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Jason Brennan
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G. A. Cohen has a diagnosis of what he thinks is going wrong with political philosophy, a diagnosis that is supposed to explain why, say, Rawls, Dworkin, and Nagel, or Nozick, Schmidtz, and Gaus, are relatively sanguine about markets, while... Continue reading
Posted Jan 31, 2014 at PEA Soup
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Zippy wrote the following comment over at EconLog: Low IQ people create externalities. These include crime and disorder in neighborhoods where low IQ people cluster. They also create additional need for social and governmental services. Libertarianism, or even liberaltarianism works fine in a country with a small low IQ underclass.... Continue reading
Posted Apr 27, 2011 at Bleeding Heart Libertarians
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HT: Volokh Conspiracy. The press guidance provided by China’s censors is so voluminous and detailed that leaked copies of the guidance are now available on a regular basis. China Digital Times publishes a weekly list of what China’s censors tell their journalists not to report or hype. It’s a remarkable... Continue reading
Posted Apr 25, 2011 at Bleeding Heart Libertarians
I was interviewed by a journalist at PBS's Need to Know. Read it here. (Incidentally, the journalist asked very sharp questions, and it turns out he was a philosophy major.) Continue reading
Posted Apr 16, 2011 at Bleeding Heart Libertarians
I took down my original post. It was misleading and was getting hostile responses. People assumed I'm some big Ayn Rand fan and was whining that she didn't get the credit she deserved. Nope. (For an excellent and thorough rebuttal of Rand's philosophy, see Michael Heumer here.) So let's try... Continue reading
Posted Apr 15, 2011 at Bleeding Heart Libertarians
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Big Business v. Government is a Morality Play Low Income Cell Phone Customers Shouldn't Be Forced to Buy Extra Services. Would Obama Have Voted to Invade Iraq? Do Universities Encourage Corporations to Exploit their Students through Internships? Continue reading
Posted Apr 9, 2011 at Bleeding Heart Libertarians
Read Wolff's article here. Read Clemens's post here. Excerpt: In fact, the average African-trained member of the American Medical Association left his or her country of training well over five years after earning the Medical Doctor degree—as I learned when I surveyed them. Thus an African country that has invested... Continue reading
Posted Apr 7, 2011 at Bleeding Heart Libertarians
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I'm pleased to announce that my son (child #2) Keaton Carter Brennan was born this Saturday. Mom and baby are doing well. I will be posting much less frequently as a result. Continue reading
Posted Apr 5, 2011 at Bleeding Heart Libertarians
Following up on my summary of Cohen's Why Not Socialism?. I'll express one objection to Cohen here, though I have others. Imagine we all go on a camping trip together. We bring our own stuff. Some of us live in groups, sharing our stuff communally within the group. Some of... Continue reading
Posted Mar 31, 2011 at Bleeding Heart Libertarians
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When I look at the way people talk about justice, I see that they tend to fall into two broad camps: 1. Justice as a Set of Ideals: Norms of justice tells us how a society would have to be structured to be morally flawless. Satisfying these norms does not... Continue reading
Posted Mar 31, 2011 at Bleeding Heart Libertarians
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I wrote a short, non-partisan piece on being an informed and rational voter. Read it here: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/opinions/opinion/be-a-smart-voter-canada-needs-you/article1961771/ Continue reading
Posted Mar 30, 2011 at Bleeding Heart Libertarians
In Why Not Socialism?, G. A. Cohen argues that socialism is intrinsically desirable, and capitalism is intrinsically repugnant. I'm willing to bet most of you here will not be convinced by his argument. So, I will do my best to outline his position. Please tell me where he makes a... Continue reading
Posted Mar 29, 2011 at Bleeding Heart Libertarians
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SOME CONCEPTUAL DISTINCTIONS You’ve read some of us (in particular, Matt and me) sometimes claiming that certain things are required by justice. A few of our readers have then complained (on other blogs) that if justice requires those things, then this would license totalitarianism, as governments would then have the... Continue reading
Posted Mar 29, 2011 at Bleeding Heart Libertarians
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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 the... Continue reading
Posted Mar 27, 2011 at Bleeding Heart Libertarians
A Dialogue: 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... Continue reading
Posted Mar 25, 2011 at Bleeding Heart Libertarians
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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 arguments... Continue reading
Posted Mar 24, 2011 at Bleeding Heart Libertarians
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Almost weekly, someone does the following trick: Find a bunch of natural-born American citizens. Get them to take the US Citizenship Exam. Snicker while they fail. Write an article about citizens’ ignorance. Title it, "How Dumb Are We?" This week's show is brought to you by Newsweek. Recently, 38% of... Continue reading
Posted Mar 22, 2011 at Bleeding Heart Libertarians
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(Following up on my previous post.) Thanks to everyone who pre-ordered the book! I'm looking forward to having some vigorous conversations and hearty debates with you. In this post, I just want to introduce the point that it's puzzling, at first glance, whether there could even be an "ethics of... Continue reading
Posted Mar 21, 2011 at Bleeding Heart Libertarians
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The Ethics of Voting will be out in two weeks, on April 4th. [EDIT: Looks like copies are available now. Amazon has a temporary backorder, but Barnes and Noble has copies available now.] Over the next month, I will blog about voting. The introductory chapter is available here: http://press.princeton.edu/chapters/i9464.pdf This... Continue reading
Posted Mar 21, 2011 at Bleeding Heart Libertarians
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Will Wilkinson claims they are: http://www.economist.com/blogs/democracyinamerica/2011/03/war_theatre Excerpt: So what is the attraction to no-fly zones? I'm afraid it is that no-fly zones are a theatrical way of taking a stand on the side of righteousness without seeming to put much at risk. This combination of potent symbolism and apparently limited... Continue reading
Posted Mar 18, 2011 at Bleeding Heart Libertarians
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Here’s a story related to me by another philosopher. The philosopher in question might be labeled “libertarian”, though that label is as misleading as it is helpful. (Indeed, I’m still worried that putting “libertarian” in this blog’s title has been misleading or unhelpful to some of our commentators.) The philosopher... Continue reading
Posted Mar 18, 2011 at Bleeding Heart Libertarians
David Schmidtz is one of the best. Here is a video designed to get people thinking. Continue reading
Posted Mar 17, 2011 at Bleeding Heart Libertarians
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In textbook neoclassical economics, the minimum wage is expected to cause unemployment among the least productive workers. Various economists from a wide range of ideological backgrounds dispute this. Perhaps I do too, so there is no need to argue with me about minimum wage law. You may have seen this... Continue reading
Posted Mar 16, 2011 at Bleeding Heart Libertarians
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Many people approach political questions as a war to defend their ideological turf. Others are policy wonks who want to turn everything into a debate about contemporary policies. (How boring.) Some people mean well but don't understand what the words "all things equal" mean. This can prevent them from having... Continue reading
Posted Mar 16, 2011 at Bleeding Heart Libertarians
Update: Some readers are having a surprisingly difficult time understanding this post. So, here is the question I'm interested in: Suppose it turned out, empirically, that improving the income level of the poor at any given time by equalizing incomes eventually leads to the poor in that society having less... Continue reading
Posted Mar 15, 2011 at Bleeding Heart Libertarians
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