Skip to main content

Republic of Equals

Alan

The title of this blog entry, Republic of Equals, is also the title of a new book on political philosophy.

The author, Alan Thomas, a philosophy professor at the University of York, and the head of the department there puts forth a theory of justice he calls "predistribution." The underlying idea is that a republic is valuable and sustainable only to the extent that the ownership of property and/or "access to capital," is widespread, that is, to the degree that there are institutional checks in place to prevent a drift toward oligarchy.

Further, it is Thomas' contention that this "stable management of capital dispersion ... require[s] relatively extensive involvement by the state."

The term "predistribution," which Thomas adopts from other thinkers, is a name for the idea that it is better to keep the horse in the stable than to try to chase down the horse after it has run away. Thomas' notion of justice, derived largely from a critical analysis of Rawlsianism, maintains that a good society prevents the oligarchy from developing. This means that heavy redistributive taxation, and other measures sometimes proposed to reduce an existing oligarchic inequality, is not favored.  

Thomas has his own blog and expounds upon these ideas there: https://ethics-socialphilosophy.com/

I'm not praising or condemning today, folks. But since you're here, you're open to reading blogs, so I'm passing this one along as another option.

I'll say something about a rather different theorist tomorrow, and I'll make an explicit comparison between the two of them on Saturday.


Comments

  1. If you need your ex-girlfriend or ex-boyfriend to come crawling back to you on their knees (even if they're dating somebody else now) you have to watch this video
    right away...

    (VIDEO) Get your ex back with TEXT messages?

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

England as a Raft?

In a lecture delivered in 1880, William James asked rhetorically, "Would England ... be the drifting raft she is now in European affairs if a Frederic the Great had inherited her throne instead of a Victoria, and if Messrs Bentham, Mill, Cobden, and Bright had all been born in Prussia?"

Beneath that, in a collection of such lectures later published under James' direction, was placed the footnote, "The reader will remember when this was written."

The suggestion of the bit about Bentham, Mill, etc. is that the utilitarians as a school helped render England ineffective as a European power, a drifting raft.

The footnote was added in 1897. So either James is suggesting that the baleful influence of Bentham, Mill etc wore off in the meantime or that he had over-estimated it.

Let's unpack this a bit.  What was happening in the period before 1880 that made England seem a drifting raft in European affairs, to a friendly though foreign observer (to the older brother…

Cancer Breakthrough

Hopeful news in recent days about an old and dear desideratum: a cure for cancer. Or at least for a cancer, and a nasty one at that.

The news comes about because investors in GlaxoSmithKline are greedy for profits, and has already inspired a bit of deregulation to boot. 

The FDA has paved the road for a speedy review of a new BCMA drug for multiple myeloma, essentially cancer of the bone marrow. This means that the US govt has removed some of the hurdles that would otherwise (by decision of the same govt) face a company trying to proceed with these trials expeditiously. 

This has been done because the Phase I clinical trial results have been very promising. The report I've seen indicates that details of these results will be shared with the world on Dec. 11 at the annual meeting of the American Society of Hematology. 

The European Medicines Agency has also given priority treatment to the drug in question. 

GSK's website identifies the drug at issue as "GSK2857916," althou…

Francesco Orsi

I thought briefly that I had found a contemporary philosopher whose views on ethics and meta-ethics checked all four key boxes. An ally all down the line.

The four, as regular readers of this blog may remember, are: cognitivism, intuitionism, consequentialism, pluralism. These represent the views that, respectively: some ethical judgments constitute knowledge; one important source for this knowledge consists of quasi-sensory non-inferential primary recognitions ("intuitions"); the right is logically dependent upon the good; and there exists an irreducible plurality of good.

Francesco Orsi seemed to believe all of these propositions. Here's his website and a link to one relevant paper:

https://sites.google.com/site/francescoorsi1/

https://jhaponline.org/jhap/article/view/3

What was better: Orsi is a young man. Born in 1980. A damned child! Has no memories of the age of disco!

So I emailed him asking if I was right that he believed all of those things. His answer: three out of …