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By In NDPR Discussion Forum, Political Philosophy Comments (2)

NDPR Discussion Forum: Alan Thomas’s Republic of Equals

Welcome to the NDPR discussion of Alan Thomas’s new book Republic of Equals: Predistribution and Property-Owning Democracies, recently reviewed by James Lindley Wilson at NDPR. We have invited both Alan and James to participate, and we encourage readers to comment as well on anything related to Alan’s book or James’s review. Blurbs for each below the fold.

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By In Applied Ethics, Featured Philosophers, Ideas, Political Philosophy Comments (12)

Why Bad People Will Find it Hard to be Patriotic (by Featured Philosopher Derek Baker)

Re-posting after a technical glitch this morning (eds.)

1.

Current events are reminding us that patriotism, at least of the sort that gets publicly acknowledged, is a confusing virtue. I don’t mean that the patriot might get drawn into doing bad things on behalf of his country. Patriotism is a form of loyalty, and loyalty, whether to friends, family, one’s university, or whatever, can draw us into doing bad things on their behalf. I mean instead that those who say they care about patriotism seem surprisingly okay with others doing bad things without regard for the interests of their country.

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By In NDPR Discussion Forum, Political Philosophy Comments (3)

NDPR Discussion Forum on Julie Rose’s “Free Time”

Welcome to our discussion thread on Julie Rose’s Free Time, recently reviewed by Eric Rakowski for NDPR. We have invited Julie and Eric to provide any comments they’d like on either the book or the review, and we hope other readers of PEA Soup will chime in with their thoughts on either the book or the review as well.

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By In Ideas, Normative Ethics, Political Philosophy, Practical reasons, Reasons and rationality Comments (8)

Conversion Stories

Much is made these days of ideological bubbles and commitment cocoons (OK, I made up that one), in which people stick to their beliefs regardless of any “evidence” or “reasoning” otherwise. But, let’s admit it, it’s hard to change your mind about something you’ve been committed to solely based on your assessment of reasons. This is true even for — perhaps especially for — professional philosophers.

It might be worth hearing, then, about your true conversion stories and the role contrary reasons played for you: What moral/political view were you committed to — perhaps even published about — that you abandoned solely in the face of good reasons otherwise? Were the reasons available to you all along and you just saw them in a newly salient light, or were they new reasons to you? Have you “backslid”? Have you gone on to publish on the contrary view? (See my conversion story below the fold.)

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By In NDPR Discussion Forum, Political Philosophy Comments (2)

NDPR Discussion: Ryan Muldoon’s Social Contract Theory for a Diverse World: Beyond Tolerance

NDPR just posted a review by Michael Frazer of Ryan Muldoon’s recent book. We have invited both Ryan and Michael to discuss the review as they see fit, and we also invite interested readers to contribute any questions or comments they may have on either the book or the review here as well.

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By In Ideas, Political Philosophy Comments (3)

Relational Egalitarianism and Politics

This is the second installment of PEA Soup’s partnership with Bleeding Heart Libertarians. In this series folks from BHL share their thoughts with Soup readers. This post is by Jessica Flanigan (University of Richmond).

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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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