Publications

New releases

Warum wir eine Erbschaftssteuer brauchen
Eine philosophische Verteidigung
Marcel Twele
De Gruyter, 2023

In der vorliegenden Arbeit wird eine normative Analyse und Verteidigung der Erbschaftssteuer unternommen. Zunächst wird eine egalitaristische Argumentation für die Steuer entfaltet. Aufgrund ihrer progressiven Struktur ist die Erbschaftssteuer ein geeignetes Instrument, um der wachsenden ökonomischen Ungleichheit entgegenzuwirken und letztlich verschiedene egalitäre Ideale (politische Gleichheit, Chancengleicheit etc.) zu befördern. Anschließend wird untersucht, wie aus normativer Perspektive zu beurteilen ist, dass der Erblasser bei Erhebung der Steuer nicht mehr lebt. Die restliche Arbeit besteht in einer Auseinandersetzung mit den wichtigsten Einwänden gegen die Erbschaftssteuer. So wird oft behauptet, diese verletze die natürlichen Eigentumsrechte des Erblassers bzw. des Erben und sie ignoriere zudem die Verdienstansprüche des Erblassers. Schließlich sei die Steuer aus diversen „familien-basierten" Erwägungen abzulehnen. Nicht nur werden diese Einwände erfolgreich zurückgewiesen; ferner wird gezeigt, dass einige der, diesen Argumenten zugrundeliegenden, Prinzipien selbst zur Verteidigung einer egalitären Erbschaftssteuer (also einer Erbschaftssteuer, die aus egalitären Prinzipien folgt) herangezogen werden können.

 

The Dworkin–Williams debate: Liberty, conceptual integrity, and tragic conflict in politics
Matthieu Queloz
Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, 2023

Bernard Williams articulated his later political philosophy notably in response to Ronald Dworkin, who, striving for coherence or integrity among our political concepts, sought to immunize the concepts of liberty and equality against conflict. Williams, doubtful that we either could or should eliminate the conflict, resisted the pursuit of conceptual integrity. Here, I reconstruct this Dworkin–Williams debate with an eye to drawing out ideas of ongoing philosophical and political importance. The debate not only exemplifies Williams's political realism and its connection to his critique of the morality system. It also illustrates the virtues and hazards of contemporary efforts to ameliorate or engineer our concepts; it indicates what political philosophy might look to in appraising political concepts; it adverts to the different needs these concepts have to meet if they are to sustain a politics of pluralism, deal with polarization, and secure the consent of those who end up on the losing side of political decisions; and it presents us with two starkly contrasting conceptions of politics itself, of the place of political values within it, and of our prospects of reducing the uncomfortably conflictual character of those values through philosophy.

Kritische Selbstreflexion, vernünftige Meinungsbildung und argumentative Kompetenzen
Georg Brun, Dominique Kuenzle
Vienna University Press, 2023

Es ist unbestritten, dass kritische Selbstreflexion und vernünftige Meinungsbildung zu den allgemeinen Bildungszielen gehören. Argumentative Fähigkeiten sind dafür unerlässlich, weil sie immer eine wesentliche Rolle spielen, wenn es darum geht, ein Sachgebiet anhand einer Theorie zu verstehen. Der Beitrag zeigt dies unter Rückgriff auf die erkenntnistheoretische Idee des Überlegungsgleichgewichts, illustriert die Funktion argumentativer Fähigkeiten am Beispiel des anthropogenen Klimawandels und schlägt einige institutionelle und curriculare Konsequenzen vor.

 

Logical Forms. Validity and Variety of Formalizations
Georg Brun
Logic and Logical Philosophy, 2023

Formalizations in first-order logic are standardly used to represent logical forms of sentences and to show the validity of ordinary-language arguments. Since every sentence admits of a variety of formalizations, a challenge arises: why should one valid formalization suffice to show validity even if there are other, invalid, formalizations? This paper suggests an explanation with reference to criteria of adequacy which ensure that formalizations are related in a hierarchy of more or less specific formalizations. This proposal is then compared with stronger criteria and assumptions, especially the idea that sentences essentially have just one logical form.

 

Buchcover

The Life Worth Living in Ancient Greek and Roman Philosophy
David Machek
Cambridge University Press, 2023

The account of the best life for humans – i.e. a happy or flourishing life – and what it might consist of was the central theme of ancient ethics. But what does it take to have a life that, if not happy, is at least worth living, compared with being dead or never having come into life? This question was also much discussed in antiquity, and David Machek's book reconstructs, for the first time, philosophical engagements with the question from Socrates to Plotinus. Machek's comprehensive book explores ancient views on a life worth living against a background of the pessimistic outlook on the human condition which was adopted by the Greek poets, and also shows the continuities and contrasts between the ancient perspective and modern philosophical debates about biomedical ethics and the ethics of procreation. His rich study of this relatively neglected theme offers a fresh and compelling narrative of ancient ethics.

 

Portrait von Nietzsche

Nietzsche’s Conceptual Ethics
Matthieu Queloz
Inquiry, 2023

If ethical reflection on which concepts to use has an avatar, it must be Nietzsche, who took more seriously than most the question of what concepts one should live by. Yet Nietzsche engages in two seemingly disparate modes of concept evaluation: one looks to concepts’ effects, the other to what concepts express. I offer an account of the expressive character of concepts which unifies these two modes. His fundamental concern, I argue, is with the effects concepts are likely to have going forward, but this concern motivates his preoccupation with what concepts express in a specific sense: he works back from a concept via the need it fills to the conditions that engender that need and thereby render the concept pointful. For a concept to be pointful is for it to serve the concerns of its users through its effects. But even when it is not pointful, a concept expresses the presuppositions of its pointfulness, which we can work back to by asking who would have need of such a concept. What emerges is a powerful approach to conceptual ethics that looks beyond the formal virtues and vices of concepts at the presuppositions we buy into by using them.

 

Gesplitterte Glasscheibe vor schwarzem Hintergrund

Potentialism and S5
Jonas Werner
Canadian Journal of Philosophy, 2023

Modal potentialism as proposed by Barbara Vetter (2015) is the view that every possibility is grounded in something having a potentiality. Drawing from work by Jessica Leech (2017), Samuel Kimpton-Nye (2021) argues that potentialists can have an S5 modal logic. I present a novel argument to the conclusion that the most straightforward way of spelling out modal potentialism cannot validate an S5 modal logic. Then I will propose a slightly tweaked version of modal potentialism that can validate an S5 modal logic and still does justice to the core claim of potentialism.

 

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