Library

Nonideal Theory: What It Is and What it Needs to Be
This is my first sustained attempt to describe the point of moral theorizing in terms of ideal and nonideal theory.  In some ways I have gone beyond what is written here, in some ways not.  I am mindful of something Jacob Levy notes in a forthcoming essay in an issue of ...
Collective Action and Individual Choice
Governments across the globe have squandered treasure and imprisoned millions of their own citizens by criminalising the use and sale of recreational drugs. But use of these drugs has remained relatively constant, and the primary victims are the users themselves. Meanwhile...
Personal Identity and Practical Reason
This essay examines and criticizes a set of Kantian objections to Parfit’s attempt in Reasons and Persons to connect his theory of personal identity to practical rationality and moral philosophy. Several of Parfit’s critics have tried to sever the link he forges between his...
The Manipulation of Choice: Ethics and Libertarian Paternalism
The Manipulation of Choice is an important book on a timely topic. Over the past decade, an increasing number of academics and policymakers have argued that it is morally legitimate for the state to use its coercive power to steer people’s choices—to “nudge” people to do...
Hume on the Artificial Virtues
In the Treatise, Hume offers a detailed account of what he calls the artificial virtues: of justice, of fidelity to promises, and of allegiance to political authority, among others. According to virtually everyone, Hume’s discussion of these artificial virtues—and...
Famine, Affluence, and Morality
As I write this, in November Ig7I, people are dying in East Bengal from lack of food, shelter, and medical care. The suffering and death that are occurring there now are not inevitable, not unavoidable in any fatalistic sense of the term. Constant poverty, a cyclone, and a...