Thursday, November 27, 2014
  1. Social Choice and Social Welfare

    Amartya Sen

    Social Choice and Social Welfare

    1

     asks whether the Enlightenment dream of a rationally organized society can still be realized.

    Crowds Lino Gambella/Flickr

    Human beings have always lived in groups, and their individual lives have invariably depended on group decisions. But, given the daunting challenges of group choice, owing to the divergent interests and concerns of the group’s members, how should collective decision-making be carried out? READ MORE

  2. Something to Smile About

    Chris Patten

    Something to Smile About

    3

     provides an argument with teeth about the sources of human happiness.

    Smile white teeth lergik/Flickr

    P.J. O’Rourke had a point when he argued that the best thing about living in the twenty-first century, rather than in some “golden age” of the past, is modern dentistry. At a time when the world is plagued by conflict and tragedy, healthy teeth are a reminder, however mundane, of economic progress and human happiness. READ MORE

  3. The Drag on E-Cigarettes

    Jacques Le Houezec

    The Drag on E-Cigarettes

    4

     wants governments and health authorities to recognize the lifesaving potential of e-cigarettes.

    E-cigarettes MomentiMedia/Flickr

    New nicotine-delivery systems like e-cigarettes are not just temporary aids for people attempting to quit smoking cigarettes; they could act as long-term alternatives to tobacco, making the virtual elimination of high-risk tobacco consumption a real possibility. So why are health authorities discouraging their use? READ MORE

  4. Philosopher Kings Versus Philosopher Presidents

    Robert Skidelsky
  5. Should Adult Sibling Incest Be a Crime?

    Peter Singer

    Should Adult Sibling Incest Be a Crime?

    11

     takes aim at legal prohibition of consensual sex for one set of grownups.

    Adult sibling incest Adam Foster/Flickr

    The incest taboo has an obvious evolutionary explanation. But when it comes to sex between adult siblings, should we allow our judgment of what is a crime to be determined by feelings of repugnance that may have strengthened the evolutionary fitness of ancestors who lacked effective contraception? READ MORE

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