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Profile: Patrick Tomlin (University of Reading)
  1. Patrick Tomlin (forthcoming). Should Kids Pay Their Own Way? Political Studies.
    Children are expensive to raise. Ensuring that they are raised in such a way that they are able to lead a minimally decent life costs time and money, and lots of both. Who is responsible for bearing the costs of the things that children are undoubtedly owed? This is a question that has received comparatively little scrutiny from political philosophers,despite children being such a drain on public and private finances alike. To the extent that there is a debate, two main (...)
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  2. Patrick Tomlin (2014). Could the Presumption of Innocence Protect the Guilty? Criminal Law and Philosophy 8 (2):431-447.
    At criminal trial, we demand that those accused of criminal wrongdoing be presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond any reasonable doubt. What are the moral and/or political grounds of this demand? One popular and natural answer to this question focuses on the moral badness or wrongness of convicting and punishing innocent persons, which I call the direct moral grounding. In this essay, I suggest that this direct moral grounding, if accepted, may well have important ramifications for other areas of the (...)
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  3. Patrick Tomlin (2014). Retributivists! The Harm Principle Is Not for You! Ethics 124 (2):272-298.
    Retributivism is often explicitly or implicitly assumed to be compatible with the harm principle, since the harm principle (in some guises) concerns the content of the criminal law, while retributivism concerns the punishment of those that break the law. In this essay I show that retributivism should not be endorsed alongside any version of the harm principle. In fact, retributivists should reject all attempts to see the criminal law only through (other) person-affecting concepts or “grievance” morality, since they should endorse (...)
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  4. Patrick Tomlin (2014). Time and Retribution. Law and Philosophy 33 (5):655-682.
    Retributivists believe that punishment can be deserved, and that deserved punishment is intrinsically good or important. They also believe that certain crimes deserve certain quantities of punishment. On the plausible assumption that the overall amount of any given punishment is a function of its severity and duration, we might think that retributivists (qua retributivists) would be indifferent as to whether a punishment were long and light or short and sharp, provided the offender gets the overall amount of punishment he deserves. (...)
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  5. Andrew Ashworth, Lucia Zedner & Patrick Tomlin (eds.) (2013). Prevention and the Limits of the Criminal Law. Oup Oxford.
    Are preventive justice measures justified? Do they needlessly blur the boundaries between criminal and civil law, signalling a change in the architecture of security? The contributors in this volume re-assess the foundations for the range of coercive measures that states now take in the name of prevention and public protection.
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  6. Patrick Tomlin (2013). Choices Chance and Change: Luck Egalitarianism Over Time. Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 16 (2):393-407.
    The family of theories dubbed ‘luck egalitarianism’ represent an attempt to infuse egalitarian thinking with a concern for personal responsibility, arguing that inequalities are just when they result from, or the extent to which they result from, choice, but are unjust when they result from, or the extent to which they result from, luck. In this essay I argue that luck egalitarians should sometimes seek to limit inequalities, even when they have a fully choice-based pedigree (i.e., result only from the (...)
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  7. Patrick Tomlin (2013). Extending the Golden Thread? Criminalisation and the Presumption of Innocence. Journal of Political Philosophy 21 (1):44-66.
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  8. Patrick Tomlin (2012). Can I Be a Luck Egaliatarian and a Rawlsian? Ethical Perspectives 19 (3):371-397.
    Rawls’s difference principle and the position dubbed ‘luck egalitarianism’ are often viewed as competing theories of distributive justice. However, recent work has emphasised that Rawlsians and luck egalitarians are working with different understandings of the concept of justice, and thus not only propose different theories, but different theories of different things. Once they are no longer seen in direct competition, there are some questions to be asked about whether these two theories can be consistently endorsed alongside one another. In this (...)
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  9. Patrick Tomlin (2012). On Fairness and Claims. Utilitas 24 (2):200-213.
    Perhaps the best-known theory of fairness is John Broome’s: that fairness is the proportional satisfaction of claims. In this article, I question whether claims are the appropriate focus for a theory of fairness, at least as Broome understands them in his current theory. If fairness is the proportionate satisfaction of claims, I argue, then the following would be true: fairness could not help determine the correct distribution of claims; fairness could not be used to evaluate the distribution of claims; fairness (...)
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  10. Patrick Tomlin (2012). Should We Be Utopophobes About Democracy in Particular? Political Studies Review 10 (1):36-47.
    In his book Democratic Authority, David Estlund puts forward a case for democracy, which he labels epistemic proceduralism, that relies on democracy's ability to produce good – that is, substantively just – results. Alongside this case for democracy Estlund attacks what he labels ‘utopophobia’, an aversion to idealistic political theory. In this article I make two points. The first is a general point about what the correct level of ‘idealisation’ is in political theory. Various debates are emerging on this question (...)
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  11. Patrick Tomlin (2010). Survey Article: Internal Doubts About Cohen's Rescue of Justice. Journal of Political Philosophy 18 (2):228-247.
  12. Patrick Tomlin (2008). Envy, Facts and Justice: A Critique of the Treatment of Envy in Justice as Fairness. Res Publica 14 (2):101-116.
    A common anti-egalitarian argument is that equality is motivated by envy, or the desire to placate envy. In order to avoid this charge, John Rawls explicitly banishes envy from his original position. This article argues that this is an inconsistent and untenable position for Rawls, as he treats envy as if it were a fact of human psychology and believes that principles of justice should be based on such facts. Therefore envy should be known about in the original position. The (...)
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  13. Patrick Tomlin (2006). And Nozick Begat Reagan? The Philosophers' Magazine 33 (33):38-41.
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