Category Archives: Blogosphere

The Boston Review tackles the question of What to Do about Inequality

The Boston Review March/April Forum tackles the question of What to Do about Inequality. David Grusky, Stanford sociologist and Director of the Center on Poverty and Inequality, argues in his lead essay that if we’re serious about reducing inequality, we need to do more than raise taxes on the rich. We need to correct the market failures in labor and education that generate it:

Market institutions are riddled with inequality-generating corruption, bottlenecks, and sweetheart deals, a state of affairs that demands that our institutions be reformed rather than treated as inviolable. When OWS participants point out that market regulations are shaped by lobbyists, powerful corporations, and the well off, they are hardly telling a story about thin rules that merely enable the invisible hand. Instead the story is about a very visible hand distorting market principles.

The Forum includes responses from Neal McCluskey (Cato Institute), Shikha Dalmia (Reason Foundation), Rick Perlstein, Glenn Loury, Ruy Teixeira, Anne Alstott, Susan Mayer, and others. Read Grusky’s lead essay: http://www.bostonreview.net/BR37.2/ndf_david_b_grusky_inequality.php Read the complete Forum with responses: http://www.bostonreview.net/BR37.2/ndf_inequality.php

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Political Philosophy blog posts

Public Reason readers may be interested in two recent posts I contributed to the Experts’ Corner at Big Think:

The Contraceptive Clash: Not About Religious Rights

Santorum is No JFK: A Closer Look at Kennedy’s Speech

— Steven Mazie 

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Public Reason Graduate Tech Assistant(s)

I’m looking for one or two graduate students to take over the technical nuts and bolts administration of the website, i.e., sign up new members, keep the site WordPress and theme up-to-date, fix broken links, keep a lookout for new plugins and capabilities that we could incorporate into the website, and the like. Such a person or persons should have the following qualities:

  • Relatively advanced technical competence regarding WordPress, blogging, the ability to write/fix code, etc.
  • Commitment to academic political philosophy/theory.
  • General togetherness, punctuality, reliability, etc.

There is little prospect of any meaningful remuneration, but it should provide the opportunity to become more involved in the political philosophy community and play an important role in interesting new initiatives. Since the website is international, you needn’t be located in the US. I’d be especially interested if some graduate students located at a single institution were to work together to keep things ticking along smoothly, although it shouldn’t be an onerous responsibility for a single person.

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Scanlon on Libertarianism in Boston Review

Tim Scanlon has an essay up at Boston Review on libertarianism and liberty:

“Libertarianism presents itself as a simple, clear, and principled view. It appears to provide a moral basis, in the value of individual liberty, for a specific political program of limited government and low taxes. The moral significance of liberty seems obvious even to those who believe it is not the only thing that matters. But the claim of the libertarian political program to be founded on this value is illusory. Three lines of thought lead to conclusions that might be seen as libertarian. But none of these shows that respect for the value of individual liberty should lead one to support the political program of low taxes and limited government that libertarians are supposed to favor.”

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Podcast: New Books in Philosophy

Hello Public Reasoners!

I write to announce a new podcast, New Books in Philosophy. Carrie Figdor (U of Iowa) and I co-host the podcast, and each episode features an in-depth interview with an author of a newly-published philosophy book. Interviews will be posted on the 1st and 15th of each month. The inaugural interview, posted today, is with Eric Schwitzgebel (UC Riverside), author of Perplexities of Consciousness (MIT Press). An interview with Jerry Gaus (Arizona), author of The Order of Public Reason (Cambridge University Press), will be posted on July 1st. Upcoming podcasts include interviews with Robert Pasnau, Sandy Goldberg, Carolyn Korsmeyer, Fabienne Peter, Jason Brennan, Allen Buchanan, Elizabeth Anderson, and others. Please click over to the NBiP site, and check out what we’re doing.

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Summer 2011 APT Virtual Reading Group: NOT FOR PROFIT by Martha Nussbaum

This summer, the Association for Political Theory will host its first virtual reading group (VRG). The purpose of the virtual reading group is to create a space for a profession-wide discussion on topics of shared interest to political theorists and philosophers, a discussion that will culminate in a round-table discussion during the meeting itself.  All members of APT are invited to participate, including those who will not be able to participate in the conference this year.  Part of the purpose of the virtual reading group is to expand the reach of the high quality conversations among APT members beyond the physical space of the conference.

The 2011 APT Program Committee has selected Martha Nussbaum’s Not for Profit: Why Democracy Needs the Humanities as the subject of discussion.  We believe that the themes of the book connect to the professional, pedagogical, and political concerns that are of interest to many members of the organization, and we hope that Not for Profit will serve as a launching pad for a broader discussion in the profession.

APT members can participate in the VRG at http://aptvrg2011.blogspot.com/ , by submitting comments to the blog (please note that comments cannot be anonymous). Each week, from June 6-August 5, 2011, participants will discuss a new chapter of the book.  All members of APT are invited to participate in virtual discussion.  The VRG will culminate in a round-table session at the annual conference in October featuring Fred Dallmayr (University of Notre Dame) and Arlene Saxonhouse (University of Michigan).  Both the virtual reading group and the round-table session will be co-chaired by Lisa Ellis and Peyton Wofford of Texas A&M University.

Our conversations will get started each week by a guest commentator who will post some reflections and provocations about the chapter.  Then, APT members are invited to participate in the reading group by reading the relevant chapters and posting on the blog.

[APT membership is free; to join, please click this link.]

The schedule is below the fold:

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