Sharing Nature's Bounty: The Moral Case for a Universal Equal Endowment of Resources and its Political Implications
http://data.open.ac.uk/ahproject/project/E3AE9BDA-06C1-42E3-B671-58287D54C67E
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Collaborator University of Exeter
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Has principal investigator Keith Hyams
Has co-investigator Robert Lamb
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Status Closed
Identifier AH/F018878/1
abstract Although a shared commitment to equality can be identified in contemporary political philosophy, there is no consensus on what that commitment actually entails in terms of the distribution of goods within society. One influential movement within this debate is that which has been called 'left-libertarianism'. Left-libertarians attempt to synthesise our moral intuitions about both freedom and equality, demonstrating that the two concepts need not conflict, as ideological debate in the past has often suggested. Two principles are foundational in left-libertarian theory: first, that individuals have rights against interference by others; second, that no individuals have any special claims to the world's resources, and that the world's resources should therefore be shared out equally amongst everyone. According to left-libertarians, everyone should receive an endowment of resources at the start of their lives, or a basic income throughout their lives, representing their share of the world's resources. \n\nOur project, Sharing Nature's Bounty, aims to clarify the moral case for the left-libertarian endowments proposal and to explore its political implications, seeking to bridge the gap between theory and practice. We will provide a philosophical articulation and defence of the underlying left-libertarian moral commitment to equality, and show what sort of equal endowment of resources is most suitable for the realisation of that commitment. We will ask how to determine the appropriate size of the proposed endowment, and whether individuals should receive a one-off endowment at the start of their lives, or a basic income throughout their lives.\n\nUnlike many other studies of its kind, this project aims to go beyond the traditional scope of philosophical discussions to examine the political implications of the equal endowment policy proposed. In particular, we will focus on the extent to which left-libertarian proposals require government taxation, and consider how such taxation should be implemented. We will focus particular attention on the implications of our research for global justice, examining how the endowments proposal could be implemented at the international level.\n\nThe project will involve two Investigators at the University of Exeter and a PhD student, also based at Exeter. It aims to answer important questions within contemporary political philosophy, to build capacity in this area of research, to develop networks around the project themes, and to promote the professional development of those participating in the project.\n\nThe project also aims to develop the use our research in real-world policy making decisions. In order to acheive this aim, in addition to the academic articles and two manuscripts that we will publish, we will also write articles for publications with more general readerships such as The Economist magazine and The New Statesman. We will hold annual workshops and a large final-year conference involving participants from academia and beyond, including policy makers, think tanks and civil-society organisations.
Type Project
Label Sharing Nature's Bounty: The Moral Case for a Universal Equal Endowment of Resources and its Political Implications
homepage http://gtr.rcuk.ac.uk:80/projects?ref=AH%2FF018878%2F1
Title Sharing Nature's Bounty: The Moral Case for a Universal Equal Endowment of Resources and its Political Implications

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