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Human Rights and Common GoodCollected Essays Volume III$
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John Finnis

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199580071

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199580071.001.0001

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Economics, Justice, and the Value of Life

Economics, Justice, and the Value of Life

Chapter:
(p.242) 15 Economics, Justice, and the Value of Life
Source:
Human Rights and Common Good
Author(s):

John Finnis

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199580071.003.0016

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

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