•  5
    The Injustice of Alienation in advance
    Social Theory and Practice. forthcoming.
  •  13
    The Injustice of Alienation
    Social Theory and Practice 47 (2): 397-424. 2021.
    I articulate and defend a Rousseauvian theory of alienation and argue that thus construed non-alienation is a requirement of justice. On the Rousseauvian account, alienation is a process whereby social and economic conditions produce a particular sort of moral-psychological failure. Alienation is undesirable in itself, but it also makes the alienated person miserable, wicked, and unfree. Since our social and economic conditions are chosen, we should choose those that do not have these undesirabl…Read more
  •  12
    The Principle of Merit and the capital-labour split
    Economics and Philosophy 1-23. forthcoming.
    Some meritocratic defenders of capitalism rely on the principle that cooperators should receive a share of the product commensurate with their contribution. However, such defences of capitalism fail due to a dilemma. Either they rely on an understanding of contribution that arguably will be reflected by the capital-labour split in suitably idealized capitalist economies, but cannot serve as a plausible standard of merit; or they rely on an interpretation of contribution that is a plausible stand…Read more
  • Principles of Distributive Justice
    In David Boonin, Katrina L. Sifferd, Tyler K. Fagan, Valerie Gray Hardcastle, Michael Huemer, Daniel Wodak, Derk Pereboom, Stephen J. Morse, Sarah Tyson, Mark Zelcer, Garrett VanPelt, Devin Casey, Philip E. Devine, David K. Chan, Maarten Boudry, Christopher Freiman, Hrishikesh Joshi, Shelley Wilcox, Jason Brennan, Eric Wiland, Ryan Muldoon, Mark Alfano, Philip Robichaud, Kevin Timpe, David Livingstone Smith, Francis J. Beckwith, Dan Hooley, Russell Blackford, John Corvino, Corey McCall, Dan Demetriou, Ajume Wingo, Michael Shermer, Ole Martin Moen, Aksel Braanen Sterri, Teresa Blankmeyer Burke, Jeppe von Platz, John Thrasher, Mary Hawkesworth, William MacAskill, Daniel Halliday, Janine O’Flynn, Yoaav Isaacs, Jason Iuliano, Claire Pickard, Arvin M. Gouw, Tina Rulli, Justin Caouette, Allen Habib, Brian D. Earp, Andrew Vierra, Subrena E. Smith, Danielle M. Wenner, Lisa Diependaele, Sigrid Sterckx, G. Owen Schaefer, Markus K. Labude, Harisan Unais Nasir, Udo Schuklenk, Benjamin Zolf & Woolwine (eds.), The Palgrave Handbook of Philosophy and Public Policy, Springer Verlag. pp. 397-408. 2018.
    What is a just distribution of economic benefits and burdens? Principles of distributive justice help us answer this and related questions about how we should design the economic system. Principles of distributive justice guide our perception and judgment by telling us what facts to care about and when and why these facts reveal justice or injustice in the distribution of some good or burden. Thus, these principles bridge the gap between basic normative categories of right and wrong and facts ab…Read more
  • Rawls’s Underestimation of the Importance of Economic Agency and Economic Rights
    In Sarah Roberts-Cady & Jon Mandle (eds.), John Rawls: Debating the Major Questions, Oxford University Press. forthcoming.
  •  15
    Is capitalism compatible with democratic equality? Rawls’s critique of welfare-state capitalism implies a negative answer. I argue that Rawls’s critique fails and that welfare-state capitalism can satisfy the demands of democratic equality. I articulate a social democratic interpretation of the ideal of democratic equality and show that it justifies welfare-state capitalism. This argument also implies that welfare-state capitalism can satisfy the demands of democratic equality as interpreted by …Read more
  • The Veil of Ignorance in Rawlsian Theory
    In Fathali Moghaddam (ed.), The SAGE Encyclopedia of Political Behavior, Thousand Oaks: Sage Publishing. 2017.
  •  1
    Liberalism and Economic Liberty
    with John Tomasi
    In Steven Wall & Chandran Kukathas (eds.), The Cambridge Companion to Liberalism, Cambridge University Press. 2015.
  •  34
    How should we design our economic systems? Should we tax the rich at a higher rate than the poor? Should we have a minimum wage? Should the state provide healthcare for all? These and many related questions are the subject of distributive justice, and different theories of distributive justice provide different ways to think about and answer such questions. This book provides a thorough introduction to the main theories of distributive justice and reveals the underlying sources of our disagreeme…Read more
  •  13
    Justice and the Meritocratic State, written by Thomas Mulligan (review)
    Journal of Moral Philosophy 16 (5): 675-678. 2019.
  • Free Time, Freedom, and Fairness
    Law, Ethics and Philosophy 5 47-62. 2017.
  • Book Review (review)
    Journal of Value Inquiry 43 (1): 97-101. 2009.
  •  5
    Person to Person: A Note on the Ethics of Commodification
    Journal of Value Inquiry 51 (4): 647-653. 2017.
  •  111
    Democratic Rights and the Choice of Economic Systems
    Analyse & Kritik 39 (2): 405-412. 2017.
    Holt argues that Rawls’s first principle of justice requires democratic control of the economy and that property owning democracy fails to satisfy this requirement; only liberal socialism is fully democratic. However, the notion of democratic control is ambiguous, and Holt has to choose between the weaker notion of democratic control that Rawls is committed to and the stronger notion that property owning democracy fails to satisfy. It may be that there is a tension between capitalism and democra…Read more
  •  72
    Person to Person: A Note on the Ethics of Commodification
    Journal of Value Inquiry 51 (4): 647-653. 2017.
  • Book Review (review)
    Journal of Value Inquiry 40 (1): 129-135. 2006.
  •  308
    Negative Perfectionism
    Philosophy and Public Issues - Filosofia E Questioni Pubbliche 2 (1): 101-122. 2012.
    In this essay I defend a variety of political perfectionism that I call negative perfectionism. Negative perfectionism is the position that if some design of the basic structure of society promotes objectively bad human living, then this should count as a reason against it. To give this hypothetical some bite, I draw on Rousseau’s diagnosis of the maladies of his society to defend two further claims: first, that some human lives are objectively bad, and, second, that some designs of the basic st…Read more
  •  28
    Social Cooperation and Basic Economic Rights: A Rawlsian Route to Social Democracy
    Journal of Social Philosophy 47 (3): 288-308. 2016.
    The central idea of Rawls’s theory of justice is the idea of democratic society as a fair system of cooperation between free and equal citizens. The moral powers of democratic citizens are the capacities presupposed by this idea. Rawls identifies two such powers, the capacity for a conception of the good and the capacity for a sense of justice. I argue that the idea of democratic citizenship presupposes also a third moral power: the capacity for working. Since the basic rights are the rights nec…Read more
  •  280
    The structural diversity of historical injustices
    Journal of Social Philosophy 37 (3). 2006.
    Driven by a sharp increase in claims for reparations, reparative justice has become a topic of academic debate. To some extent this debate has been marred by a failure to realize the complexity of reparative justice. In this essay we try to amend this shortcoming. We do this by developing a taxonomy of different kinds of wrongs that can underwrite claims to reparations. We identify four kinds of wrongs: entitlement violations, unjust exclusions from an otherwise acceptable system of entitlements…Read more
  •  21
    Talbott grounds human rights in a moral epistemology that supports metaphysical immodesty but requires epistemic modesty. Metaphysical immodesty provides prescriptive confidence, while epistemic modesty prevents moral imperialism. I offer some reasons for doubting that Talbott’s moral epistemology yields the desired result. Insofar as Talbott aims for a determinate conception of human rights that could serve as the backbone of a system of international law, Talbott must deal with issues of reaso…Read more
  •  15
    Freedom as both Fact and Postulate
    In Margit Ruffing, Claudio La Rocca, Alfredo Ferrarin & Stefano Bacin (eds.), Kant Und Die Philosophie in Weltbürgerlicher Absicht: Akten des Xi. Kant-Kongresses 2010, De Gruyter. pp. 533-546. 2013.
  •  150
    Are economic liberties basic rights?
    Politics, Philosophy and Economics 13 (1): 23-44. 2014.
    In this essay I discuss a powerful challenge to high-liberalism: the challenge presented by neoclassical liberals that the high-liberal assumptions and values imply that the full range of economic liberties are basic rights. If the claim is true, then the high-liberal road from ideals of democracy and democratic citizenship to left-liberal institutions is blocked. Indeed, in that case the high-liberal is committed to an institutional scheme more along the lines of laissez-faire capitalism than p…Read more
  •  706
    The legend of Robin Hood exemplifies a distinct concern of justice neglected by theorists: the distributive results of systemic injustices. Robin Hood’s redistributive activities are justified by the principle that the distributive results of systemic injustices are unjust and should be corrected. This principle has relevance beyond the legend: since current inequalities in the US are results of systemic injustices, the US has good reason to take from the rich and give to the poor.