My article ‘Theoretical Foundations for Human Rights’ has just been published in the latest issue of Political Studies. In this article I argue for a deflationist approach to human rights, with the help of David Hume. I plan to do more work on Hume and human rights by writing my next article on ‘Humean Rights’. An early version of this was presented at the ASPP conference in Rome in June.
The referendum on the 8th amendment is a serious blow to ingrained structural injustice in Ireland, but more work needs to be done. With the help of Iris Marion Young’s famous analysis of structural injustice, in this piece published in RTE Brainstorm I argue that apart from changing specific laws, it is also necessary to change the culture that legitimizes the laws. The inadequate separation of Church and State in Ireland when it comes to schools and education is something that needs to be changed.
Populism is a serious threat to modern liberal democracy: it must be understood, and resisted. In this piece I argue that populism has a very long history, and we can learn about populism today by analyzing populism in Ancient Rome. In particular, contrary to what is generally assumed, I argue that populism is not always a bottom-up movement, the voice of the excluded masses. Instead, populism is often a top-down phenomenon, orchestrated by someone emerging from the elite class itself.
The Irish referendum of Friday May 25th was an historic moment. The 8th amendment of the constitution was repealed, and as a result abortion will be legal in Ireland. In this article from the Irish Times I try to argue that this debate is not about ‘pro-life’ vs. ‘pro-choice’, since everyone is ‘pro-life’. Furthermore, those who don’t want abortion to be legalized wrongly assmue that the foetus enjoys an absolute right to life. This article is an attempt to pull the rug from under the feet of those who were against repealing the 8th amendment.
- Irish Times, May 22, 2018, 10:34
Today is May Day, International Workers’ Day, and on Saturday May 5th it will be Karl Marx’s 200th birthday. To celebrate, and set the record straight on a much maligned thinker, a giant in philosophy, sociology and economics, I have written a short opinion piece for RTE Brainstorm:
The latest book in my book series, Palgrave Philosophy Today, has just been published: Philosophy of Race, by Naomi Zack:
This is the 11th book in the series, all excellent books by outstanding philosophers: Helen Beebee; Lilian O’Brien; Simon Kirchin; Joel Walmsley; Anthony Booth; Mathias Risse; Shaun Gallagher; Duncan Pritchard; Chad Meister; Don Ross.
Tomorrow I’ll be a keynote speaker at this very exciting conference on ‘Autonomy and Art’ organized by Niamh NicGhabhann at the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance, University of Limerick.
The title of my talk is slightly cryptic and counter-intuitive: “Is Autonomy the Ricotta Cheese of Modern Society?”.
One should not rejoice for the death of a fellow human being, but I will make an exception in this case. In the 1990s I went to Guatemala to interview survivors of the genocide orchestrated by this man, Efrain Rios Montt. I published some of my my findings in Chapter 12 of my book ‘Social Injustice: Essays in Political Philosophy’ (Palgrave 2012). I don’t think there is a way to express the opposite of RIP, but that’s what I’m thinking.
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