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  1. Michael Otsuka, Double-Effect, Triple-Effect, and the Trolley Problem.
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  2. Michael Otsuka, Commentator.
    he primary aim of Dworkin's essay is to defend the claim that there are objective moral (and aesthetic or otherwise evaluative) truths against a variety of "external" skeptical challenges. These challenges are "external" because they "offer to justify their skeptical claims -- that these [evaluative] domains cannot provide objective truth -- from premises that are not themselves evaluative." (p. 88).
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  3. Michael Otsuka, Libertarianism.
    Michael Otsuka sets out to vindicate left-libertarianism, a political Michael Otsuka is Lecturer in Philosophy philosophy which combines stringent rights of control over one’s own at University College London. mind, body, and life with egalitarian rights of ownership of the world. Otsuka reclaims the ideas of John Locke from the libertarian right and shows how his Second Treatise of Government provides the theoretical foundations for a left-libertarianism which is both more libertarian and more egalitarian than the Kantian liberal theories of (...)
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  4. Michael Otsuka, Phil 0330: Introduction to Political Philosophy.
    • 15% of your grade: a short (1,500 word limit) paper due at 4 pm on September 26, on an assigned topic distributed two weeks in advance of the due date • 15% of your grade: an in-class mid-term exam on either October 23 or 30 (exact date TBC) • 30% of your grade: a longer (2,500 word limit) paper due by 4 pm on November 25, on an assigned topic distributed two weeks in advance of the due date • (...)
     
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  5. Michael Otsuka, Skepticism About Saving.
    Section II of this article originated as a commentary on Véronique Munoz-Dardé’s “The Distribution of Numbers and the Comprehensiveness of Reasons.” (Her piece is now forthcoming in the Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society.) I have delivered subsequent versions of this article at the University of Reading, UCLA, the University of Bristol, the University of Leeds, and the University of Oxford, and thank all who commented on those occasions. I am also grateful to G. A. Cohen, Iwao Hirose, Véronique Munoz-Dardé, (...)
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  6. Michael Otsuka, Why Left-Libertarianism Is.
    For insightful comments, we thank G. A. Cohen, Barbara Fried, Leif Wenar, Andrew Williams, Jonathan Wolff, and the Editors of Philosophy & Public Affairs. 1. Barbara Fried, “Left-Libertarianism: A Review Essay,” Philosophy & Public Affairs 32 (2004): 66–92. This is a review of The Origins of Left-Libertarianism: An Anthology of His- torical Writings and Left-Libertarianism and Its Critics: The Contemporary Debate, both edited by Peter Vallentyne and Hillel Steiner (New York: Palgrave Publishers Ltd., 2000).
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  7. Michael Otsuka, Wagner Recommendations.
    Although I am neither a Nazi nor an anti-Semite (quite the contrary, in fact), I like the music of Richard Wagner. Why do I like his music? Mainly because I find it intoxicating. Intoxicate: To cause stupefaction, stimulation, or excitement by or as if by use of a chemical substance.) I admit that this is not a very deep reason. But I’m not very deep. (My years as an analytic philosopher would have drained any depths I may once have had.) (...)
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  8. Michael Otsuka, Replies.
    All left-libertarians believe that natural resources should be governed by an egalitarian principle of distribution. In my own case, this belief gains its support from what I take to be the most defensible interpretation of the Lockean principle of justice in acquisition, according to which one may privatize land and other worldly resources in a state of nature so long as one leaves enough and as good for others. Axel Gosseries is right to press the question of the moral status (...)
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  9. Michael Otsuka, Too Much Property.
    Mike Otsukaʼs book aspires to do more than its title discloses. Libertarianism without Inequality (Oxford University Press, 2003) does not merely aim to reconcile liberty and equality (that is handled without remainder in the first chapter) but to draw the outlines of a complete, and distinctly Lockean, political theory. Rather than starting from first principles, Otsuka explores several specific issues only loosely connected to each other, hoping that these might add up to a complete political vision. Though the discussion is (...)
     
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  10. Michael Otsuka (forthcoming). Can an Incompatibilist Outfox a Compatibilist Hedgehog? Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy:1-14.
    This article raises some incompatibilist challenges for, and queries some of the implications of, Ronald Dworkin’s arguments in his "Justice for Hedgehogs" (2011), that responsibility is compatible with both determinism and epiphenomenalism.
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  11. Michael Otsuka (2013). Prioritarianism and the Measure of Utility. Journal of Political Philosophy 22 (2).
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  12. Michael Otsuka (2012). Prioritarianism and the Separateness of Persons. Utilitas 24 (03):365-380.
    For a prioritarian by contrast to a utilitarian, whether a certain quantity of utility falls within the boundary of one person's life or another's makes the following moral difference: the worse the life of a person who could receive a given benefit, the stronger moral reason we have to confer this benefit on this person. It would seem, therefore, that prioritarianism succeeds, where utilitarianism fails, to ‘take seriously the distinction between persons’. Yet I show that, contrary to these appearances, prioritarianism (...)
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  13. Michael Otsuka, Are Deontological Constraints Irrational?
    Most deontologists find bedrock in the Pauline doctrine that it is morally objectionable to do evil in order that good will come of it. Uncontroversially, this doctrine condemns the killing of an innocent person simply in order to maximize the sum total of happiness. It rules out the conscription of a worker to his or her certain death in order to repair a fault that is interfering with the live broadcast of a World Cup match that a billion spectators have (...)
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  14. Michael Otsuka, Book Review: Licensed to Kill. [REVIEW]
    Book review of McMahan J. "Killing in War." Oxford: Oxford University Press; 2009. --- Jeff McMahan’s "Killing in War" is, among many other things, a brief against the traditional just war doctrine of the moral equality of combatants – i.e. the doctrine that all combatants ‘have the same moral status, hence the same moral rights, immunities, and liabilities’, including ‘an equal right to kill’, irrespective of whether the war they fight is just or unjust (4, 38).1 This book is a (...)
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  15. Michael Otsuka & Alex Voorhoeve (2011). Reply to Crisp. Utilitas 23 (1):109-114.
    In 'Why It Matters that Some Are Worse off than Others,' we offer a new critique of the Priority View. In a recent article, Roger Crisp has argued that our critique is flawed. In this reply Crisp, we show that Crisp fails to grapple with, much less defeat, the central claim of our critique. We also show that an example that Crisp offers in support of the Priority View in fact lends support to our critique of that view.
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  16. Michael Otsuka (2010). A Rejoinder to Fischer and Tognazzini. Journal of Ethics 14 (1):37 - 42.
    In Otsuka ( 1998 ), I endorse an incompatibilist Principle of Avoidable Blame. In this rejoinder to Fischer and Tognazzini ( 2009 ), I defend this principle against their charge that it is vulnerable to Frankfurt-type counterexample.
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  17. Michael Otsuka (2010). Justice as Fairness: Luck Egalitarian, Not Rawlsian. [REVIEW] Journal of Ethics 14 (3-4):217-230.
    I assess G. A. Cohen's claim, which is central to his luck egalitarian account of distributive justice, that forcing others to pay for people's expensive indulgence is inegalitarian because it amounts to their exploitation. I argue that the forced subsidy of such indulgence may well be unfair, but any such unfairness fails to ground an egalitarian complaint. I conclude that Cohen's account of distributive justice has a non-egalitarian as well as an egalitarian aspect. Each impulse arises from an underlying commitment (...)
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  18. Michael Otsuka (2009). Moral Luck: Optional, Not Brute. Philosophical Perspectives 23 (1):373-388.
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  19. Michael Otsuka (2009). Owning Persons, Places, and Things. In Stephen De Wijze, Matthew H. Kramer & Ian Carter (eds.), Hillel Steiner and the Anatomy of Justice: Themes and Challenges. Routledge. 16--132.
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  20. Michael Otsuka (2009). The Kantian Argument for Consequentialism. Ratio 22 (1):41-58.
    A critical examination of Parfit's attempt to reconcile Kantian contractualism with consequentialism, which disputes his contention that the contracting parties would lack decisive reasons to choose principles that ground prohibitions against harming of the sort to which non-consequentialists have been attracted. 1.
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  21. Michael Otsuka & Alex Voorhoeve (2009). Why It Matters That Some Are Worse Off Than Others: An Argument Against the Priority View. Philosophy and Public Affairs 37 (2):171-199.
  22. Peter Vallentyne, Hillel Steiner & Michael Otsuka (2009). Left-Libertarianism and Liberty Forthcoming in Debates in Political Philosophy. In Thomas Christiano & John Christman (eds.), Debates in Political Philosophy. Blackwell Publishers.
    I shall formulate and motivate a left-libertarian theory of justice. Like the more familiar rightlibertarianism, it holds that agents initially fully own themselves. Unlike right-libertarianism, it holds that natural resources belong to everyone in some egalitarian manner. Left-libertarianism is, I claim, a plausible version of liberal egalitarianism because it is suitably sensitive to considerations of liberty, security, and equality.
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  23. Michael Otsuka (2008). Double Effect, Triple Effect and the Trolley Problem: Squaring the Circle in Looping Cases. Utilitas 20 (1):92-110.
    In the Trolley Case (Figure 1), as devised by Philippa Foot and modified by Judith Jarvis Thomson, a runaway trolley (i.e. tram) is headed down a main track and will hit and kill five unless you divert it onto a side track, where it will hit and kill one.
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  24. Michael Otsuka (2008). Freedom of Occupational Choice. Ratio 21 (4):440-453.
    Cohen endorses the coercive taxation of the talented at a progressive rate for the sake of realizing equality. By contrast, he denies that it is legitimate for the state to engage in the 'Stalinist forcing' of people into one or another line of work in order to bring about a more egalitarian society. He rejects such occupational conscription on grounds of the invasiveness of the gathering and acting upon information regarding people's preferences for different types of work that would be (...)
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  25. Michael Otsuka, How to Be a Libertarian Without Being Inegalitarian.
    Article (English translation of French article in Raisons Politiques).
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  26. Michael Otsuka, How to Be a Libertarian Without Being Inegalitarian: English Version of 'Comment Être Libertarien Sans Être Inégalitaire'.
    The aim of this article is to display the main lines of a left-libertarian argument I defend in my book Libertarianism without Inequality. I argue that left-libertarian theory can coherently combine robust rights to self-ownership and egalitarian rights to world-ownership. This allows us to oppose paternalism and consequentialism while defending a strongly egalitarian conception of justice. The model I advocate is one of equality of opportunity for welfare, and I show what justifies this choice. I conclude by clarifying one of (...)
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  27. Michael Otsuka (2006). Prerogatives to Depart From Equality. Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement 81 (58):95-.
    Should egalitarian justice be qualified by an agent-relative prerogative to act on a preference for—and thereby in a manner that gives rise to or preserves a greater than equal share of the goods of life for—oneself, one's family, loved ones, or friends as compared with strangers? Although many would reply that the answer to this question must be ‘yes’, I shall argue here that the case for such a prerogative to depart from equality is much less far-reaching than one might (...)
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  28. Michael Otsuka (2006). Saving Lives, Moral Theory, and the Claims of Individuals. Philosophy and Public Affairs 34 (2):109–135.
    Philosophy & Public Affairs, 34 (2006): 109-35.
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  29. Michael Otsuka (2005). Libertarianism Without Inequality. Oxford University Press.
    Libertarianism without Inequality is a book which everyone interested in political theory should read.
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  30. Michael Otsuka, Peter Vallentyne & Hillel Steiner (2005). Why Left-Libertarianism Is Not Incoherent, Indeterminate, or Irrelevant: A Reply to Fried. Philosophy and Public Affairs 33 (2):201-215.
    In a recent review essay of a two volume anthology on left-libertarianism (edited by two of us), Barbara Fried has insightfully laid out most of the core issues that confront left-libertarianism. We are each left-libertarians, and we would like to take this opportunity to address some of the general issues that she raises. We shall focus, as Fried does much of the time, on the question of whether left-libertarianism is a well-defined and distinct alternative to existing forms of liberal egalitarianism. (...)
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  31. Michael Otsuka (2004). Equality, Ambition and Insurance. Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 78 (1):151–166.
    [Andrew Williams] It is difficult for prioritarians to explain the degree to which justice requires redress for misfortune in a way that avoids imposing unreasonably high costs on more advantaged individuals whilst also economising on intuitionist appeals to judgment. An appeal to hypothetical insurance may be able to solve the problems of cost and judgment more successfully, and can also be defended from critics who claim that resource egalitarianism is best understood to favour the ex post elimination of envy over (...)
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  32. Michael Otsuka (2004). Liberty, Equality, Envy, and Abstraction. In Ronald Dworkin & Justine Burley (eds.), Dworkin and His Critics: With Replies by Dworkin. Blackwell Pub.. 70--78.
  33. Michael Otsuka (2004). Skepticism About Saving the Greater Number. Philosophy and Public Affairs 32 (4):413–426.
    Suppose that each of the following four conditions obtains: 1. You can save either a greater or a lesser number of innocent people from (equally) serious harm. 2. You can do so at trivial cost to yourself. 3. If you act to save, then the harm you prevent is harm that would not have been prevented if you had done nothing. 4. All other things are equal. A skeptic about saving the greater number rejects the common-sensical claim that you have (...)
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  34. Michael Otsuka (2002). Luck, Insurance, and Equality. Ethics 113 (1):40-54.
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  35. Ian Carter, Michael Otsuka & Francesco Saverio Trincia (2001). Discussione Su "If You're an Egalitarian, How Come You're So Rich?" di G.A. Cohen. Iride 14 (3):609-634.
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  36. Michael Otsuka (2001). Il personale è politico? Il confine fra pubblico e privato nella sfera della giustizia distributiva. Iride: Filosofia E Discussione Pubblica 14 (34):617-623.
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  37. Michael Otsuka (2001). Is the Personal Political? The Boundary Between the Public and the Private in the Realm of Distributive Justice. Iride 14 (34):609-634.
  38. Michael Otsuka (2000). Scanlon and the Claims of the Many Versus the One. Analysis 60 (3):288–293.
    In "What We Owe to Each Other", T. M. <span class='Hi'>Scanlon</span> argues that one should save the greater number when faced with the choice between saving one life and two or more different lives. It is, <span class='Hi'>Scanlon</span> claims, a virtue of this argument (which is traceable to Frances Kamm) that it does not appeal to the claims of groups of individuals but only to the claims of individuals. I demonstrate that this argument for saving the greater number, indeed, depends, (...)
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  39. Susan Moller Okin, Michael Otsuka, Geoffrey Cupit, Harry Brighouse, Joe Coleman & Martha C. Nussbaum (1998). 10. Quentin Skinner, Reason and Rhetoric in the Philosophy of Hobbes Quentin Skinner, Reason and Rhetoric in the Philosophy of Hobbes (Pp. 820-823). [REVIEW] In Stephen Everson (ed.), Ethics. Cambridge University Press.
     
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  40. Michael Otsuka (1998). Incompatibilism and the Avoidability of Blame. Ethics 108 (4):685-701.
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  41. Michael Otsuka (1998). Making the Unjust Provide for the Least Well Off. Journal of Ethics 2 (3):247-259.
    I propose that liberal egalitarians and libertarians can find common ground in support of an unfamiliar means of forcing well off individuals to come to the assistance of the least well off. Such means would not, as is typically the case, involve the taxation of the income of all well off individuals. Rather, assistance would be provided by the taxation of only those well off individuals who have been properly convicted of performing justifiably (...)
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  42. Michael Otsuka (1998). Self-Ownership and Equality: A Lockean Reconciliation. Philosophy and Public Affairs 27 (1):65–92.
    I thank the members of the Law and Philosophy Discussion Group in Los Angeles and those who attended a talk sponsored by the philosophy department at New York University, where I presented earlier versions of this paper. I would also like to thank G. A. Cohen, Stephen Munzer, Seana Shiffrin, Peter Vallentyne, Andrew Williams, and the editors of Philosophy & Public Affairs, who read and provided written commentary on earlier drafts.
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  43. Michael Otsuka (1997). Kamm on the Morality of Killing:Morality, Mortality, Vol. 2, Rights, Duties, and Status. Frances M. Kamm. Ethics 108 (1):197-.
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  44. Michael Otsuka, Kamm on the Morality of Killing.
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  45. Michael Otsuka (1997). Review: Kamm on the Morality of Killing. [REVIEW] Ethics 108 (1):197 - 207.
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  46. Michael Otsuka, Commentary on Ronald Dworkin's "Objectivity and Truth: You'd Better Believe It".
    Review of: DWORKIN, R. (1996), "Objectivity and Truth: You'd Better Believe It." Philosophy & Public Affairs, 25: 87–139.
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  47. Michael Otsuka (1996). Quinn on Punishment and Using Persons as Means. Law and Philosophy 15 (2):201 - 208.
    In The Right to Threaten and the Right to Punish, Warren Quinn justifies punishment on the ground that it can be derived from the rights of persons to protect themselves against crime. Quinn, however, denies that a right of self-protection justifies the punishment of an aggressor solely on the ground that such punishment deters others from harming the victim of that aggression or others. He believes that punishment so justified would constitute a morally objectionable instance of using the punished individual (...)
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  48. Michael Otsuka (1994). Killing the Innocent in Self-Defense. Philosophy and Public Affairs 23 (1):74–94.
    I presented an earlier version of this paper to the Law and Philosophy Discussion Group in Los Angeles, whose members I would like to thank for their comments. In addition, I would also like to thank the following people for reading and providing written or verbal commentary on earlier drafts: Robert Mams, Rogers Albritton, G. A. Cohen, David Copp, Matthew Hanser, Craig Ihara, Brian Lee, Marc Lange, Derk Pereboom, Carol Voeller, and the Editors of Philosophy & Public Affairs. I owe (...)
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  49. Michael Otsuka (1991). The Paradox of Group Beneficence. Philosophy and Public Affairs 20 (2):132-149.
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