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Private ethics and public office.

Berry, Gerald J. (1991) Private ethics and public office. Doctoral thesis, University of Surrey (United Kingdom)..

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Abstract

The apparent dichotomy between public and private morality and the problem of justifying 'raison d'etat' has been a constant problem in political philosophy since the publication of Machiavelli's 'II Principe'. In this thesis the conflict between personal morality and the demands of public office are examined in the light of the ethical and political systems of Hobbes, Locke, Bentham, Kant and Bosanquet all of which to a greater or lesser extent fail not only to answer the questions raised but to provide a comprehensive justification of the grounds for ethical conduct. It is contended here that the morality of self perfection, coupled with the acceptance of the notion of Natural Law as a yardstick against which both legislation and executive acts of public officials can be judged, does provide a unifying moral principle capable of bridging the gap between political action and private conscience. Statesmen, politicians and public officials cannot shirk the hard decisions that often go with public office but if they recognise a wrongful act for what it is and subscribe to a morality which includes an ethic of character then the chances of their being corrupted are greatly reduced.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Divisions : Theses
Authors :
NameEmailORCID
Berry, Gerald J.UNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Date : 1991
Contributors :
ContributionNameEmailORCID
http://www.loc.gov/loc.terms/relators/THSUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Depositing User : EPrints Services
Date Deposited : 09 Nov 2017 12:15
Last Modified : 09 Nov 2017 14:43
URI: http://epubs.surrey.ac.uk/id/eprint/843634

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