Moral and Political Philosophy

  • Permalink Gallery

    Paul Menzel (Pacific Lutheran): “The Subjective Value of Life: What Is It?”

Paul Menzel (Pacific Lutheran): “The Subjective Value of Life: What Is It?”

27 February 2019|

 
Paul Menzel (Pacific Lutheran): “The Subjective Value of Life: What Is It?”
 
One kind of value that a person’s life has is subjective – the value of life to the person whose life it is. This value plays an important role in certain moral philosophies, in health economics and health policy, and in a wide range of normative […]

  • Permalink Gallery

    Glen Weyl (Yale/Microsoft): “Radical Markets: Uprooting Capitalism and Democracy for a Just Society”

Glen Weyl (Yale/Microsoft): “Radical Markets: Uprooting Capitalism and Democracy for a Just Society”

23 May 2018|

 

Glen Weyl (Yale/Microsoft): “Radical Markets: Uprooting Capitalism and Democracy for a Just Society”

Many blame today’s economic inequality, stagnation, and political instability on the free market. The solution is to rein in the market, right? We challenge this thinking— as well as most arguments in favor of and against markets. We offer new, but historically rooted, ways to […]

  • Permalink Gallery

    Simon Beard (Cambridge): “Risk, Relevance and the Aggregation of Competing Claims View”

Simon Beard (Cambridge): “Risk, Relevance and the Aggregation of Competing Claims View”

2 May 2018|

 

Simon Beard (Cambridge): “Risk, Relevance and the Aggregation of Competing Claims View”

Alex Voorhoeve has developed his Competing Claims view as a way of mediating between, and quantifying, our pro and anti-segregationist leanings concerning the evaluating of consequences, especially in relation to distributive fairness. Voorhoeve however has declined to consider the implications of this view for how we […]

  • Permalink Gallery

    Alex Voorhoeve (LSE): “Pleasure, the Complete Life, and Death” (Inaugural Professorial Lecture)

Alex Voorhoeve (LSE): “Pleasure, the Complete Life, and Death” (Inaugural Professorial Lecture)

16 February 2018|

 

Alex Voorhoeve (LSE): “Pleasure, the Complete Life, and Death”

The Greek philosopher Epicurus was an early proponent of hedonism – the view that the good life is the pleasurable life. He also argued that “death is nothing to us”. These two claims appear contradictory. For if pleasure is good, it seems to follow that a longer life that […]

  • Permalink Gallery

    Mike Otsuka (LSE): “Reciprocity versus Redistribution: The Case of Collective Pensions”

Mike Otsuka (LSE): “Reciprocity versus Redistribution: The Case of Collective Pensions”

10 January 2018|

 

Mike Otsuka (LSE): “Reciprocity versus Redistribution: The Case of Collective Pensions”

Pensions involve transfers from those who are young, healthy, able-bodied, and productive to those who are elderly, infirm, and out of work. Are these justified as redistributive transfers between distinct individuals – from those who are lucky to others who are unlucky – in order to eliminate […]

Alex Voorhoeve (LSE): “Egalitarianism under Ambiguity”

8 November 2017|

 

Alex Voorhoeve (LSE): “Egalitarianism under Ambiguity”

Decision-makers are in an ambiguous situation when they are not in a position to assign precise probabilities to all of the relevant possible outcomes of their actions. Such situations are common – novel medical treatments and policies addressing climate change are two examples. Many people respond to ambiguous situations in a cautious, or […]

  • Permalink Gallery

    Jeff McMahan (Oxford): “Might We Benefit Animals by Eating Them?”

Jeff McMahan (Oxford): “Might We Benefit Animals by Eating Them?”

30 May 2017|

 

Jeff McMahan (Oxford): “Might We Benefit Animals by Eating Them?”

Leslie Stephen once wrote that “The pig has a stronger interest than anyone in the demand for bacon. If all the world were Jewish, there would be no pigs at all.” In recent debates about the ethics of eating animals, some have advanced the related claim that if […]

  • Permalink Gallery

    Campbell Brown (LSE): “Priority vs. Equality: What’s the Difference?”

Campbell Brown (LSE): “Priority vs. Equality: What’s the Difference?”

21 February 2017|

 
Campbell Brown (LSE): “Priority vs. Equality: What’s the Difference?”

Abstract: Prioritarianism is often considered a preferable alternative to egalitarianism. However, seeing exactly what distinguishes these two views can be difficult. Prioritarianism says it is better to benefit the worse off (other things being equal). Egalitarianism says it is better to reduce inequality (other things being equal). But by […]

The Worst Form of Government? (the Forum)

5 October 2016|

 

The Worst Form of Government? (the Forum)

Winston Churchill famously described democracy as ‘the worst form of government except for all the others that have been tried’. While not exactly a resounding endorsement, something like this sentiment is strongly held by most people in Western societies. Those who challenge it are branded ‘extremists’ or ‘ideologues’, with special suspicion reserved […]

Evolution and Moral Progress (the Forum)

24 March 2016|

 

Evolution and Moral Progress (the Forum)

It now seems hard to deny that at least some of our moral beliefs have been shaped by natural selection. What does this mean for the objectivity of ethics and the possibility of moral progress? Does evolution mean that morality is an illusion? Are we locked into ‘tribal’ ways of thinking, or is […]