Economics, Justice, and the Value of Life

John Finnis

in Human Rights and Common Good

Published in print April 2011 | ISBN: 9780199580071
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191729393 | DOI:
Economics, Justice, and the Value of Life

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An Economic Analysis of Law, as expounded by Posner, cannot provide moral criteria. Though economics usefully identifies side effects, economic reasoning is defeated by the incommensurables involved in overall consequences of choices. The confusions involved in Dworkin's account of the value of human life, and in the minority judgments in the US Supreme Court in Cruzan's case (1990), and the dualism in these accounts is critiqued. Undignified conditions are to be distinguished from lack of human dignity. Death can reasonably be accepted as a side effect. The meaning of solidarity with and fidelity to the very dependent elderly is explored.

Keywords: Economic Analysis of Law; Posner; Dworkin; value of life; dualism; intention; side effects; solidarity; dignity; undignified

Chapter.  4120 words. 

Subjects: Jurisprudence and Philosophy of Law

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