Article on the best number of parents per family

The Journal of Applied Philosophy today published an article (open access) where I investigate some factors that bear on what is the best number of parents to have in a family. I focus primarily on effects on the members of the family and especially on children. I also wrote a blog post inspired by the article for the (otherwise) very interesting blog Justice Everywhere.

Talks at the Swedish Congress of Philosophy

Today I am sharing some thoughts on the relationship between neutrality regarding the wellbeing of future people, and value pluralism in population axiology. I think the two are rather natural companions and that value pluralism means that common arguments against neutrality may not be relevant.

Yesterday I claimed, in another presentation, that there are important moral differences between procreation and consumption, which substantially weaken, but do not completely undermine, the argument that we should limit our own ecological footprint by having fewer or no children.

Talk on default-setting online

Today I am presenting some thoughts on moral principles to regulate default-setting online, as part of the Mancept workshops in political theory panel Paternalism, Nudging and The Digital Sphere, convened by Johannes Drerup, Thomas Grote and Sebastian Stein.

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.