Featured Authors

By In Featured Authors, Ideas, Moral Responsibility, Philosophy of Law Comments (10)

Featured Authors: Victor Tadros’s Wrongs and Crimes (Post by Victor Tadros)

[Editor’s Note: As part of our series featuring authors of new and forthcoming books, today we are featuring Victor Tadros’s new book Wrongs and Crimes (OUP). Below, Victor discusses one argument from the book, on whether punishment can be justified in light of worries about free will. All are welcome and encouraged to join in on the discussion.]


Wrongs and Crimes is about the relationship between wrongs and crimes! It is about the nature and sources of wrongdoing, why wrongdoing can make a person liable to punishment. In the light of that it is about the scope of the criminal law. The book covers far too many issues – everything from the nature of wrongdoing, to debates about free will, to the nature of harm and the harm principle, to consent, inchoate wrongdoing, and firearms possession. As taster, I focus only on one issue that I address in chapter 5: can punishment be justified in the face of challenges from free-will sceptics?


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By In Featured Authors, Ideas, Political Philosophy Comments Off on New Book Forum: Republic of Equals (Guest Post by Alan Thomas)

New Book Forum: Republic of Equals (Guest Post by Alan Thomas)

[What follows is a post by Alan Thomas, presenting a central argument from his new book Republic of Equals (OUP), available here. Please feel free to join in on the discussion. Alan is from the UK, so don’t be thrown off by his alarmingly different spellings of “defense,” “characterized,” and “nationalized.”]


Republic of Equals: Pre-distribution and Property-Owning Democracy is the first book length defence of property owning democracy as part of a tradition of egalitarianism that could reasonably be called wealth, or asset, based (as opposed to income based). (Thomas, 2017) Asset based egalitarianism is not some exotic breed of egalitarianism with which we are familiar only at the level of theory: from Land Grant universities to the federal underwriting of educational loans, from the sale of nationalised industries back to the private sector at an undervalued price to spread share ownership; from the sale of public housing stock into the private sector to the current policy of quantitative easing; in all these cases, asset based policies have had a pervasive and deep impact on inequality. (Atkinson, 2015; Hockett, 2017) However, as a perusal of this list shows, these asset based policies have typically worsened, and not ameliorated, the extensive inequality that has come to characterise the affluent societies of the West in the period from 1970 to the present day. The argument of Republic of Equals is that egalitarians need to reverse this trend and formulate a normative basis for a set of policies that move beyond the orthodox resources of the redistributively funded welfare state.


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By In Announcements, Featured Authors Comments Off on Upcoming Features (including Featured Authors)

Upcoming Features (including Featured Authors)

We wanted to tip you off — and remind you — about a few features upcoming at the Soup in the new year. First, Brad Cokelet has lined up a couple of Featured Philosophers in January he’ll tell you about soon. We also plan to have several journal discussions in the coming year, including from EthicsPhilosophy, Politics, and EconomicsPhilosophy & Public Affairs, and the Oxford Studies series.

We want to remind you of the First Annual PEA Soup Awards. There are numerous awards available, including best posts (for our official contributors), but also best comments (for anyone), and even for posts written elsewhere. We hope that in this New Year these will provide some more incentive to increase regular content on the blog.

Finally, we are introducing yet another new feature (the Soup cannot be stopped, it can only be contained!). We know that many of you are writing books in moral philosophy (which, of course, includes political philosophy, agency and responsibility, moral psychology, etc.), and we’d love to help you draw attention to those books when they’re out (or about to be out). To that end, our new Featured Authors series invites those with new books being published to write posts discussing a main argument in that book that we can then discuss. Authors can link to the book — likely causing a huge spike in sales and the crashing of the website — and authors will also be providing another source of discussion for PEA Soup. Mutual backscratching. If you thus have a book just out or forthcoming you’d like to talk about on the Soup, therefore, please let either of the Davids (Shoemaker or Sobel) know, and we’ll set it up. THIS INVITATION IS NOT RESTRICTED TO OFFICIAL PEA SOUP CONTRIBUTORS! It goes out to all of those in our audience who are working in the field.

Our first featured author will be Victor Tadros, whose new book Wrongs and Crimes has just been published by OUP. His discussion will occur the first week of February.

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