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CPP Colloquium with Bruno Verbeek "Is there justice in taxation?"

Thursday 25 October 2018
CPP Colloquia 2018-2019
P.J. Veth
Nonnensteeg 1-3
2311 VJ Leiden

Is there justice in taxation?

The Center for Political Philosophy in Leiden is pleased to announce a talk by

Bruno Verbeek (Leiden)

Afbeeldingsresultaat voor bruno verbeek


When reading contemporary theories of distributive justice one easily gets the impression that institutional design is merely instrumentally relevant for the implementation of the favored conception of justice. This is especially the case when thinking about the tax regime. For example, Liam Murphy and Tom Nagel in The Myth of Ownership argue that the moral evaluation of a tax regime boils down to assessing whether it is effective and efficient in realizing the preferred overall pattern of distribution. As a result, they claim that there are no special principles of justice in taxation.

In this paper, I discuss four arguments for this negative conclusion and show that these are inconclusive. I also suggest some reasons to believe that the question whether the tax system is just is not exhausted by determining its contribution to a just distribution of burdens and benefits.


Bruno Verbeek (PhD University of Amsterdam 1998) is Director of the Centre for Political Philosophy at Leiden University and University Lecturer in the Institute for Philosophy of Leiden University. He has worked on the application of rational choice theory to issues in ethics, political philosophy, and legal theory. He is the author of Moral Philosophy and Instrumental Rationality (2002) as well as several articles on social norms, conventions, and the rationality of pre- commitment strategies in bargaining and other contexts. Currently, he is working on questions concerning the justice of taxation.

About the Center for Political Philosophy (CPP) Colloquia Series

The CPP is a collaboration between the Institute for Philosophy and the Institute for Political Science at Leiden University. Attendance of the Colloquia is free and there is no need to register. See CPP for more information. For further questions please contact dr. Dorota Mokrosinska at d.m.mokrosinska@phil.leidenuniv.nl

All are welcome!

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