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  1.  46
    Luck egalitarianism without moral tyranny.Jesse Spafford - 2021 - Philosophical Studies 179 (2):469-493.
    Luck egalitarians contend that, while each person starts out with a claim to an equal quantity of advantage, she can forfeit this claim by making certain choices. The appeal of luck egalitarianism is that it seems to satisfy what this paper calls the moral tyranny constraint. According to this constraint, any acceptable theory of justice must preclude the possibility of an agent unilaterally, discretionarily, and foreseeably leaving others with less advantage under conditions of full compliance with the theory. This paper (...)
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  2.  39
    Does Initial Appropriation Create New Obligations?Jesse Spafford - 2020 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 17 (2).
    A popular argument against the unilateral appropriation of unowned resources maintains that such appropriation is impossible because it implies a power to unilaterally impose novel obligations on others—a power which people cannot have given that they are moral equals. However, Bas van der Vossen has recently argued that initial appropriation does not create obligations in this way; rather, it merely alters the empirical facts that, together with obligations, determine people’s practical moral requirements. This paper argues that van der Vossen is (...)
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  3.  38
    An Anarchist Interpretation of Marx’s “Ability to Needs” Principle.Jesse Spafford - 2020 - Journal of Value Inquiry 54 (2):325-343.
    In “Critique of the Gotha Program,” Marx famously declares that future communist societies will operate on the principle “from each according to [their] ability, to each according to [their] needs!” This paper argues that there is a distinctly anarchist interpretation of Marx’s principle which takes the principle’s primary demand to be the unconditional provision of goods and services. The paper begins by introducing Marx’s “ability to needs principle” (ANP) and the normative concerns that motivated it. The paper then documents the (...)
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  4.  15
    Community as Socialist Value.Jesse Spafford - 2019 - Public Affairs Quarterly 33 (3):215-242.
    While socialists often appeal to community as a foundational value—where they take this value to be best promoted by a socialist economic system—few philosophers have attempted to develop an account of the concept. This paper remedies this oversight by providing a positive account of community qua socialist value wherein greater community is said to exist among the members of some groups to the extent that they have a greater disposition to enhance (and a weaker disposition to diminish) one another’s welfare. (...)
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  5.  25
    Community as Socialist Value.Jesse Spafford - 2019 - Public Affairs Quarterly 33 (3):215-42.
    While socialists often appeal to community as a foundational value—where they take this value to be best promoted by a socialist economic system—few philosophers have attempted to develop an account of the concept. This paper remedies this oversight by providing a positive account of community qua socialist value wherein greater community is said to exist among the members of some groups to the extent that they have a greater disposition to enhance (and a weaker disposition to diminish) one another’s welfare. (...)
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  6.  14
    When ‘Enough and as Good’ is Not Good Enough.Jesse Spafford - forthcoming - Res Publica:1-17.
    Under what circumstances can people convert natural resources into private property? John Locke famously answered this question by positing what has become known as the _Lockean proviso_: a person has the power to unilaterally appropriate natural resources ‘at least where there is enough and as good left in common for others’. This Lockean proviso has been widely embraced by right-libertarians who maintain that a relevant act appropriates only if others are not left worse off. However, this proviso is multiply ambiguous (...)
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  7. Explanation, justification, and egalitarianism.Jesse Spafford - 2021 - Synthese 199 (3-4):9699-9724.
    This paper argues that the philosophy of explanation can help inform core debates in value theory. Specifically, it argues that there is a consistent parallelism between the properties of explanation and the properties of justification such that one can reasonably infer that any property of explanation has a counterpart property of justification. Thus, by appealing to facts about the nature of explanation, one can derive various conclusions about the justifications offered by normative theorists. The paper illustrates this point by considering (...)
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  8.  34
    Self‐Ownership and the Duty to Assist.Jesse Spafford - 2022 - Journal of Applied Philosophy 39 (5):857-869.
    Libertarians are attracted to the self-ownership thesis because it seems to satisfy four important theoretical desiderata. First, the thesis treats all persons equally by assigning them the same initial set of rights. Second, the thesis gives people the strongest set of ownership rights possible. Third, it assigns persons a determinate set of rights. And, finally, it grounds the libertarian rejection of a duty to assist, benefit, or rescue others. This article argues that these four desiderata cannot be simultaneously satisfied. Specifically, (...)
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  9.  7
    Social Anarchism and the Rejection of Moral Tyranny.Jesse Spafford - 2023 - Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  10.  17
    Book Review: Strokes of Luck: A Study in Moral and Political Philosophy[REVIEW]Jesse Spafford - 2023 - Ethics 133 (3):429-434.
    The main philosophical contribution of this review is its critical discussion of luck egalitarianism’s Boring Problem. Luck egalitarians want to draw a distinction between inequalities that are due to luck and inequalities that are controlled by the worse-off party. More specifically, they want to say that the former are unjust while the latter are just. This allows them to maintain that a person who imprudently wastes her resources and ends up worse off than another as a result is not the (...)
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