A Journal of Philosophy, Applied to the Real World

Editorial: Introducing the Journal of Practical Ethics’ Podcast Series

Oxford Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics, University of Oxford

Oxford Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics, University of Oxford


We are pleased to present the second issue of the Journal of Practical Ethics, with papers on three important practical matters: education, health, and the judging of others.

News stories reporting, and usually bemoaning, restrictions placed by schools on the celebration of Christmas as a religious festival have themselves become part of the ritual of Christmas. Aside from vexed questions on religion, polls have shown that parents are keen for schools to teach values and standards. In ‘Moral Education and the Liberal State’, Kyla Ebels-Duggan asks a difficult question. In a liberal state, what should those values and standards be?

Also timely is Daniel Hausman’s ‘Motives and Markets in Health Care’. As the US remains apparently irreconcilably divided over ‘Obamacare’, Hausman presents a supplement to standard models of controlling (or not controlling) the health care insurance market: non-financial incentives. In particular, Hausman argues that by modifying the balance and direction of motivating factors such as commitment to public service, self-interest and legal cases which are impacting on medical practice, we can produce a better balance of patient care and efficiency.

Finally, a timeless question: when is it right to judge others (in particular, to judge them negatively)? David Oderberg argues that the importance of a good reputation is so great that it is only in a rare case that one is permitted to form a bad judgement. We think it a very interesting read, but you don’t have to rely on our opinion: we have with this issue introduced a new series of podcasts interviewing an author from the issue to discuss the ideas presented, and our interviewed author for this issue is David Oderberg. You might also be interested to look back on the previous issue with a podcast interview with Seth Lazar. Podcasts are available from the journal website, www.jpe.ox.ac.uk.

Thank you to all the authors and reviewers who contributed to this issue. We hope you enjoy it, and letter responses to any of the Journal’s articles are always welcome.