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Practices and Principles
Author: Mark Tunick

ISBN: 9780691070797
Format: Paperback
Number Of Pages: 256
Published: 17 December 2000
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 22.9 x 15.2 x 1.4
Description:


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 judgments culturally relative, ultimately dictated by conventions and practices that vary among societies? In "Practices and Principles," 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 both uncritical deference to social practice and draconian adherence to principles when making legal and ethical judgments. He argues that we do not always need to choose betwe...

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