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Jason Brennan [43]Jason F. Brennan [1]
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  1. The Ethics of Voting.Jason Brennan - 2011 - Princeton Univ Pr.
    In this provocative book, Jason Brennan challenges our fundamental assumptions about voting, revealing why it is not a duty for most citizens--in fact, he ...
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  2. Markets Without Symbolic Limits.Jason Brennan & Peter Martin Jaworski - 2015 - Ethics 125 (4):1053-1077.
    Semiotic objections to commodification hold that buying and selling certain goods and services is wrong because of what market exchange communicates or because it violates the meaning of certain goods, services, and relationships. We argue that such objections fail. The meaning of markets and of money is a contingent, socially constructed fact. Cultures often impute meaning to markets in harmful, socially destructive, or costly ways. Rather than semiotic objections giving us reason to judge certain markets as immoral, the usefulness of (...)
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  3. The Right to a Competent Electorate.Jason Brennan - 2011 - Philosophical Quarterly 61 (245):700-724.
    The practice of unrestricted universal suffrage is unjust. Citizens have a right that any political power held over them should be exercised by competent people in a competent way. Universal suffrage violates this right. To satisfy this right, universal suffrage in most cases must be replaced by a moderate epistocracy, in which suffrage is restricted to citizens of sufficient political competence. Epistocracy itself seems to fall foul of the qualified acceptability requirement, that political power must be distributed in ways against (...)
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  4.  31
    Libertarianism After Nozick.Jason Brennan - forthcoming - Philosophy Compass.
    Robert Nozick's Anarchy, State, and Utopia made libertarianism a major theory in political philosophy. However, the book is often misread as making impractical, question-begging arguments on the basis of a libertarian self-ownership principle. This essay explains how academic philosophical libertarianism since Robert Nozick has returned to its humanistic, classical liberal roots. Contemporary libertarians largely work within the PPE tradition and do what Michael Huemer calls “non-ideal, non-theory.” They more or less embrace rather than reject ideals of social justice, and they (...)
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  5. For-Profit Business as Civic Virtue.Jason Brennan - 2012 - Journal of Business Ethics 106 (3):313-324.
    According to the commonsense view of civic virtue, the places to exercise civic virtue are largely restricted to politics. In this article, I argue for a more expansive view of civic virtue, and argue that one can exercise civic virtue equally well through working for or running a for-profit business. I argue that this conclusion follows from four relatively uncontroversial premises: (1) the consensus definition of “civic virtue”, (2) the standard, most popular theory of virtuous activity, (3) a conception of (...)
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  6. Polluting the Polls: When Citizens Should Not Vote.Jason Brennan - 2009 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 87 (4):535-549.
    Just because one has the right to vote does not mean just any vote is right. Citizens should not vote badly. This duty to avoid voting badly is grounded in a general duty not to engage in collectively harmful activities when the personal cost of restraint is low. Good governance is a public good. Bad governance is a public bad. We should not be contributing to public bads when the benefit to ourselves is low. Many democratic theorists agree that we (...)
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  7. Markets Without Limits: Moral Virtues and Commercial Interests.Jason Brennan & Peter M. Jaworski - 2015 - Routledge.
    May you sell your vote? May you sell your kidney? May gay men pay surrogates to bear them children? May spouses pay each other to watch the kids, do the dishes, or have sex? Should we allow the rich to genetically engineer gifted, beautiful children? Should we allow betting markets on terrorist attacks and natural disasters? Most people shudder at the thought. To put some goods and services for sale offends human dignity. If everything is commodified , then nothing is (...)
     
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  8. Political Liberty: Who Needs It?Jason Brennan - 2012 - Social Philosophy and Policy 29 (1):1-27.
    This paper concerns the question of whether the political liberties tend to be valuable to the people who hold them. Philosophers have argued that the political liberties are needed or at least useful to lead a full, human life, to have one's social status and the social bases of self-respect secured, to make the government responsive to one's interests and generate preferred political outcomes, to participate in the process of social construction so that one can feel at home in the (...)
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  9.  34
    Does the Demographic Objection to Epistocracy Succeed?Jason Brennan - 2018 - Res Publica 24 (1):53-71.
    In most, if not all, forms of epistocracy, we can expect that the more advantaged demographic groups would have higher rates of representation than less advantaged groups. The Demographic Objection to Epistocracy holds that this means epistocracy is unjust. One version of the Demographic Objection holds that the unequal representation is inherently unfair. I show that this argument fails, as proceduralist concern for fairness does not get us to universal equal suffrage at all. A second version holds that by giving (...)
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  10.  96
    How Smart is Democracy? You Can't Answer That Question a Priori.Jason Brennan - 2014 - Critical Review 26 (1-2):33-58.
  11.  38
    Should Employers Pay a Living Wage?Jason Brennan - forthcoming - Journal of Business Ethics:1-12.
    This paper critiques many of the leading popular and philosophical arguments purporting to show employers have a duty to pay a living wage. Some of these arguments fail on their own terms. Some are not really about a living wage. The best of them fail to show employers per se owe a living wage; at best, they should that governments should supplement market incomes though a negative income tax or some other redistributive device.
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  12. Scepticism About Philosophy.Jason Brennan - 2010 - Ratio 23 (1):1-16.
    Suppose a person who is agnostic about most philosophical issues wishes to have true philosophical beliefs but equally wishes to avoid false philosophical beliefs. I argue that this truth-seeking, error-avoiding agnostic would not have good grounds for pursuing philosophy. Widespread disagreement shows that pursuing philosophy is not a reliable method of discovering true answers to philosophical questions. More likely than not, pursuing philosophy leads to false belief. Many attempts to rebut this sceptical argument fail.
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  13.  5
    In Defense of Commodification.Jason Brennan & Peter Jaworski - 2015 - Moral Philosophy and Politics 2 (2).
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  14.  85
    Modesty Without Illusion.Jason Brennan - 2007 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 75 (1):111-128.
    The common image of the fully virtuous person is of someone with perfect self-command and self-perception, who always makes correct evaluations. However, modesty appears to be areal virtue, and it seems contradictory for someone to believe that she is modest. Accordingly, traditional defenders of phronesis (the view that virtue involves practical wisdom) deny that modesty is a virtue, while defenders of modesty such as Julia Driver deny that phronesis is required for virtue. I offer a new theory of modesty-the two (...)
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  15. Classical Liberalism.Jason Brennan & John Tomasi - 2012 - In David Estlund (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Political Philosophy. Oxford University Press, Usa. pp. 115.
  16.  32
    Estimating the Cost of Justice for Adjuncts: A Case Study in University Business Ethics.Jason Brennan & Phillip Magness - 2018 - Journal of Business Ethics 148 (1):155-168.
    American universities rely upon a large workforce of adjunct faculty—contract workers who receive low pay, no benefits, and no job security. Many news sources, magazines, and activists claim that adjuncts are exploited and should receive better pay and treatment. This paper never affirms nor denies that adjuncts are exploited. Instead, we show that any attempt to provide a significantly better deal faces unpleasant constraints and trade-offs. “Adjunct justice” would cost universities somewhere between an additional $15–50 billion per year. At most, (...)
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  17.  21
    If You Can Reply for Money, You Can Reply for Free.Jason Brennan & Peter M. Jaworski - 2017 - Journal of Value Inquiry 51 (4):655-661.
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  18.  16
    A Libertarian Case for Mandatory Vaccination.Jason Brennan - 2018 - Journal of Medical Ethics 44 (1):37-43.
    This paper argues that mandatory, government-enforced vaccination can be justified even within a libertarian political framework. If so, this implies that the case for mandatory vaccination is very strong indeed as it can be justified even within a framework that, at first glance, loads the philosophical dice against that conclusion. I argue that people who refuse vaccinations violate the ‘clean hands principle’, a moral principle that prohibits people from participating in the collective imposition of unjust harm or risk of harm. (...)
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  19. Why Not Capitalism?Jason F. Brennan - 2014 - Routledge.
    Most economists believe capitalism is a compromise with selfish human nature. As Adam Smith put it, "It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker, that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own interest." Capitalism works better than socialism, according to this thinking, only because we are not kind and generous enough to make socialism work. If we were saints, we would be socialists. In Why Not Capitalism ?, Jason Brennan attacks (...)
     
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  20.  43
    Brief History of Liberty.David Schmidtz & Jason Brennan - 2010 - Wiley-Blackwell.
    Stimulating and thought-provoking," A Brief History of Liberty" offers readers a philosophically-informed portrait of the elusive nature of one of our most ...
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  21.  3
    Come On, Come On, Love Me for the Money: A Critique of Sparks on Brennan and Jaworski.Jason Brennan & Peter Jaworski - forthcoming - Business Ethics Journal Review:24-29.
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  22.  75
    When May We Kill Government Agents? In Defense of Moral Parity.Jason Brennan - 2016 - Social Philosophy and Policy 32 (2):40-61.
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  23. Rawls' Paradox.Jason Brennan - 2007 - Constitutional Political Economy 18:287-299.
    Rawls’ theory of justice is paradoxical, for it requires a society to aim directly to maximize the basic goods received by the least advantaged even if directly aiming is self-defeating. Rawls’ reasons for rejecting capitalist systems commit him to holding that a society must not merely maximize the goods received by the least advantaged, but must do so via specific institutions. By Rawls’ own premises, in the long run directly aiming to satisfy the difference principle is contrary to the interests (...)
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  24.  8
    Correction To: Does the Demographic Objection to Epistocracy Succeed?Jason Brennan - 2018 - Res Publica 24 (1):157-157.
    The above-mentioned article was published online with an incorrect title. The correct title reads “Does the Demographic Objection to Epistocracy Succeed?”.
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  25. Tuck on the Rationality of Voting: A Critical Note.Jason Brennan - 2009 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 3 (3):1-5.
    This paper argues that Richard Tuck, in his book Free Riding, fails to show it is rational to vote except in unusual cases.
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  26.  19
    Steve Patterson’s Square One. [REVIEW]Jason Brennan - 2017 - The Philosophers' Magazine 77:110-112.
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  27.  96
    Beyond the Bottom Line: The Theoretical Goals of Moral Theorizing.Jason Brennan - 2008 - Oxford Journal of Legal Studies 28 (2):277-296.
    Moral theory is no substitute for virtue, but virtue is no substitute for moral theory. Many critics of moral theory, with Richard Posner being one prominent recent example, complain that moral theory is too abstract, that it cannot generally be used to derive particular rights and wrongs, and that it does not improve people's characters. Posner complains that it is thus of no use to legal theorists. This article defends moral theory, and to some degree, philosophical inquiry in general, against (...)
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  28.  38
    Morality, Competition, and the Firm: The Market Failures Approach to Business Ethics by Joseph Heath.Jason Brennan - 2016 - Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal 26 (1):1-4.
    Until Joseph Heath came along, philosophical business ethics was in a bad way. To the extent it’s still in a bad way, perhaps it’s because Heath has had insufficient influence. Before Heath, much of the debate in the field was between two major theories—stockholder and stakeholder theory. Both of these theories are either false, or vacuous and empty, depending on the interpretation. Heath has to some degree rescued the field by providing what is perhaps the only good general theory of (...)
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  29.  45
    Consequences Matter More: In Defense of Instrumentalism on Private Versus Public Prisons.Jason Brennan - 2017 - Criminal Law and Philosophy 11 (4):801-815.
    Alon Harel wants to show that punishment is a kind of symbolic expression that, as a matter of metaphysical necessity, can only be performed by governmental agents. Contrary to Harel, I argue private agents can in fact realize those features he argues only public agents can realize. I also argue that, even if he were right that only public guards and wardens can punish, it’s unclear why we would have an all-things-considered rather than merely a pro tanto/prima facie duty to (...)
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  30.  78
    Choice and Excellence: A Defense of Millian Individualism.Jason Brennan - 2005 - Social Theory and Practice 31 (4):483-498.
    Communitarians have argued against Millian individualism (ethical liberalism) by claiming that it leads to the compartmentalization of life, and thus inhibits virtue, that it causes alienation, and leads to what I call the problem of choice. Ethical liberals celebrate the free choice of a conception of the good life, but communitarians respond by posing a dilemma. Either the choice is made in reference to some given standard (a social or natural telos), in which case it is not free, or it (...)
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  31. What If Kant Had Had a Cognitive Theory of the Emotions?Jason Brennan - 2008 - In Valerio Hrsg v. Rohden, Ricardo Terra & Guido Almeida (eds.), Recht und Frieden in der Philosophie Kants. Walter de Gruyter. pp. 1--219.
    Emotional cognitivists, such as the Stoics and Aristotle, hold that emotions have cognitive content, whereas noncognitivists, like Plato and Kant, believe the emotions to be nonrational bodily movements. I ask, taking Martha Nussbaum's account of cognitivism, what if Kant had become convinced of a cognitive theory of the emotions, what changes would this require in his moral philosophy. Surprisingly, since this represents a radical shift in his psychology, it changes almost nothing. I show that Kant's account of continence, virtue, the (...)
     
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  32.  36
    Claudio López-Guerra, Democracy and Disenfranchisement: The Morality of Electoral Exclusions.Jason Brennan - 2016 - Social Theory and Practice 42 (1):212-218.
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  33. Free Will in the Block Universe.Jason Brennan - 2007 - Philosophia 35 (2):207-217.
    Carl Hoefer has argued that determinism in block universes does not privilege any particular time slice as the fundamental determiner of other time slices. He concludes from this that our actions are free, insofar as they are pieces of time slices we may legitimately regard as fundamental determiners. However, I argue that Hoefer does not adequately deal with certain remaining problems. For one, there remain pervasive asymmetries in causation and the macroscopic efficacy of our actions. I suggest that what Hoefer (...)
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  34.  78
    Is Market Society Intrinsically Repugnant?Jason Brennan - 2013 - Journal of Business Ethics 112 (2):271-281.
    In Why Not Socialism ?, G. A. Cohen argues that market society and capitalism are intrinsically repugnant. He asks us to imagine an ideal camping trip, which becomes increasing repugnant as it shifts from living by socialist to capitalist principles. In this paper, I expose the limits of this style of argument by making a parallel argument, which shows how an ideal anarchist camping trip becomes increasingly repugnant as the campsite turns from anarchism to democracy. When we see why this (...)
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  35. Condorcet's Jury Theorem and the Optimum Number of Voters.Jason Brennan - forthcoming - POLITICS.
    Many political theorists and philosophers use Condorcet's Jury Theorem to defend democracy. This paper illustrates an uncomfortable implication of Condorcet's Jury Theorem. Realistically, when the conditions of Condorcet’s Jury Theorem hold, even in very high stakes elections, having more than 100,000 citizens vote does no significant good in securing good political outcomes. On the Condorcet model, unless voters enjoy voting, or unless they produce some other value by voting, then the cost to most voters of voting exceeds the expected epistemic (...)
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  36. Market Architecture: It's the How, Not the What.Jason Brennan - forthcoming - Georgetown Journal of Law and Public Policy.
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  37. Replies to My Critics.Jason Brennan - 2013 - Reason Papers 35 (1):44-57.
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  38.  91
    Dominating Nature.Jason Brennan - 2007 - Environmental Values 16 (4):513-528.
    Something is wrong with the desire to dominate nature. In this paper, I explain both the causes and solution to anti-environmental attitudes within the framework of Hegel's master–slave dialectic. I argue that the master–slave dialectic (interpreted as a metaphor, rather than literally) can provide reasons against taking an attitude of domination, and instead gives reasons to seek to be worthy of respect from nature, though nature cannot, of course, respect us. I then discuss what the social and economic conditions of (...)
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  39.  9
    I’Ll Pay You Ten Bucks Not to Murder Me.Jason Brennan & Peter Jaworski - 2016 - Business Ethics Journal Review 4 (9):53-58.
    James Stacey Taylor offers three interpretations of our thesis, and argues that only one of them goes through. His point is to clarify our view rather than critique our position. In this brief response, we argue that, upon further clarification, we could endorse at least one of the other interpretations, though as Taylor notes, we don’t need to for our book’s thesis to go through.
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  40.  9
    Equality, Community, and Diversity in Cohen’s Socialist Ideal.Jason Brennan - 2015 - Analyse & Kritik 37 (1-2).
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  41. Why Liberal States Must Accommodate Tax Resistors.Jason Brennan - forthcoming - Public Affairs Quarterly.
    Liberal states ought to accommodate conscientious tax resistance for the same reasons they should accommodate conscientious objection to fighting in war. Conscientious objection to fighting is nothing special.
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  42.  4
    Klotzes and Glotzes, Semiotics and Embodying Normative Stances.Jason Brennan & Peter Jaworski - 2016 - Business Ethics Journal Review 4 (2):7-13.
    Daniel Layman attempts to critique our recent paper debunking semiotic objections to commodification. Semiotic objections hold that commodifying certain goods and services is wrong because doing so expresses disrespect for the things in question. Layman claims instead that the problem is that such markets “embody” the “wrong norms” or the “wrong deliberative stance.” Given the length-requirements, we, at the moment, need to hear a lot more about the difference between “embodying” a norm, and expressing it. As far as we can (...)
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  43.  1
    On Competition in Utopian Capitalism.Jason Brennan - 2017 - Moral Philosophy and Politics 4 (1).
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  44. Compulsory Voting: For and Against.Jason Brennan & Lisa Hill - 2014 - Cambridge University Press.
    In many democracies, voter turnout is low and getting lower. If the people choose not to govern themselves, should they be forced to do so? For Jason Brennan, compulsory voting is unjust and a petty violation of citizens' liberty. The median non-voter is less informed and rational, as well as more biased, than the median voter. According to Lisa Hill, compulsory voting is a reasonable imposition on personal liberty. Hill points to the discernible benefits of compulsory voting and argues that (...)
     
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