Ethics in the Public Service

cover art
208 pp., 6 x 9
ISBN: 9780878407361 ()

208 pp., 6 x 9
ISBN: 9780878407378 (0878407375)

September 1999
LC: 99-18209
Sales Rights: World

Texts and Teaching, Politics, Policy, Administration series


Table of Contents

Ethics in the Public Service
The Moral Mind at Work
Charles Garofalo and Dean Geuras

Winner of the 2000 Outstanding Academic Book of the Year of the Choice Magazine
Serving the public interest with integrity requires a moral perspective that can rise above the day-to-day pressures of the job. This book integrates Western philosophy's most significant ethical theories and merges them with public administration theory to provide public administrators with an explicit moral foundation for ethical decision making.

Ethics in the Public Service reviews moral thought through the ages, from Plato to Rorty, and makes the philosophies of the more difficult thinkers accessible to both students and practitioners. Unifying seemingly disparate ethical positions, including those of Aristotle, Kant, and Mill, the authors defend the idea of objective moral truth and critique subjectivist views, refuting postmodernism and ethical relativism. Using their integrated objective approach, they tackle such dichotomies in public administration theory as bureaucracy vs. democracy, and they also examine a case study in an administrative setting.

Offering a better understanding of moral dilemmas rather than a formula, this book presents scholars and practitioners with a framework that is both objective and flexible, theoretical and practical. This original synthesis provides a comprehensive basis for administrative thought and action.
Charles Garofalo is an associate professor of political science and Dean Geuras is a professor of philosophy, both at Southwest Texas State University.
"This well-written and lucid book develops an integrated moral philosophy for public administration . . . their approach constitutes a unified moral perspective . . . incorporating their concept of moral agency with the view that US administrative agencies generally seek to accomplish legitimately defined concepts of the public interest . . . Garofalo and Geuras . . . brilliantly sketch the normative basis for doing so. Required reading for serious students of public administration."—Choice

"A richly historical and carefully written treatment of ethics in public administration. It is an important contribution to our understanding of ethical and moral issues."—George Frederickson, University of Kansas

"A carefully developed program for what might be called interactive ethics, a way of enriching moral action by bringing philosophical perspective and concrete public problems into perpetual communication."—Joe E. Barnhart, University of North Texas

Table of Contents

1. Ethical Theory in Public Administration

2. The Normative Paradox in Contemporary Public Administration Theory

3. A Review of Absolutist Theories

4. The Unification of Ethical Theories

5. Ethical Unity in Public Administration.