Citizen Ethics in a Time of Crisis

The Guardian has published an impressive collection of short essays on the public place of ethics—in economic, political, and social life. Writers include Philip Pullman, Michael Sandel, Rowan Williams, John Milbank, Polly Toynbee, Madeleine Bunting, Tariq Ramadan, and others. Nigel Biggar’s contribution, The Cult of Freedom, argues that the BBC’s handling of the Ross/Brand affair reveals the moral poverty of an exclusive focus on autonomy and rights.

 The pamphlet, entitled Citizen Ethics in a Time of Crisis, was distributed as a supplement with Sunday’s paper and is also available online. It was assembled by the Citizens Ethics Network, which seeks to address the widespread concern that the winner-takes-all mentality of the banker, and the corrupted values of the politician, have replaced a common sense ethics of fairness and integrity. The Guardian invites online discussion of the essays.

A debate will be held among some of the contributors this Friday, 26 February, in the British Museum. Michael Sandel, Rowan Williams, and Diane Coyle will discuss Who Deserves What? Ethics in a Time of Crisis. Tickets and more information are available here.