Encyclopedia of Global Justice

2011 Edition
| Editors: Deen K. Chatterjee

Global Public Health

  • Michael Boylan
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4020-9160-5_122

There are at least two sorts of imperatives to maintain public health: (a) prudential, and (b) moral. In the former case, an agent advocates policies supporting public health because it makes the environment in which the agent lives more desirable for the agent, himself. In this case, for example, one would like to rid his area of cholera because if cholera is allowed to spread, then the agent, himself, might catch cholera. In such situations the agent is thinking only of his own advantage. This has two discernable effects: (1) public health is merely an extension of particular agents’ own personal needs, and (2) (as a result of (1)) public health policies will only be supported when there is a political mandate to do so based upon coalitions of people advocating their shared self-interest.

Prudential Grounds for Public Health

The prudential model is based upon a principle of selfish egoism and extended egoism (the political expression of selfish egoism). Continuing with the cholera...

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael Boylan
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyMarymount UniversityArlingtonUSA