moral philosophy

Jeremy Bentham and Polar Bears

Over at the Reality-Based Community, my co-blogger James Wimberley rightfully takes to task a right-wing economist named Karl Smith for what Wimberley calls the dumbest blog post of 2011.  Smith essentially seems to argue that it’s okay to cause hundreds of species to become extinct because it will increase aggregate wealth in the short run. In doing …


Climate Change, Afghanistan, and the Model Penal Code

It’s hard to look at this week cover of Time and not want to remain in Afghanistan.  That was probably the magazine’s intention. But let’s do a quick cost-benefit analysis here.  I have argued elsewhere that we could save far more women from repression, violence, and brutality by taking all the money and effort we are …