Category Archives: Posts

New Book — Exit Left: Markets and Mobility in Republican Thought

Robert S. Taylor, Exit Left: Markets and Mobility in Republican Thought (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2017), xiv + 130 pp.

https://global.oup.com/academic/product/exit-left-9780198798736

How can citizens best protect themselves from the arbitrary power of abusive spouses, tyrannical bosses, and corrupt politicians? Taylor’s new book, Exit Left, makes the case that in each of these three spheres the answer is the same: exit. By promoting open and competitive markets and providing the information and financial resources necessary to enable exit, we can empower people’s voices and offer them an escape from abuse and exploitation. This will advance a conception of freedom, viz. freedom as non-domination (FND), that is central to contemporary republican thought. Neorepublicans have typically promoted FND through constitutional means (separation of powers, judicial review, the rule of law, and federalism) and participatory ones (democratic elections and oversight), but Exit Left focuses on economic means, ones that have been neglected by contemporary republicans but were commonly invoked in the older, commercial-republican tradition of Alexander Hamilton, Immanuel Kant, and Adam Smith. This book’s revival and revision of commercial republicanism will enlarge republican practice by encouraging greater use of market mechanisms, even as it hews closely to existing republican theory. read more...

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New MA in PPE University of Groningen

The University of Groningen offers a new one-year MA in PPE (taught in English) – please distribute widely. Particulars available here:

http://www.rug.nl/masters/philosophy-politics-and-economics/

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The ethical implications of populism in political practice

Author: Olivera Z. Mijuskovicphilosopher

A brief review

In political discourse in recent times we hear too many times the word – populist or populism. Does an average citizen who is not from the profession of political or philosophical sciences properly consider the meaning of this terms and what are the ethical implications of manipulating with it?

Let’s start from the beginning.

Populist is usually related to the concept of a demagogue and it has roots from the Greek term dimagogós which has the meaning of a charismatic leader. This phenomenon dates back to Ancient Athens democracy which is at the same time a weakness of democracy. Demagogue does not address to the elites but to the ordinary people and thanks to them and in their name he carries out his decisions into practice. Often, decisions of such type of leaders are not in the interest of large masses, but their popularity and charm convince people otherwise. Demagogues support their own decisions often with the story about the national crisis and interests, and often used the force. read more...

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Anarchism/Minarchism Anthology Now in Paperback

Anarchism/Minarchism:  Is a Government Part of a Free Country?

I’m pleased to announce that the 2008 anthology Anarchism/Minarchism: Is a Government Part of a Free Country?, edited by the late Tibor Machan and myself, is about to be released in paperback from Routledge (formerly Ashgate). It’s scheduled for the end of November, but can be pre-ordered now at Amazon (US here, Canada here, UK here).

At $55 it’s still a hefty pricetag, but it beats the hardback cost, which varies between $100 and $150.

The contents:

  • Lester Hunt: “Why the State Needs a Justification”

    Roger Lee: “Libertarianism, Limited Government, and Anarchy” read more...

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CfP: New Springer Book Series: “Philosophy and Poverty”

“Philosophy and Poverty”, a new fully peer-reviewed book series published by Springer. The first volume is scheduled to be published in 2018. The book series is edited by Henning Hahn, Gottfried Schweiger and Clemens Sedmak, whose work is supported by an international Advisory Board. It is the first book series to focus exclusively on philosophical research on poverty, which is an area of increasing interest and high social and political importance. The book series is not restricted to issues of ethics and justice which dominate the philosophical research on poverty, but is also open to questions related to the philosophy of science, epistemology or history of philosophy insofar as they relate to poverty.

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The Oxford Handbook of Well-Being and Public Policy has just been published. The Handbook provides a comprehensive, interdisciplinary treatment of its topic.

The Handbook includes thirty chapters divided into four Parts. Part I covers the full range of methodologies for evaluating governmental policy and assessing societal condition — including both the leading approaches in current use by policymakers and academics (such as GDP, cost-benefit analysis, cost-effectiveness analysis, inequality and poverty metrics, and the concept of the “social welfare function”), and emerging techniques (such as “social ordering functions,” multidimensional indices grounded in the notion of “capabilities,” and happiness-based policy analysis). Part II focuses on the nature of well-being. What, most fundamentally, determines whether an individual life is better or worse for the person living it? Her happiness? Her preference-satisfaction? Her attainment of various “objective goods”? Part III addresses the measurement of well-being and the thorny topic of interpersonal comparisons. How can we construct a meaningful scale of individual welfare, which allows for comparisons of well-being levels and differences, both within one individual’s life, and across lives? Should we even attempt to do so, or is it better to evaluate policy with respect to each “capability” taken separately? Finally, Part IV reviews the major challenges to designing governmental policy around individual well-being: social evaluation under risk and uncertainty, the role of individual responsibility, badly behaved preferences, measuring well-being on a lifetime basis, measurement challenges posed by price heterogeneity and household-level data, and policy effects on future generations. read more...

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