Posts Tagged Political Philosophy

Michael Sandel on Communitarianism and Liberalism

Michael Sandel argues forcefully against ‘procedural’ liberalism on the grounds that it requires a notion of community that it in theory rejects in favor of individualism (“The Procedural Republic and the Unencumbered Self” [henceforth PRUS], 91). That is not to say that procedural liberalism is not in practice individualistic, as Sandel posits that procedural liberalism’s […]

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Spying for National Security Reasons vs. Spying for Economic Gain

In a surprising move, the United States has indicted members of the Chinese military on counts of cyber-espionage in stealing trade secrets from American corporations for the benefit of Chinese companies. Members of the Chinese government have dismissed the charges as ridiculous, and noted the hypocrisy of the United States in light of revelations about […]

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A Few Thoughts on The Death Penalty

Opposition to the Death Penalty Should Be the Default View With the botched execution of Clayton Lockett comes renewed attention on an important topic in retributive justice, and an opportunity for abolitionists of the death penalty to make their arguments heard. Recently I have been stricken by how strange it is that the abolitionist must […]

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McCutcheon v. FEC (and freedom, money, and responsibility)

With the McCutcheon v. FEC ruling, we witness another decision in favor of inequality. While there were many erroneous conceptualizations running the majority decision, of principal importance is their understanding of money. For the conservatives on the court, it seems money is just a thing which carries no intrinsic weight, it may be gifted for […]

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Marx’s Critique of Hegel (and money, suffering, and March Marxism)

March is “Marxism Month” here on Ausomeawestin, and while the last entry was on the alienation caused by capitalism, today’s entry will endeavor to show that Marx’s philosophy on the alienating power of money has roots in his critique of Hegelianism. Specifically, it will be shown that in rejecting Hegel’s conclusions Marx develops a different […]

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Against Paul Ryan on Poverty (and socialism, labor, and moral hazard)

Paul Ryan has released a lengthy document decrying how progressive policies have injured the poor, making the well-rehearsed argument that welfare programs encourage people to stay in poverty. Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: if people get less welfare the more money they earn through their own labor, then they are incentivized to […]

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Tsarnaev (and capital punishment, the morality of the death penalty, and equivocation)

The Justice Department has announced that it will seek the death penalty against the surviving Boston bomber, 20 year old, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. Now seems a good time to consider the arguments for whether the death penalty is a just punishment. I recognize, of course, that the Justice Department might be pursuing the death penalty in […]

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Law and Morality (Columbia MD, gun rights, consequentialism, Kantianism, and client counseling)

I was responding to a very interesting comment on another blog when some new thoughts on an issue that I find myself thinking about frequently quickly materialized: the intersection and overlap of law and morality. It’s a thorny issue for me, because as a moral realist I think that there are objective moral truths and […]

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Columbia, Maryland (and rights, gun control, and arguments from analogy)

I have refrained from writing on the controversial topic of gun control but I feel now that I must address it as today’s shooting in Columbia mall is literally too close to home for me to not comment – my father goes to a new age church in Columbia, Maryland, and I have friends who […]

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Aerostats in Maryland (and surveillance, justice, and moral respect)

The Washington Post is reporting that the army is to deploy two blimp-like surveillance aircraft under the auspices that they will monitor for incoming missiles directed at the capital and other east coast cities. The blimps will be equipped with radar powerful enough to completely monitor the east coast from Staten Island to Richmond, and […]

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