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The Capability Approach, Corona Virus, and Freedom with Prof. Jonathan Wolff

Show Notes

My guest today is the philosophy professor Jonathan Wolff. Jonathan is the Alfred Landecker professor of values and public policy at the University of Oxford's Blavatnik School of Government.

He's one of the more practical philosophers you'd come across, having actively shaped policy in numerous areas, and recently contributed to a paper published in the journal Science on 'An ethical framework for global vaccine allocation.', an issue which I think we can all agree is of vast importance write now. So for those of you out there who're studying philosophy and someone asks what the hell is the point of that, you can use this as an example.

Jonathan the author of many books, some of which include: Ethics and Public Policy, Why Read Marx Today, the philosophy text books 'introduction to moral philosophy' and introduction to political philosophy', and the book that introduced me to his work, 'Disadvantage', where he and his co-author explore what it means to be disadvantaged, how we can compare disadvantages, and what should governments do to move their societies in the direction of equality.

In our conversation we cover: 

  • The Capability Approach
  • Global justice and the nation-state
  • The difficulties of translating philosophy into policy
  • Balancing Life & Liberty in the context of the corona virus, and;
  • Universities in a post-covid world



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