Workshop on Perfectionism in Public Health

It has been almost two years since Dominik Düber invited me to co-organize the workshop starting today at the Center for Advanced Study in Bioethics in Münster, Germany. We decided on the essentials during a long walk in the Teutoburg Forest after a workshop in Bielefeld, but then spent quite a lot of emails and talks on getting the full program together. Very glad to have a line-up that includes some of the very best political philosophers I know as well as some of the very best philosophers in public health ethics. Discussion should be intense and rewarding. Here is a flyer with program.

Presentation on the survival of humanity

My first Poster presentation! Today at a conference on Theoretical Population Ethics at the Philosophy Department of Oxford University. I try to jolt the intuition that it has intrinsic value that humanity survives, independently of the future lives that may be lived given survival. I then discuss how this value may be accommodated in population axiology.

Article on Banning Cigarettes

In an article published today in the Journal of Medical Ethics, my co-author Kristin Voigt and I argue that given that a ban on cigarettes would be effective, it would also be justified and preferable to the status quo, all things considered. We propose that other philosophical arguments for a similar ban, mainly by Bob Goodin and Sarah Conly, have down-played the counter-arguments in terms of freedom and autonomy. Still, we argue, the benefits in terms of well-being and equality outweigh these costs.

Article in Swedish on Population Axiology

In the most recent issue of the Swedish philosophy journal Filosofisk Tidskrift, I explore what population axiology has to say about the disvalue of human extinction, and find that current theories on offer don’t have much to say about this, beyond the consequences in terms of particular lives not lived.

Conference organized + presentation on ideal family constellations

Yesterday and today, we are running a conference on the theme “Beyond the Nuclear Family: The Philosophy of Close Personal Relationships” here at Umeå University, we being me and my colleagues Daniela Cutas and Anca Gheaus, collaborators in the research project Close Personal Relationships, Children and the Family. Very happy to see so many interesting speakers and with such diversity of expertise and level of seniority coming together for fruitful discussion. My presentation is titled “Should Parents Love Each Other?” and explores some possible family constellation from the perspective of ensuring important family relationship values.

Special issue with article on respect for choice and preference

With Danny Scoccia, I have edited a special issue of Social Theory and Practice, which builds on papers presented at the March 2014 workshop I organized in Umeå on “Respecting Context-Dependent Preferences”. I contribute an article on what exactly we should respect when it comes to a persons choice and preference, taking into account that these often come apart and that preferences are often uninformed and context-dependent.

Article on public health ethics and decision-making

With Angus Dawson, I have written an article on the proper role of ethics in public health decision-making. We criticize some existing ethical frameworks and propose our own step-wise framework, which is, we claim, more value-neutral and more practically useful. Published today in Health Care Analysis.

Chapter on antipaternalism

A volume edited by Thomas Schramme on New Perspectives on Paternalism and Health Care has been published by Springer in the series  Library of Ethics and Applied Philosophy. I contribute a chapter titled Antipaternalism as a Filter on Reasons (preprint), where I develop my view of what is the most plausible version of antipaternalism as an independent moral doctrine (which is not a doctrine I subscribe to).

Talk in Belfast on food preferences

Today at Queen’s University Belfast, I take part in a workshop on “Food Policy between Public Health and Ethical Pluralism”, giving a talk on “Reasonable and unreasonable food preferences”.

Article on nudging etc.

This is my, to date, most substantial publication on the idea that we should design choices so as to promote better choice outcomes.