In this article, we propose the Fair Priority Model for COVID-19 vaccine distribution, and emphasize three fundamental values we believe should be considered when distributing a COVID-19 vaccine among countries: Benefiting people and limiting harm, prioritizing the disadvantaged, and equal moral concern for all individuals. The Priority Model addresses these values by focusing on mitigating three types of harms caused by COVID-19: death and permanent organ damage, indirect health consequences, such as health care system strain and stress, as well as (...) economic destruction. It proposes proceeding in three phases: the first addresses premature death, the second long-term health issues and economic harms, and the third aims to contain viral transmission fully and restore pre-pandemic activity. -/- To those who may deem an ethical framework irrelevant because of the belief that many countries will pursue "vaccine nationalism," we argue such a framework still has broad relevance. Reasonable national partiality would permit countries to focus on vaccine distribution within their borders up until the rate of transmission is below 1, at which point there would not be sufficient vaccine-preventable harm to justify retaining a vaccine. When a government reaches the limit of national partiality, it should release vaccines for other countries. -/- We also argue against two other recent proposals. Distributing a vaccine proportional to a country's population mistakenly assumes that equality requires treating differently situated countries identically. Prioritizing countries according to the number of front-line health care workers, the proportion of the population over 65, and the number of people with comorbidities within each country may exacerbate disadvantage and end up giving the vaccine in large part to wealthy nations. (shrink)
Daniel Halliday examines the morality of the right to bequeath or transfer wealth, and argues that inheritance is unjust to the extent that it enhances the intergenerational replication of inequality, concentrating opportunities in certain groups. He presents an egalitarian case for imposition of a significant inheritance tax.
This article defends the view that markets in education need to be restricted, in light of the problem posed by what I call the ‘educational arms race’. Markets in education have a tendency to distort an important balance between education’s role as a gatekeeper – its ‘screening’ function – and its role in helping children develop as part of a preparation for adult life. This tendency is not merely a contingent fact about markets: It can be traced to ways in (...) which education is a partly positional good and how markets respond to demand for positional goods over non-positional goods. The problem with arms races is that they allow markets to facilitate wider use of defection in a collective action problem. Using these claims, I argue that markets in education have a distinctive tendency to become objectionably exploitative. I conclude by applying some of my conclusions to illuminate various egalitarian claims about justice in education. (shrink)
COVID-19 vaccines are likely to be scarce for years to come. Many countries, from India to the U.K., have demonstrated vaccine nationalism. What are the ethical limits to this vaccine nationalism? Neither extreme nationalism nor extreme cosmopolitanism is ethically justifiable. Instead, we propose the fair priority for residents framework, in which governments can retain COVID-19 vaccine doses for their residents only to the extent that they are needed to maintain a noncrisis level of mortality while they are implementing reasonable public (...) health interventions. Practically, a noncrisis level of mortality is that experienced during a bad influenza season, which society considers an acceptable background risk. Governments take action to limit mortality from influenza, but there is no emergency that includes severe lockdowns. This “flu-risk standard” is a nonarbitrary and generally accepted heuristic. Mortality above the flu-risk standard justifies greater governmental interventions, including retaining vaccines for a country's own citizens over global need. The precise level of vaccination needed to meet the flu-risk standard will depend upon empirical factors related to the pandemic. This links the ethical principles to the scientific data emerging from the emergency. Thus, the FPR framework recognizes that governments should prioritize procuring vaccines for their country when doing so is necessary to reduce mortality to noncrisis flu-like levels. But after that, a government is obligated to do its part to share vaccines to reduce risks of mortality for people in other countries. We consider and reject objections to the FPR framework based on a country: having developed a vaccine, raising taxes to pay for vaccine research and purchase, wanting to eliminate economic and social burdens, and being ineffective in combating COVID-19 through public health interventions. (shrink)
In this paper, I am going to explore some of the moral considerations relating to smoking licences. And I shall offer a limited defence of licences as a replacement for sales tax on tobacco products. This defence will include some moral arguments in favour of one particular licence design over others.
All parties involved in researching, developing, manufacturing, and distributing COVID-19 vaccines need guidance on their ethical obligations. We focus on pharmaceutical companies' obligations because their capacities to research, develop, manufacture, and distribute vaccines make them uniquely placed for stemming the pandemic. We argue that an ethical approach to COVID-19 vaccine production and distribution should satisfy four uncontroversial principles: optimising vaccine production, including development, testing, and manufacturing; fair distribution; sustainability; and accountability. All parties' obligations should be coordinated and mutually consistent. For (...) instance, companies should not be obligated to provide host countries with additional booster shots at the expense of fulfilling bilateral contracts with countries in which there are surges. Finally, any satisfactory approach should include mechanisms for assurance that all parties are honouring their obligations. This assurance enables countries, pharmaceutical companies, global organisations, and others to verify compliance with the chosen approach and protect ethically compliant stakeholders from being unfairly exploited by unethical behaviour of others. (shrink)
This article provides a survey of various topics in which questions about taxation feature alongside questions about justice. It seeks to argue mainly that taxation is a rather fragmentary domain of inquiry about which it is hard to envisage the development of views about what justice requires with respect to tax policy in general. Guided by this idea, the article attempts to highlight some aspects of taxation whose connection with justice has been under-explored by philosophers, as well as to acquaint (...) the reader with a sense of the more thoroughly researched areas. (shrink)
This paper examines a rarely-discussed argument for the right to bequeath wealth. This argument, popular among libertarians, asserts that opposition to the practice of inheritance is prone to over-generalize, such that opponents of inheritance cannot avoid condemning other uses of private property, like gift-giving. The argument is motivated by an interesting methodological claim, namely, that the morality of bequest ought to be evaluated from the perspective of the donor, and not evaluated in ways that invoke the effects of bequest on (...) the distribution of wealth. This paper argues that this donor-centric approach ultimately favors restricting the right of bequest. Specifically, I maintain that bequest generally carries a lower opportunity cost than other uses of property. Accordingly, inheritance tax is less coercive than other taxes, and bequest is less obviously as generous an act as gift giving. While the arguments made here will encourage traditional opponents of inheritance (such as egalitarians), I also suggest why they might be welcomed by at least some types of libertarian. (shrink)
Contextualists about knowledge ascriptions perceive an analogy between the semantics they posit for “know(s)” and the semantics of comparative terms like “tall” and “flat”. Jason Stanley has recently raised a number of objections to this view. This paper offers a response by way of an alternative analogy with modified comparatives, which resolves most of Stanley’s objections. Rather than being ad hoc, this new analogy in fact fits better with platitudes about knowledge and facilitates a better understanding of the semantics of (...) gradability, such that an explanation of most of Stanley’s disanalogies becomes available. In addition, I argue that there are reasons to doubt Stanley’s claim that “knows(s)” cannot switch its content within a discourse, due to what may happen when we ascribe knowledge of more than one proposition. (shrink)
Epistemological contextualism is often defended by appealing to the context sensitivity of our intuitions about knowledge ascriptions. A popular invariantist response is to explain this feature by an appeal to pragmatic implicature. In this paper I argue that this rejoinder faces a hitherto underestimated problem relating to the fact that such supposed implicatures do not appear cancellable, contrary to what we should expect. I defend contextualism by demonstrating that the current invariantist explanation of this lack of cancellability is unsuccessful, owing (...) to a failure to appreciate the diversity of circumstances in which knowledge ascriptions may be used. (shrink)
G.E. Moore’s principle of organic unity holds that the intrinsic value of a whole may differ from the sum of the intrinsic values of its parts. Moore combined this principle with invariabilism about intrinsic value: An item’s intrinsic value depends solely on its bearer’s intrinsic properties, not on which wholes it has membership of. It is often said that invariabilism ought to be rejected in favour of what might be called ‘conditionalism’ about intrinsic value. This paper is an attempt to (...) show how invariabilism might be ﬁlled out in ways that allow its proponents to answer their conditionalist opponents. The main point consists in identifying how some amount of extrinsic part-value may contribute to whole-value that is nevertheless intrinsic. This enables an invariabilist to explain how the intrinsic value of a whole may differ from the sum of its intrinsic part-values, without abandoning the Moorean doctrine that intrinsic value supervenes on intrinsic properties (the proposal is nevertheless consistent with the view that invariabilist and conditionalist accounts might exist side by side). I ﬁnish with a brief explanation of how the main proposal could help construct invariabilist accounts of particular organic unities, looking beyond the more general argument they have with conditionalists. (shrink)
Justice can be pursued by the state, or through voluntary charity. This paper seeks to contribute to the debate about the appropriate division of labor between government and charitable agencies by developing a positive account of the charity sector's moral foundations. The account given here is grounded in a legal conception of charity, as a set of subsidies and privileges designed to cultivate a wide variety of activities aimed at enhancing civic virtue and autonomy. Among other things, this implies that (...) a charity sector oriented largely around the pursuit of justice will come at a moral cost to a liberal society, at least when the state is in a position to take the greater share of the responsibility. So, a positive account of charity provides at least a pro tanto reason for preferring a division of labor in which the state takes a greater share of the responsibility for pursuing justice. As well as developing and defending this conception in its own right, we apply it in offering some criticisms and enhancements of existing views about the division of labor. (shrink)
This is an undergraduate-level textbook that introduces classical political philosophy as a framework to evaluate the ethics of capitalism up to the present day. It is rooted in historical eighteenth- and nineteenth-century defenses of capitalism, as written by key proponents such as Adam Smith and John Stuart Mill, and applies these arguments to contemporary issues such as wage inequality, global trade, climate change, and the welfare state. The authors aim to engage students in debating the ethics of economic systems-specifically capitalism, (...) socialism, and feudalism-and whether various contemporary economic injustices can be interpreted as legacy of each system. There are also study questions at the end of each chapter and an author-created companion website. (shrink)
Recent decades have seen substantial increases in the average amount of money spent on wedding ceremonies in economically developed countries. This article develops an account of wedding expenditure as a form of positional competition where participation involves purchasing services in a market. The main emphasis is on the role that conspicuously expensive weddings can play in enabling certain kinds of signalling, most notably the signalling of commitment to a personal relationship and a distinct signalling of personal wealth. The analysis seeks (...) to demonstrate how wedding expenditure is both similar to but distinct from the positional consumption associated with markets in other goods and services. While much of the work in this article is descriptive, it aims to complement more normatively engaged work on the moral status of marriage, and on the proper evaluation and response to excessive positional consumption. (shrink)
Economic Rent, Rent-Seeking Behavior, and the Case of Privatized Incarceration.Daniel Halliday & Janine O’Flynn - 2018 - 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 (eds.), The Palgrave Handbook of Philosophy and Public Policy. Springer Verlag. pp. 455-467.details
The concept of economic rent is among the oldest in political economy. This reflects the fact that economies have always included parties whose income appears more parasitic than productive. The concept of rent-seeking refers to the efforts of parties seeking to secure such income by way of gaining influence over economic regulation or otherwise gaining favors from government. In spite of its intuitiveness, however, it has proven difficult to precisely distinguish rent from other categories of income. This chapter seeks to (...) acquaint readers with this problem. The privatization of incarceration is then supplied as an important case study in current rent-seeking behavior. (shrink)