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Flattening the Curve of Moral Imagination

In: Organon F, vol. 2022, no. 2
Ondřej Beran


Year, pages: 2022, 174 - 199
Language: eng
COVID-19 crisis, economic concerns, moral dilemmas, moral luck, remorse.
Article type: Research Article
About article:
In this paper, I discuss some moral dilemmas related to the COVID-19 crisis and their framing (mainly) in the public debate. The key assumption to engage with is this: that we need primarily to take into account the long-term economic consequences of the proposed safety measures of social distancing. I argue that the long-term economic concerns, though legitimate, cannot suspend the irreducibly moral nature of the demand placed on the decision-makers by those who are vulnerable, at risk, or in need of medical treatment. This is discussed in relation to two points: 1) The political endeavor and rhetoric of “flattening the curve” is not necessarily shortsighted, but expresses the acknowledgment of a legitimate expectation placed on elected representatives. 2) Not being able to prevent harm (to those who are in real need, or otherwise vulnerable) may lead to a genuine moral distress, even if it is not clear whether it was in one’s, or anybody’s, powers to prevent the situation, or even if the best possible outcome has been otherwise reached. The second point may be understood as a part of the broader context of the established criticisms of utilitarianism.
How to cite:
ISO 690:
Beran, O. 2022. Flattening the Curve of Moral Imagination. In Organon F, vol. 2022, no.2, pp. 174-199. 1335-0668. DOI: https://doi.org/10.31577/orgf.2022.29201

Beran, O. (2022). Flattening the Curve of Moral Imagination. Organon F, 2022(2), 174-199. 1335-0668. DOI: https://doi.org/10.31577/orgf.2022.29201
About edition:
Publisher: Filozofický ústav SAV, Filosofický ústav AVČR
Published: 29. 5. 2022
Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International Public License (CC BY-NC 4.0)