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Entries Tagged as 'Moral Philosophy'

Living High and Letting Die

September 19th, 2011 · 16 Comments

I’ve seen plenty of outraged online discussion over past week concerning this exchange—and especially the audience reaction to it—from the recent Tea Party debate: “A healthy, 30-year-old young man has a good job, makes a good living, but decides: You know what? I’m not going to spend 200 or 300 dollars a month for health […]

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Tags: Moral Philosophy

Desert vs. Entitlement

April 14th, 2011 · 19 Comments

In a recent post, I suggested that claims about “desert” are generally misplaced in arguments about copyright—whether they are deployed on behalf of “deserving” small fry artists or against “undeserving” labels. As some commenters pointed out, there’s no obvious reason this argument should be restricted to the domain of copyright—and quite right. I think most […]

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Tags: General Philosophy · Libertarian Theory · Moral Philosophy

Bad Reasons to Be a Moral Relativist

April 6th, 2011 · 12 Comments

Will Wilkinson suggests, in a long and interesting post on the scientific debate over the existence of an innate moral capacity, that the absence of such an inborn faculty would tend to bolster the case for moral relativism, while its existence would cut in the other direction. Adam Ozimek at Modeled Behavior follows up: I […]

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Tags: Moral Philosophy

Religion, Morality, and Character

December 20th, 2010 · 20 Comments

This is a bazillion years ago in Internet time, but a quick note on a line from Sarah Palin’s recent book that occasioned some controversy a few weeks back, to the effect that “morality itself cannot be sustained without the support of religious beliefs.” It may, of course, be true in some very narrow sense […]

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Tags: Moral Philosophy · Religion

Why Kant Johnny Vote?

November 2nd, 2010 · 6 Comments

Dan Davies at Crooked Timber points out an inconsistency in a common argument for voting for a major party: The key point I want to make here is that when major party activists put the guilt-trip on supporters significantly to their left, they engage in what looks like very fallacious reasoning. The point is that […]

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Tags: Horse Race Politics · Moral Philosophy

The Spectre of Pacifism

January 4th, 2010 · 27 Comments

There’s a running conversation over at the Corner about the parallels between opposition to torture and pacifism, which is really just a thinly-veiled version of one of those tendentious hypotheticals about the nuclear bomb in Manhattan whose location (you know with apodictic certainty) can only be uncovered through the judicious application of thumbscrews. As such, […]

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Tags: Moral Philosophy

More Dworkin!

September 3rd, 2009 · 2 Comments

Chris Bertram reminds me that Ronald Dworkin’s view of justice in health care is actually quite similar to the “distributive-justice-plus-paternalism” account that I’ve argued is a more coherent progressive position than a nebulous “right to health care.” On this view, what society should do is, in effect, buy for each person the sort of insurance […]

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Tags: Moral Philosophy

Saving Lives (or: Another Rambling Health Care Post)

August 25th, 2009 · 23 Comments

In a previous post, I suggested that the most adequate conception of a purported right to health care is as really consisting of two distinct elements: a distributional right to a fair share of social resources—with the understanding that one’s fair share can depend on the other burdens and misfortunes one faces, so that the […]

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Tags: Markets · Moral Philosophy


August 24th, 2009 · 28 Comments

I don’t know why, in light of everything else that’s already come to light—we clearly did worse than making horrific but (I presume) idle threats—but this bit of the recent interrogation report filled me with a profound sense of sadness and shame: CIA interrogators threatened to kill the children of one detainee at the height […]

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Tags: Moral Philosophy · War

Health Care as Distributional Right

August 24th, 2009 · 22 Comments

I’ve suggested before that the best version of progressivism—by which I mean, the most internally coherent version—would not include a distinct right to health care for competent adults as a moral or theoretical right, though it may in practice recommend that some degree of access to publicly provided or subsidized health care be afforded as […]

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Tags: Markets · Moral Philosophy · Nannyism