Justice Everywhere: coronavirus rundown and Rebecca Lowe interview

Just sharing a couple of pieces I’ve been working on for Justice Everywhere.

The first is a collection I’ve edited of brief reflections from ten different philosophers on the ethical and political issues raised by the coronavirus crisis:

  • What does coronavirus mean for the feasibility of social justice?
  • What does coronavirus mean for the adoption of UBI?
  • How does coronavirus help us to imagine a just society?
  • What does coronavirus mean for economic precarity?
  • What does coronavirus mean for education?
  • What does coronavirus show us about the need for internet access?
  • What does coronavirus show us about how to fight climate change?
  • What does coronavirus show us about how to make decisions under uncertainty?
  • What does coronavirus mean for how we should view (un)acceptable risk?

You can read the full piece here.


The second is the latest interview in the Beyond the Ivory Tower series, for which I interviewed Rebecca Lowe, a former editor of Conservative and director of the think tank FREER, about her efforts to increase the level of philosophical discussion on the right. Sample quote:

There’s a great sense of a lack of purchase, I think, that people have been feeling very fairly. I’d say partly that’s owing to the extreme centralisation we have in this country – I could talk about that all day. And then there’s a point about technocracy and the lack of explicit reasoning. The example that always comes into my head is the Coalition government’s policies around welfare. There are lots of reasons why you might seek to reduce welfare spending. But I don’t think saving money is a good reason at all – yet that’s effectively what they said. There was actually a lot of thinking in the Conservative party, particularly around people like IDS [Iain Duncan Smith], about the risks of dependency, crowding out individual fulfilment, incentives for people to work and provide for their family, and so on. And I think those are exactly the kinds of thing you might want to think about, whether you agree substantively with them or not. But I think even the most hardcore small statist is going to think that cutting welfare spending in order to save money is not really an argument, never mind a good argument. I felt that lack there was something that severely damaged not only that government in terms of its popularity, but also, maybe even the institutions themselves.

I think that the people we put our faith and trust in to represent us in making decisions about these important matters let us down by failing to justify the important decisions that they make, and I think that leads to a kind of degradation of the political discourse.

You can read the whole thing here.


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