Visualising Preston’s Ethical Decision-Making Model

I have posted about this before, but given public policy debates on issues such as inequality, refugees, climate change, etc, I thought it might be useful to post this simplified model of ethical decision-making again. I contend that decision-makers are obliged to make explicit the process by which a position is chosen. The notion of “accountability” implies that an account of a decision should be possible, before the decision is acted on. The same applies to subsequent reviews, i.e. “should we continue to act as we have done?” It seems to me many policy decisions prefer economics and utility, to values, ethics, consequences, dispositions, and character. Undoubtedly many policies involve complex considerations. As part of this we can use some simple tools to tease out the threads of difficult problems.

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