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Thomas R. Wells [7]Thomas Wells [3]
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Thomas R. Wells
Leiden University
Thomas R. Wells
Tilburg University
  1. The Path to Gun Control in America Goes Through Political Philosophy.Thomas R. Wells - 2019 - Public Philosophy Journal 2 (1).
    This essay argues that gun control in America is a philosophical as well as a policy debate. This explains the depth of acrimony it causes. It also explains why the technocratic public health argument favored by the gun control movement has been so unsuccessful in persuading opponents and motivating supporters. My analysis also yields some positive advice for advocates of gun control: take the political philosophy of the gun rights movement seriously and take up the challenge of showing that a (...)
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  2. Adam Smith’s Bourgeois Virtues in Competition.Thomas Wells & Johan Graafland - 2012 - Business Ethics Quarterly 22 (2):319-350.
    Whether or not capitalism is compatible with ethics is a long standing dispute. We take up an approach to virtue ethics inspired by Adam Smith and consider how market competition influences the virtues most associated with modern commercial society. Up to a point, competition nurtures and supports such virtues as prudence, temperance, civility, industriousness and honesty. But there are also various mechanisms by which competition can have deleterious effects on the institutions and incentives necessary for sustaining even these most commercially (...)
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  3.  68
    Transformation Without Paternalism.Thomas R. Wells & John B. Davis - 2016 - Journal of Human Development and Capabilities 17 (3):360-376.
    Human development is meant to be transformational in that it aims to improve people's lives by enhancing their capabilities. But who does it target: people as they are or the people they will become? This paper argues that the human development approach relies on an understanding of personal identity as dynamic rather than as static collections of preferences, and that this distinguishes human development from conventional approaches to development. Nevertheless, this dynamic understanding of personal identity is presently poorly conceptualized and (...)
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  4. Review of Michael Sandel's What Money Can't Buy: The Moral Limits of Markets. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2012, 256 Pp. [REVIEW]Thomas R. Wells - 2014 - Erasmus Journal for Philosophy and Economics 7 (1):138-149.
    Michael Sandel’s latest book is not a scholarly work but is clearly intended as a work of public philosophy—a contribution to public rather than academic discourse. The book makes two moves. The first, which takes up most of it, is to demonstrate by means of a great many examples, mostly culled from newspaper stories, that markets and money corrupt—degrade—the goods they are used to allocate. The second follows from the first as Sandel’s proposed solution: we as a society should deliberate (...)
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  5. Adam Smith on Morality and Self-Interest.Thomas R. Wells - 2013 - In Christoph Luetge (ed.), Handbook of the Philosophical Foundations of Business Ethics. Dordrecht, Netherlands: Springer. pp. 281--296.
    Adam Smith is respected as the father of contemporary economics for his work on systemizing classical economics as an independent field of study in The Wealth of Nations. But he was also a significant moral philosopher of the Scottish Enlightenment, with its characteristic concern for integrating sentiments and rationality. This article considers Adam Smith as a key moral philosopher of commercial society whose critical reflection upon the particular ethical challenges posed by the new pressures and possibilities of commercial society remains (...)
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  6.  39
    Exile the Rich!Thomas R. Wells - 2016 - Krisis 2016 (1):19-28.
    The rich have two defining capabilities: independence from and command over others. These make being wealthy very pleasant indeed, but they are also toxic to democracy. First, I analyse the mechanisms by which the presence of very wealthy individuals undermines the two pillars of liberal democracy, equality of citizenship and legitimate social choice. Second, I make a radical proposal. If we value the preservation of democracy we must limit the amount of wealth any individual can have and still be a (...)
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  7.  57
    Welcome to the Inaugural Issue of the EJPE.Tyler DesRoches, Luis Mireles-Flores & Thomas Wells - 2008 - Erasmus Journal for Philosophy and Economics 1 (1).
    Introduction to the Inaugural Issue of the Erasmus Journal for Philosophy and Economics.
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  8.  26
    In Pursuit of the Rarest of Birds: An Interview with Gilbert Faccarello.Gilbert Faccarello, Joost Hengstmengel & Thomas R. Wells - 2014 - Erasmus Journal for Philosophy and Economics 7 (1):86-108.
    GILBERT JEAN FACCARELLO (Paris, 1950) is professor of economics at Université Panthéon-Assas, Paris, and a member of the Triangle research centre (École Normale Supérieure de Lyon and CNRS). He is presently chair of the ESHET Council (European Society for the History of Economic Thought). He completed his doctoral research in economics at Université de Paris X Nanterre. He has previously taught at the Université de Paris-Dauphine, Université du Maine and École Normale Supérieure de Fontenay/Saint-Cloud (now École Normale Supérieure de Lyon). (...)
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  9. Democracy is Not a Truth Machine.Thomas Wells - 2013 - Think 12 (33):75-88.
    ExtractIn a democracy people are free to express their opinions and question those of others. This is an important personal freedom, and also essential to the very idea of government by discussion. But it has also been held to be instrumentally important because in open public debate true ideas will conquer false ones by their merit, and the people will see the truth for themselves. In other words, democracy has an epistemic function as a kind of truth machine. From this (...)
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  10.  45
    Reasoning About Development: Essays on Amartya Sen's Capability Approach.Thomas R. Wells - 2013 - Dissertation, Erasmus University Rotterdam
    Over the last 30 years the Indian philosopher-economist Amartya Sen has developed an original normative approach to the evaluation of individual and social well-being. The foundational concern of this ‘capability approach’ is the real freedom of individuals to achieve the kind of lives they have reason to value. This freedom is analysed in terms of an individual’s ‘capability’ to achieve combinations of such intrinsically valuable ‘beings and doings’ (‘functionings’) as being sufficiently nourished and freely expressing one’s political views. In this (...)
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