2021 in review




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[Past annual reviews: 2020, 2019 & ’18, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005, and 2004.]Off the blog:The biggest development for me was joining utilitarianism.net as lead editor. I then completed their chapters on population ethics and theories of well-being, and wrote a new chapter outlining some basic arguments for utilitarianism. More to come soon!For more traditional academic publications:* Parfit’s Ethics appeared in print with Cambridge University Press. (Summary here.)* ‘Pandemic Ethics and Status Quo Risk’ (summarized here) was accepted by Public Health Ethics.* ‘Negative Utility Monsters’ was published in Utilitas.I’m also pretty excited about various works-in-progress that are currently under review, especially my new paradox of deontology…Blog posts:Normative Ethics* The Cost of Contraints — sets out the core of my “new paradox of deontology”. Further developed in Preferring to Act Wrongly, Why Constraints are Agent Neutral, and Discounting Illicit Benefits.* The Most Important Thing in the World — is plausibly the trajectory of the long-term future.* The Paralysis of Deontology* Three Dogmas of Utilitarianism — (i) Confusing value with what’s valuable; (ii) Neglecting fittingness; and (iii) Treating all interests as innocent.* Agency as a Force for Good — and the appeal of consequentialism.* Learning from Lucifer — If Satan would be a consequentialist, should the good guys be likewise (just, you know, with better goals)? Or is there a deeper asymmetry between right and wrong?* Tendentious Terminology in Ethics — against common uses of “mere means” and “separateness of persons” talk.* Is Effective Altruism Inherent Utilitarian? I suggest not. There’s a weaker normative principle in the. . .

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Billionaire Philanthropy

What should billionaires do? People love to criticize billionaire philanthropy, e.g. as “undemocratic”. I find this so weird. Given that...