The ACA, social insurance, and human solidarity

Most liberals and Democrats admit that the rollout of the Affordable Care Act has been a mess. How serious this is for the long-term success of the law is a matter of debate, but no one thinks this has been anything other than a rocky start. The most visible problem, of course, has been the […]

Capitalism, liberalism, and the good life

I enjoyed this review by philosopher Gary Gutting of Robert and Edward Skidelsky’s How Much Is Enough? (I haven’t read the book.) The Skidelskys, according to Gutting, argue that, under capitalism, we find ourselves with relative material abundance but without enough time to pursue “intangibles such as love, friendship, beauty, and virtue”–which are essential ingredients […]

Friday Links

—What Makes Life Good? An excerpt from Martha Nussbaum’s new book. –Johann Hari makes the case against the British monarchy. –How progressive are taxes in the U.S.? –Ten teachings on Judaism and the environment. –Marilyn of Left At the Altar reviews Laura Hobgood-Oster’s The Friends We Keep: Unleashing Christianity’s Compassion for Animals. –A very interesting […]

Nussbaum’s capabilities approach to justice

I mentioned a while back that I was reading Martha Nussbaum’s Frontiers of Justice. To re-cap briefly: Nussbaum criticizes social contract theories of justice for their inability to deal with three cases: duties to the disabled, to foreigners, and to nonhuman animals. As a supplement (or replacement–it’s not entirely clear to me), she recommends her […]

Friday links

–The Australian broadcaster ABC’s Religion and Ethics site has a series of articles by Martha Nussbaum on democracy and education: parts 1, 2, and 3. –Coal is not cheap. –Vegan nutritionist Virginia Messina argues that healthy diets can include meat analogues. (A corrective of sorts to anti-processed-food extremism.) –At the great metal blog Invisible Oranges: […]

Nussbaum on problems with social contract theories

I’m reading Martha Nussbaum’s Frontiers of Justice, which is an expanded version of her 2003 Tanner Lectures. In it, Nussbaum develops and applies her “capability approach” to social and political justice in three areas that traditional moral theories have often ignored: duties toward the disabled, foreigners, and nonhuman animals. A major part of Nussbaum’s project […]