posting as a mechanism of cooperation. The Trust Game is employed as a paradigmatic example of cooperation problems. We sketch a very simple game-theoretic model that shows how voluntary hostage posting can bind the trustee and thus induce trustfulness of the trustor as well as trustworthiness of the trustee. We then indicate how the model can be improved by including uncertainty and incomplete information, transaction costs of hostage posting and compensating effects as well as signaling effects of hostages. Further extensions of the theoretical analysis are outlined as well as testable hypotheses and references to empirical research. Problems for future research are suggested.