Public Affairs Quarterly

ISSN: 0887-0373

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  1. From the Common State: John Locke and the Climate Crisis.Christopher R. Hallenbrook & Ryan Reed - 2024 - Public Affairs Quarterly 38 (2):79-104.
    Climate change presents an unprecedented and existential threat. Proposals addressing this threat are criticized as impractical, costly, and/or beyond the legitimate scope of government power. We engage the latter critique by turning to John Locke's writings. Locke is both a proponent of limited government and profoundly influential on liberal democracies. He argues that government exists solely to enforce the natural law, and in doing so, protects life, liberty, and property. While Locke presents the Earth's resources as existing to be exploited, (...)
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    Market Failures and Moral Failures: A Dilemma.Olof Leffler - 2024 - Public Affairs Quarterly 38 (2):153-171.
    I present a dilemma for the market failures approach to business ethics. On an orthodox interpretation, it takes moral requirements for businesses to require them not to profit from market failures to approximate Pareto efficiency. On a moralized interpretation, it also incorporates other considerations. However, the orthodox approach is extensionally inadequate, for it is legitimate to profit from many of the allegedly ruled-out market failures. The moralized approach does better but fails to be sufficiently comprehensive. First, it has not been (...)
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    Democratic Equality Requires Randomly Selecting Legislators.Eric Shoemaker - 2024 - Public Affairs Quarterly 38 (2):132-152.
    In this paper, I argue that on an equality-based theory of democracy's value, randomly selecting legislators is more democratic than electing them. In sections 1 and 2, I describe how a legislature composed of randomly selected legislators might operate and what an equality-based theory of democracy's value consists in. In section 3, I evaluate arguments made in support of election-based democracy by democratic theorists and demonstrate why these arguments fail on their own terms. In section 4, I argue that when (...)
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    International Compensation for Majority Cultural Loss.Michael Da Silva - 2024 - Public Affairs Quarterly 38 (2):105-131.
    This work examines the case for international compensation programs for reasonably justly formed majority cultures facing threats due to the ordinary functioning of globalization. While many “majority rights” claims cannot withstand scrutiny, standard liberal-democratic arguments for minority rights couched in concerns about cultural vulnerability now apply to several majority cultures. Parity of reasoning from the minority rights literature thus provides some reasonably justly formed majorities with claims to cultural protections. Domestic laws are unlikely to adequately protect against transnational threats, and (...)
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    How (Not) to Fear Death.Susanne Burri - 2024 - Public Affairs Quarterly 38 (1):45-61.
    Through the ages, many thinkers have worried that our death fears mar our lives. Sharing this worry, the Epicureans have argued that we can live well only if we see death for what it is: a mere “nothing” that it is ill-fitting to fear. I show how this argument depends on the assumption that a mental state theory of well-being is correct. If we give up this assumption, it can be fitting to fear death. Using my philosophical discussion of when (...)
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  6. Why Not Effective Altruism?Richard Yetter Chappell - 2024 - Public Affairs Quarterly 38 (1):3-21.
    Effective altruism sounds so innocuous—who could possibly be opposed to doing good more effectively? Yet it has inspired significant backlash in recent years. This paper addresses some common misconceptions and argues that the core “beneficentric” ideas of effective altruism are both excellent and widely neglected. Reasonable people may disagree on details of implementation, but all should share the basic goals or values underlying effective altruism.
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    Introduction to Special Issue on Effective Altruism.Theron Pummer - 2024 - Public Affairs Quarterly 38 (1):1-2.
    Effective altruism is the project of using resources like time and money to help others as much as possible. Those who engage in this project—effective altruists—tend to focus on three ways of helping.First, effective altruists focus on helping people living in extreme poverty and typically support interventions that prevent diseases such as malaria, trachoma, and schistosomiasis. These interventions have been shown to be highly cost-effective. For example, it costs on average about $4,500 to prevent someone from dying of malaria.Second, effective (...)
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    Effective Altruists Need Not Be Pronatalist Longtermists.Tina Rulli - 2024 - Public Affairs Quarterly 38 (1):22-44.
    Effective altruism encourages people to donate their money to the most effective, efficient charities. Some effective altruists believe that taking a longtermist priority—benefitting far-off future, enormous generations—is one of the best ways to use our resources. This paper explains how the longtermist argument as laid out by William MacAskill in his book What We Owe the Future, is unconvincing. MacAskill argues that we should ensure that the future is very well-populated on the assumption that it will be on balance good (...)
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  9.  96
    Effective Altruism and Requiring Reasons to Help Others.Thomas Sinclair - 2024 - Public Affairs Quarterly 38 (1):62-77.
    Theron Pummer's impressive new book The Rules of Rescue seeks to defend effective altruism without taking on the controversial moral theoretical commitments. Through an exploration of the framework of requiring reasons and permitting reasons that is the backbone of his argument, this article raises some doubts about how successful Pummer's strategy of avoidance can be.
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