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Vol 23 No 5 May/June 2018

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Practices and Principles New ed

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Mark TunickAssociate Professor of Political Science, The Honors College, Florida Atlantic University, USA

ISBN13: 9780691070797
ISBN: 0691070792
Published: November 2001
Publisher: University Presses of California, Columbia and Princeton
Format: Paperback
Price: £27.95

A Japanese woman living in California attempts parent-child suicide, an ancient Japanese custom called ""oyako-shinju"", in order to rid herself of shame upon learning that her husband has a mistress. She survives, but her two children are drowned in the attempt. Since her attempt was made in accordance with the standards of Japanese culture, should she be tried by the standards and laws of the United States? Are there universally valid moral principles that dictate what is right? Or are moral judgements culturally relative, ultimately dictated by conventions and practices that vary among societies? In this text, Mark Tunick takes up the debate between universalists and relativists, and, in political philosophy, between communitarians and liberals, each of which has roots in an earlier debate between Kant and Hegel.;Tunick focuses on three case studies: promises, contract law, and the Fourth Amendment issue of privacy. In his analysis, he rejects uncritical deference to social principles when making legal and ethical judgements. He argues that we do not always need to choose between abstract principles and social practices. Sometimes we need to appeal to both; sometimes we need to ap

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