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Jacob Barrett
Oxford University
  1.  42
    Interpersonal Comparisons with Preferences and Desires.Jacob Barrett - 2019 - Politics, Philosophy and Economics 18 (3):219-241.
    Most moral and political theories require us to make interpersonal comparisons of welfare. This poses a challenge to the popular view that welfare consists in the satisfaction of preferences or des...
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  2.  18
    Social Reform in a Complex World.Jacob Barrett - 2020 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 17 (2).
    Our world is complex—it is composed of many interacting parts—and this complexity poses a serious difficulty for theorists of social reform. On the one hand, we cannot merely work out ways of ameliorating immediate problems of injustice, because the solutions we generate may interact to set back the achievement of overall long-term justice. On the other, we cannot supplement such problem solving with theorizing about how to make progress towards a long-term goal of ideal justice, because the very interactions that (...)
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  3.  19
    Optimism About Moral Responsibility.Jacob Barrett - 2020 - Philosophers' Imprint 20 (33):1-17.
    In his classic “Freedom and Resentment,” P. F. Strawson introduces us to an optimist who believes that our moral responsibility practices are justified by their beneficial consequences. Although many see Strawson as a staunch critic of this consequentialist position, his stated view is only that there is a gap in the optimist’s story where the reactive attitudes should be. In this paper, I fill in the gap. I show how optimism can be suitably modified to reflect an appreciation of the (...)
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  4.  51
    Is Maximin Egalitarian?Jacob Barrett - 2020 - Synthese 197 (2):817-837.
    According to the Maximin principle of distributive justice, one outcome is more just than another if the worst off individual in the first outcome is better off than the worst off individual in the second. This is often interpreted as a highly egalitarian principle, and, more specifically, as a highly egalitarian way of balancing a concern with equality against a concern with efficiency. But this interpretation faces a challenge: why should a concern with efficiency and equality lead us to a (...)
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  5.  4
    Punishment and Disagreement in the State of Nature.Jacob Barrett - 2020 - Economics and Philosophy 36 (3):334-354.
    Hobbes believed that the state of nature would be a war of all against all. Locke denied this, but acknowledged that in the absence of government, peace is insecure. In this paper, I analyse both accounts of the state of nature through the lens of classical and experimental game theory, drawing especially on evidence concerning the effects of punishment in public goods games. My analysis suggests that we need government not to keep wicked or relentlessly self-interested individuals in line, but (...)
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  6.  36
    Efficient Inequalities.Jacob Barrett - 2020 - Journal of Political Philosophy 28 (2):181-198.
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  7.  8
    Punishment and Disagreement in the State of Nature.Jacob Barrett - 2020 - Economics and Philosophy 36 (3):334-354.
    Hobbes believed that the state of nature would be a war of all against all. Locke denied this, but acknowledged that in the absence of government, peace is insecure. In this paper, I analyse both accounts of the state of nature through the lens of classical and experimental game theory, drawing especially on evidence concerning the effects of punishment in public goods games. My analysis suggests that we need government not to keep wicked or relentlessly self-interested individuals in line, but (...)
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  8. Laws, Norms, and Public Justification: The Limits of Law as an Instrument for Reform.Jacob Barrett & Gerald Gaus - 2020 - In Public Reason and Courts. Cambridge, UK: pp. 201-228.
     
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  9.  10
    Utopophobia: On the Limits (If Any) of Political Philosophy, by David Estlund.Jacob Barrett - 2022 - Mind 131 (522):691-700.
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  10.  14
    Subjectivism and Degrees of Well-Being.Jacob Barrett - 2022 - Utilitas 34 (1):97-104.
    In previous work, I have argued that subjectivists about well-being must turn from a preference-satisfaction to a desire-satisfaction theory of well-being in order to avoid the conceptual problem of interpersonal comparisons of well-being. In a recent paper, Van der Deijl and Brouwer agree, but object that no version of the desire-satisfaction theory can provide a plausible account of how an individual's degree of well-being depends on the satisfaction or frustration of their various desires, at least in cases involving the gain (...)
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  11.  7
    Kevin Vallier, Must Politics Be War?: Restoring Our Trust in the Open Society. [REVIEW]Jacob Barrett - 2020 - Journal of Moral Philosophy 17 (5):567-570.
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