The Research Seminar Series in Philosophy invites you to a seminar with Greg Bognar, Stockholm, "Trading Off Lives and Livelihoods".
Public health emergencies sometimes require the restriction of civil liberties through social distancing: lockdowns, quarantines, the closure of public spaces and institutions, and so on. Social distancing measures can decrease mortality and morbidity, but they also cause social and economic harm. Policy makers have to make trade-offs between "lives and livelihoods," while introducing only the minimally necessary restrictions on civil liberties. Traditionally, cost-benefit analysis has played a central role in formulating these trade-offs.
Recently, however, some philosophers have argued that the trade-offs should be made on the basis of contractualist moral theory instead. In this paper, I argue against the use of contractualism for this purpose.
All interested are welcome to participate in this seminar.