Archives



Academic Activism: No Good Deed Goes Unpunished

January 17, 2017

A book review of The Public Professor, by M.V. Lee Badgett, NYU Press, 2016

Out with Regime Change

January 14, 2017

Conflating "the responsibility to protect" with regime change is, in effect, one reason the tragic civil war in Syria is continuing. 

Social Justice in the Post-Affluent Society

January 11, 2017

The article spells out the reasons and provides evidence in support of the hypothesis that if the culture of a society shifts from one that extols affluence to one that extols communitarian pursuit

Barn with "Trump" painted on it.

“We Must Not Be Enemies”

December 05, 2016

In the aftermath of the November elections, progressives should stop asking themselves what went wrong and focus on where to go from here. 

Talking to the Muslim World: how, and with whom?

November 22, 2016

The struggle against terrorism in the Middle East has led to a quest to find ways to counter the normative appeal of violent extremists, especially the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

Reining in Private Agents

November 21, 2016

Major segments of Western political and social philosophy, public disclosure, and policymaking hold the private sector to be basically the realm of freedom—and the government as the power that ne

How Aggressive Is China?

August 29, 2016

Several policymakers and other experts have called China’s behavior, especially its activities in the South and East China Seas, ‘aggressive.’ This article compares China’s behavior with a suggested definition of ‘aggression’ based on the one enshrined in international law, and it finds that these experts’ use of the term ‘aggressive’ is inconsistent with this definition.

Designing AI Systems that Obey Our Laws and Values

August 25, 2016

Operational AI systems need to obey both the law of the land and our values. We propose AI oversight systems (“AI Guardians”) as an approach to addressing this challenge, and to respond to the potential risks associated with increasingly autonomous AI systems

The fusion of the private and public sectors

July 27, 2016

Much of contemporary analysis treats the public and private sectors as two rather separate and fundamentally different realms. Many see one of the two sectors as inherently virtuous and the other as corrupt. The paper shows, in considerable detail, that the two sectors are deeply intertwined. It follows that we need a rather different framework to study state and society.

The Surprising Link between Sustainability and Social Justice

July 22, 2016

The economic downturn (and rising inequality) has contributed to the rise of political alienation; the rise of a variety of right-wing expressions including xenophobia, racism, and anti-Semitism; and support for radical right-wing parties and politicians. What do these developments portend for the future?

From Partnership to Community

June 16, 2016

President of Israel Reuven Rivlin is calling for a dialogue among four “tribes” to develop a framework for a society-wide partnership in Israel.

The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank: A Case Study of Multifaceted Containment

June 02, 2016

Although some analysts have emphasized the importance of China’s becoming a “responsible stakeholder” in the international order, the United States has in effect blocked China’s full participation in a range of existing international institutions and attempted to undermine China’s efforts to create and lead new international institutions.

AI Assisted Ethics

May 05, 2016

The growing number of ‘smart’ instruments, those equipped with AI, has raised concerns because these instruments make autonomous decisions; that is, they act beyond the guidelines provided them by programmers. Hence, the question the makers and users of smart instruments face is how to ensure that these instruments will not engage in unethical conduct.

Happiness is the Wrong Metric

April 04, 2016

People are motivated not only by a quest for satisfaction but also by trying to live up to their sense of what is moral. This sense cannot be reduced to a form of satisfaction, among other reasons because it often engenders pain and sacrifice rather than pleasure.

Transforming the Active Orientation

March 29, 2016

Technology should help cultivate social and moral progress, rather than endless growth and consumerism.