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Title: Private ethics and public office
Author: Berry, Gerald J.
ISNI:       0000 0001 3461 886X
Awarding Body: University of Surrey
Current Institution: University of Surrey
Date of Award: 1991
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The apparent dichotomy between public and private morality and the problem of justifying 'raison d'etat' has been a constant problem in political philosophy since the publication of Machiavelli's 'II Principe'. In this thesis the conflict between personal morality and the demands of public office are examined in the light of the ethical and political systems of Hobbes, Locke, Bentham, Kant and Bosanquet all of which to a greater or lesser extent fail not only to answer the questions raised but to provide a comprehensive justification of the grounds for ethical conduct. It is contended here that the morality of self perfection, coupled with the acceptance of the notion of Natural Law as a yardstick against which both legislation and executive acts of public officials can be judged, does provide a unifying moral principle capable of bridging the gap between political action and private conscience. Statesmen, politicians and public officials cannot shirk the hard decisions that often go with public office but if they recognise a wrongful act for what it is and subscribe to a morality which includes an ethic of character then the chances of their being corrupted are greatly reduced.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Political philosophy