This is the third post that attempts to respond to comments on my 3/15 post Some Values Matter More Than Others And Are Ignored Anyway.
One person (Dan K.) asked what I meant by “autonomy.” Obviously, a fair question. And, also obviously, there is much disagreement about this. Here’s [...]
Click here for my interview with Michael Enright on CBC's The Sunday Edition. Scroll down and click on the second hour of the show to activate a pop up. You can also hear a shortened version during the best-of iTunes clip available here.
It starts with some jazz, and [...]
Here’s another issue that may divide libertarians from progressives. It is prima facie wrong to live off the productive efforts of others. That is, other things being equal, being productive is a virtue, while being unproductive while enjoying what others produce is a vice. Let us call this person a social parasite. The fact that [...]
Philosopher: “A perfectly just society would look like X.”
Economist: “That’s unrealistic. In real life, people would respond badly to the incentives produced in X.”
Philosopher: “Sure, but in a perfectly just society, people would not act like that. They would be motivated by a sense of justice and do what is morally [...]
Consider the following only slightly exaggerated version of an argument that occurs in a lot of political philosophy
1. Institution X is unjust or bad.
2. Therefore, X should be abolished or reformed.
What's wrong with this? Well, two things, actually, which I describe below.
First, identifying some feature(s) of X as bad or unjust doesn't [...]
Most people assume there is a duty to vote. Philosophers generally agree. (In fact, there’s even some evidence that they rate voting more morally good than donating to charity or giving blood, which I find bizarre.) Despite the fact that most philosophers believe in a duty to vote, the [...]
Here is a thought experiment. It’s intended especially for libertarians, and even more so for natural rights libertarians of the Lockean/Nozickian/Rothbardian sort. But the rest of you should feel free to play along at home.
Suppose a genie gives you the power to snap your fingers and instantly implement your preferred theory of [...]
This is the second post that attempts to respond to comments on my 3/15 post Some Values Matter More Than Others And Are Ignored Anyway. The third and fourth posts in this series will be up early next week.
Several people (Andrew L., Dan K., Logan B.) worry about the [...]
Most people assume that political idealism is a virtue. We encourage the young to be idealistic, to believe in the essential goodness of human nature. Above all, we admire those who devote their energies to a cause. A cause (in this sense) is always an altruistic goal: improving the environment, saving animals, helping the world’s [...]
I’d be curious to hear what readers of this blog think about this talk by Bernard Harcourt on "The Illusion of Free Markets: Laissez faire and Mass Incarceration.” The talk is based on his similarly-named book, The Illusion of Free Markets: Punishment and the Myth of Natural Order.
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