Author Archives: aveekbhattacharya

Which political philosophers have been cited most in parliament?

So some people are swooning at the fact that France’s President can casually discuss Hegel, and contrasting Emmanuel Macron’s erudition favourably with British politicians. I think that’s probably a bit unfair. Surely you don’t get through three years of PPE at Oxford without being able to name-check the odd philosopher. So I decided to look […]

Is it immoral to send your children to private school?

The contest for leadership of the Scottish Labour party has re-opened an old debate: is it acceptable for egalitarians to send their children to private school? One candidate, Anas Sarwar, has come under criticism for sending his son to the £8,000 a year Hutchesons’ Grammar school in Glasgow. The row echoes similar controversies around left-wing […]

Are any occupations too right-wing?

There’s an ongoing debate as to whether there are too many left-wing academics, and whether this is a problem, potentially leading to groupthink in research and a skewed worldview presented to students. Some say the same about the tendency of school teachers to skew left, and whether this compromises their ability to “help our students […]

Should we stop keeping pets?

A recent Guardian article asked the question ‘Should we stop keeping pets?’ Yet instead of a thorough examination of the moral arguments for and against pet ownership, it fell into a crude dichotomy: either pets are property, to be treated by humans however they wish, or they must be emancipated. For a clearer statement of […]

Why do people need to ban chlorinated chicken?

Here’s a question, amid the slightly odd political row about whether Britain should allow the import of ‘chlorine-washed chicken from the US: if people hate chlorinated chicken, why do they need to ban it? Why can’t they just not buy it themselves? According to the Adam Smith Institute (ASI), permitting the American practice of washing […]

Save the price tag!

Among the innumerable ways in which life has got better for those of us living in rich countries over the past 200 years, one of the most easily overlooked is the price tag. In the early 19th Century, almost every purchase involved a process of haggling – very few goods or services had set prices. […]

Does Varieties of Capitalism Theory condemn Britain to inequality?

Jeremy Cliffe made some interesting points on twitter over the weekend about the relevance of Varieties of Capitalism (VoC) theory to Britain today. Cliffe’s own BBC documentary provides a good introduction to the theory, but here is the general idea.  VoC suggests that successful modern economies can take one of two forms: they can be […]