Thursday, June 21, 2007

Michael Boylan's "A Just Society"

Michael Boylan is Chair of Philosophy, Theology and Religious Studies at Marymount University. His many publications include The Extinction of Desire, Basic Ethics, and A Just Society.

He applied the "Page 99 Test" to A Just Society and reported the following:
On page 99 of this book the reader is in part two: the just society. (Part one discussed the just person.) It is the conjecture of this book (following Plato) that the same basic rules apply to the just society as apply to the just person with a little adjustment for scale and group dynamics.

On page 99 the issue of diversity and the common body of knowledge is addressed. These are two important components for a just society. In a just society, there should be space and encouragement for people of all sorts to engage in the public dialogue (subject to the personal worldview imperative: “All people must develop a single comprehensive and internally coherent worldview that is good and that we strive to act out in our daily lives"). This eliminates tolerance for those who advocate positions contrary to this imperative: completeness, coherence, goodness (as defined by a recognized moral theory), and possible applicability to real life. Those who want to join the community who are intolerant, such as the KKK, find themselves in the position of advocating incoherent positions that cannot be connected to any recognized moral theory: ethical intuitionism, virtue ethics, utilitarianism, and deontology (see my Basic Ethics (Upper Saddle River, N.J., 2000 — second edition in the works).

Well, if you want to think about foundational principles that support public policy and ethics, then you should read this. It is not enough to give an opinion off the top of your head. Rather, some considered reflection based upon some foundational principles is far superior because it recognizes our rational nature. Agree or note: give it a look: http:/
Read more about A Just Society at the publisher's website.

--Marshal Zeringue