Comment on Alan Peacock “The Future Scope for Self-Reliance and Private Insurance”

  • Peter Koslowski
Conference paper


The emphasis that Sir Alan Peacock puts on self-reliance in his paper is in itself a value judgment. It is the value judgment that it matters whether you make an economic or some other decision yourself or whether it is made for you by someone else. Japanese scholars like, e.g., Yuichi Shionoya call this decision for self-decision “biblical.” This is enlightening, since behind the emphasis on self-reliance there is a whole interpretation of human existence that assumes that a decision for right or wrong taken by the individual him-or herself has a different quality from a decision for right or wrong taken for this individual by someone else. The shift from the quality of the decision as being right or wrong to the quality of the decision as being self-induced and free or enforced can be traced in philosophy in the transition from the interpretation of the human in Antiquity to the interpretation of human in the Judeo— Christian tradition. In Plato and Aristotle, it is stated that it is better to make the right decision when it is induced by someone else than to make the wrong decision by oneself. For Plato it is better to be ruled reasonably by someone else than to be ruled unreasonably by oneself.


Welfare State Private Insurance Insurance Scheme Social Insurance System Compulsory Insurance 
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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1997

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  • Peter Koslowski

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