Learning from Others
Ethical Thought Across the Professions
What can economists learn from those professions with rich and well-established traditions of professional ethical inquiry? This chapter examines some of the primary principles and questions that have emerged across the professions, and explores their relevance for economics. In particular, the chapter explores the principles of nonmaleficence (or the prudential principle, as represented by the Hippocratic dictum Primum non Nocere, or “First do no Harm,” and the “precautionary principle”), and autonomy (and the associated principle of “prior informed consent”). It also explores the dilemmas associated with “dirty hands,” “many hands,” conflict of interest, corruption and whistle blowing.
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