Edited by Kleio Akrivou and Alejo José G Sison
Chapter 14: Reflections on the concept of the common good from an economic perspective
This chapter provides an economist’s perspective, discussing some of the strategic problems that arise in an organization or society where different members have different ideological perspectives. It considers how far values of tolerance and debate can prevail in the presence of strong commitments to opposing opinions. In particular, it considers critically, in the light of the previous chapters, whether an ethic based on the common good is of any help. The chapter argues that some ideologies cannot accommodate dissent better than others because they provide opportunities for dissenters to contribute constructively to the welfare of others. Other ideologies, by contrast, encourage critics to become disruptive. The chapter concludes by considering some practical applications of this analysis.
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