The purpose of this paper is to consider the question of whether liberal democracies should protect advocacy of terrorism. Although there are some interesting arguments in support of a ban on advocacy of terrorism, I will argue against it. I will defend the position that liberal democracies should be viewpoint neutral in their regulation of political speech, and that it is rarely permissible to suppress political speech unless such acts of expression are both intended to, and likely to, produce imminent serious illegal action or violence, such as acts of terrorism. It will be argued that a cogent case for this position can be made on the basis of the view that the core value (or foundation) of the right to freedom of expression in a liberal democracy is to protect and promote free and well-informed processes of intrapersonal and interpersonal deliberation.
Thomas Piketty’s much discussed work documents increasing inequality both when it comes to income from labor and income from capital. Thus he warns against a society where the key to economic success is inheritance and not hard work. I discuss an aspect of Piketty’s book which has thus far not been properly addressed. The question of why inequality is problematic. I argue that it is unclear whether Piketty defends a meritocratic, a luck-egalitarian or a Rawlsian perspective on justice, and that this lack of clarity has practical consequences for the level of taxes that may be justified.
The past few years have seen interesting debates concerning the metaphysics of knowledge: its nature and essence. Partly this is due to the negative results in our efforts to analyse and define knowledge, but also stems from the promise that alternative metaphysical conceptions of knowledge may be better equipped to solve other traditional issues in epistemology: such as scepticism, the nature of justification, and so on. In this essay I defend a causal conception of the metaphysics of knowledge where knowledge is conceived as a metaphysically basic relation between a subject, S, and a fact, a relation that is produced as a causal effect by a creature’s epistemic faculties. I argue that this model unlike its competitors is compatible with a wide plurality of ways in virtue of which creatures – human and non-human – produce knowledge. In particular, I argue that the existence of knowledge whose ground is non-conceptual – a kind of knowledge that we need to understand the mental and active life of humans and non-humans alike – provides a decisive argument in favour of a causal model. The reason for this is that on the causal model these providers of knowledge – or ways in virtue of which one knows – stand as causes rather than constitutive elements of the knowledge-relation. In this respect the causal model is better apt to preserve the unity of knowledge in the face of a wide plurality in ways of knowing.
It is a fact about our world that there are not enough medical resources for everyone who needs it. Given this, the question is how we should distribute scarce medical resources. The purpose of this paper is to consider the relevance of philosophical theories on the badness of death for health priorities. We outline and discuss three central theories on the badness of death, and show their implications for priority setting in health: Epicurus’ account, the Deprivation Account, and the Time-Relative Interest Account (TRIA). We argue that these theories are important to priority setting in health for three main reasons: 1) they can serve to strengthen a particular policy of prioritization; 2) they indicate something about which values are most central to priority setting, and 3) they add important perspectives in the discussion on the weighing of future health benefits for different age groups. We conclude that the proposed theories on the badness of death are relevant to priority setting in health, and that a further discussion is needed to determine how they can be implemented in a system of health prioritization.
Both Hans Skjervheim and Pauk Opdal are of the opinion that conceptual analysis is a necessary condition for carrying through a meaningful project of education («Bildung»). Even though their aims seem to be compatible, their positions differ: While Skjervheim rejects established schools of pedagogy on the basis of traditional philosophical critique and wants to replace them by what he calls dialectical pedagogy, which implies conceptual analysis with respect to socio-moral problems, and believes this is the way toward education, is Opdal of the opinion that pedagogy itself must be subjected to critical examination based on conceptual analysis in order to fulfill the educational function it is intended to have. In this article I shall, after presenting the view of Skjervheim, discuss the arguments upon which Opdal bases the defense of his position.
This paper provides a Kantian interpretation of core issues involved in the trial following the terrorist attacks that struck Norway on July 22nd 2011. After a sketch of the controversies surrounding the trial itself, a Kantian theory of why the wrongdoer’s mind struck us as so endlessly disturbed is presented. This Kantian theory, I proceed by arguing, also helps us understand why it was so important to respond to the violence through the legal system and to treat the perpetrator, Anders Behring Breivik, so respectfully before, during, and after the trial. I close by addressing the controversial issue now facing Norway: how capable is the Norwegian legal system to deal with cases involving extreme violence, including as committed by psychologically impaired mass murderers?