What is this blog about?

What is this blog about?

I am a political philosopher. My 'political philosophy' is a form of 'liberal egalitarianism.' So in this blog I reflect on various issues in political philosophy and politics (especially Canadian and American politics) from a liberal egalitarian perspective.

If you are curious about what I mean by 'liberal egalitarianism,' my views are strongly influenced by the conception of justice advanced by John Rawls. (So I sometimes refer to myself as a 'Rawlsian,' even though I disagree with Rawls on some matters.)

Astonishingly, I am paid to write and teach moral and political philosophy. I somehow manage to do this despite my akratic nature. Here is my faculty profile.

Monday, March 12, 2018

'The Kids are Alright': Political Liberalism, Leisure Time, and Children

Three articles on political liberalism and children are now available at Philosophical Studies. I'm delighted to have my work in the company of excellent papers by Christie Hartley and Gina Schouten.

My contribution is entitled: 'The Kids are Alright': Political Liberalism, Leisure Time, and Children. Here is the abstract:
Interest in the nature and importance of ‘childhood goods’ recently has emerged within philosophy. Childhood goods, roughly, are things (including kinds of activities) that are good for persons qua children independent of any contribution to the good of persons qua adults (although they may also be valuable in this way). According to Colin Macleod, John Rawls’s political conception of justice as fairness rests upon an adult-centered ‘agency assumption’ and thus is incapable of incorporating childhood goods into its content. Macleod concludes that because of this, justice as fairness cannot be regarded as a complete conception of distributive justice. In this paper I provide a political liberal response to Macleod’s argument by advancing three claims. First, I propose that political liberalism should treat leisure time as a distinct ‘primary good.’ Second, I suggest that leisure time should be distributed via (a) the ‘basic needs principle’ and (b) the ‘difference principle’ for all citizens over the course of their complete lives, including their childhoods. Third, the provision of leisure time in this way supports the realization of childhood goods for citizens.
The entire paper can be read (online only) here.

I may not have kids myself, but I know what's good for them: leisure time!

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