Monte and Blackjack

by Daniel on October 14, 2003

Here’s my contribution to the “M-Type versus C-Type” debate. Basically, just as it’s a useful analytical distinction to make that all UK Prime Ministers are either bookies or vicars, it’s always worth remembering that all economic policy debates of interest can be usefully analogised either to blackjack or to three-card monte.

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Cruelty to animals

by Chris Bertram on October 14, 2003

There was a particularly nasty court case in my home town of Bristol recently. I forget all the details, but the essence was that a stable-owner was fined for maiming and neglecting her horses and was banned from keeping horses for life. That seems to me to be entirely reasonable. In fact a great deal of animal-cruelty legislation, such as bans on dog and cock-fighting and on bear-baiting, is something that I’d want to support. Leaving aside controversial matters like fox-hunting (on which I have a pretty libertarian view), and just taking those most extreme cases of wanton cruelty, it seems to me that there’s a problem for both libertarians and liberals. Such legislation can’t be justified either in terms of protecting the rights of (human) individuals or without appealing to some controversial conception of what gives value to life that we can’t presume is universally shared. I’d welcome thoughts on how we might adapt or extend liberal or libertarian theories to cope with these cases.

God is Undead

by Kieran Healy on October 14, 2003

The website of the American Philosophical Association is a quiet affair as a rule, but its section on Calls for Papers turns up the odd gem:

bq. Philosophy and The Onion. Now soliciting proposals for projected philosophical anthology on any aspect of The Onion, America’s leading satirical newspaper.

This is followed by,

bq. The Undead and Philosophy … Abstracts are sought for a collection of philosophical essays on the theme of the undead.

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