Author Archives: admin

Chapter on Paternalism towards Children

The Routledge Handbook of the Philosophy of Childhood and Children is published. I contribute a chapter on Paternalism towards Children, where I survey some relevant views from the paternalism debate and the debate on the rights of children, and argue that children can be targets of paternalism, that there is no blanket justification for such paternalism, and that such paternalism is more often justified, for several distinct reasons.

Talk on nudging

Giving a talk today at a workshop on so-called “lifestyle diseases”, organized by the Nordic Committee on Bioethics. I will present an overview of the concept of nudging, some conceptual controversies, and some ethical controversies. Ultimately, I think nudging is an excellent policy tool that should be used, wisely, for appropriate policy goals. It is also of course a tool in the hands of marketeers, whose goal is typically to maximize profits. Tomorrow, I’ll be on a panel on responsibility for health.

Talk on tobacco control, e-cigarettes and liberal values

Taking part in the Summer Academy in Population-level Bioethics at the Brocher Foundation, Geneva, this week. Today I will present some thoughts on how the presence of e-cigarettes make strict regulation of combustible tobacco more appealing from a liberal perspective.

First handbook on paternalism published

The handbook that Jason Hanna and I started working on almost four years ago has now been published, with Routledge. It is the first ever handbook on the philosophy of paternalism, with 27 chapters covering most of what we wanted to cover (a couple of topics fell off as intended authors did not deliver). I am very pleased with the result and with working with Jason.

My own chapter focuses on cases where the paternalist and/or the paternalized is a group of people rather than one individual. Though this is a very common sort of case, its particular features have been only very cursorily discussed in the literature and are quite significant, I think, both conceptually and normatively.

Coming book: The Routledge Handbook of the Philosophy of Paternalism

This book can now be ordered from Routledge: It is due to appear in print in January. I have edited it together with Jason Hanna.

Workshop on state and family at Mancept

Today starts a two day workshop on The good family and the state, at the Mancept workshops in political theory. I convene the workshop with my colleague at Umeå Daniela Cutas. My own presentation discusses whether the state should encourage families with more than two parents, both for increased diversity and fit with some poeple’s preferences, and because it is often better for all involved – children, parents and society.

Argument for lager families presented in Uppsala

At the Swedish Philosophy Days I give another version of my argument for why families should include more adults than two. In brief, this is because more parents means more support, more adult interaction and greater stability over time (as parents may die or leave). Plus more people can be parents with fewer children, which may help limit our too large world population.

Talk on respect for the will of children

Today at the workshop Philosophy and Childhood, organized by the Centre for Ethics and Poverty Research at Salzburg University, I give “An argument for intrinsic respect for the will of children”. The idea is that in addition to the reasons we have to respect children in order to protect and promote their wellbeing, and the reasons we have to foster their future autonomy, we also have reasons to respect their will just because it is their will, like we do (I presume) with adults.

Talk at LMU Munich

Today I give an invited lecture under the title “An argument for better families: larger and more diverse”, at the Munich Centre for Ethics, in their series of talks on Family Ethics.

Talk at Inaugural Meeting of the (American) PPE Society

Talking in New Orleans today on “Interference with What?” in a panel organized by Jason Hanna on Autonomy, Rights and Paternalism. I give some reasons to be skeptical of the common idea that paternalism is essentially influence on a person’s sphere of authority in some sense.