Governing Least: a New England Libertarianism
Oxford University Press, 2019
This book defends a version of libertarianism focused on economic justice that is distinctive in two respects. First, libertarianism is often presented as resting on strong assumptions about individual rights. By contrast, the first part of the book argues that libertarianism emerges from everyday moral beliefs we have about burden-shifting, and the residual obligations that burden-shifting confers on us. Second, political philosophy has become an increasingly narrow and insular field, disconnected from work in economics, history, and politics. The rest of the book bucks this trend by reexamining such topics as reparations for slavery, political correctness, and the “Great Divergence” between low- and high-growth societies from a classical liberal perspective.
A lot of art and the rest of life are pretty boring, but philosophers and critics tend to avoid admitting it. I offer an account of the boring, using Wagner as a case-study. Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 2014 PDF
I explore various reasons we might have for regretting our resilience to loss, both because of what resilience tells us about our ultimate significance to others, and because resilience may render us incapable of comprehending the true nature of a loss. The Journal of Philosophy 2007 PDF
Argues that anticipated emotions like regret give us little or no reason to act. I also argue that the valence of emotions is a function of the sensations they involve. Includes a discussion of death-bed regrets, and of whether teenagers should listen to their annoying parents. Philosopher's Imprint 2011 PDF
Global Justice and Economic Growth: Ignoring the Only Thing that Works
What should a time traveling altruist do in 18th century Britain, amid poverty and malnourishment? There is a serious case to be made that he should promote commerce and economic growth. Buying railroad stock and so capitalizing firms participating in industrialization would be an eminently worthy (if unsentimental) approach to take. The same lesson applies today. Altruism disconnected from the ultimate aim of growth is senseless. In Economic Liberties and Human Rights, Routledge forthcoming PDF