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Unformatted text preview: ble public administrators to
determine what is right and what is wrong. In themselves, however, these laws or criteria do not
ensure that public administrators—or anyone else, for
that matter—will act accordingly. This is equivalent to stating, in philosophical
terminology, that laws, rules, regulations, criteria for
morality or U.S. Supreme Court decisions provide
merely speculative knowledge.
23 THE DEONTOLOGICAL AND TELEOLOGICAL
APPROACHES This is knowledge for the sake of knowledge— iin contrast to practical knowledge, or
knowledge with a view to practice. The latter
should be the goal of ethics. The criteria for determining morality are helpful,
but there are flaws. If public administrators are
invincibly ignorant of these criteria, they are not
responsible for their resulting actions. If they do know the relevant criteria but decide
not to act accordingly or shift responsibility,
they are not assuming responsibility.
Speculative knowledge is no guarantee of 24 THE DEONTOLOGICAL AND TELEOLOGICAL
APPROACHES There are far too many laws, rules, regulations and
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- Fall '12