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Adrian Walsh

Adrian Walsh is Professor of Philosophy at the University of New England. He works mainly in political philosophy and the philosophy of economics. His most recent work is the edited collection The Ethical Underpinnings of Climate Economics.

Adrian Walsh reviews ‘Limitarianism: The case against extreme wealth’ by Ingrid Robeyns

July 2024, no. 466 21 June 2024
Can people have too much wealth? Does extreme wealth have negative consequences? Over the past thirty years, there has been a remarkable rise in the number of billionaires whose annual earnings are so large that they are often difficult to comprehend. To take but one example, it was estimated in 2022 by Forbes magazine that Elon Musk’s personal assets were worth $219 billion and that, if he work ... (read more)

Adrian Walsh reviews 'Being Evil: A philosophical perspective' by Luke Russell

March 2021, no. 429 17 December 2020
In the aftermath of horrendous acts of lethal violence, such as the murder by Brenton Tarrant of fifty-one people in two Christchurch mosques in 2019, and other vicious acts of torture and sadistic cruelty, it is not at all uncommon for public commentators to invoke the language of evil – that there is evil in our midst. Perhaps the most well-known contemporary example of this was George W. Bush ... (read more)

Adrian Walsh reviews 'How Fear Works: Culture of fear in the twenty-first century' by Frank Furedi

April 2020, no. 420 24 June 2019
Fear has always been a dominant element of human existence, across all human societies, but has our attitude to it changed? It might be argued that our concern with threats has become more pronounced. Is the twenty-first century an especially fearful period in human history? At the heart of Frank Furedi’s book is the striking assertion that the concept of ‘fear’ is key to understanding our ... (read more)

Adrian Walsh reviews 'The Inheritance of Wealth: Justice, equality, and the right to bequeath' by Daniel Halliday

September 2018, no. 404 23 August 2018
To what extent does the social practice of inheritance undermine social justice? Indeed, if inheritance does further inequality, should we, in order to ensure a fairer society, restrict the right to bequeath? A mainstay of political philosophy since the late seventeenth century, questions such as these were still vigorously debated in the public sphere in the early twentieth century. However, one ... (read more)

Adrian Walsh reviews 'The Production of Money: How to break the power of bankers' by Ann Pettifor

June-July 2017, no. 392 31 May 2017
What is money, how do we create it, and how politically significant is its production? In The Production of Money, political economist Ann Pettifor makes the striking claim that the way we currently produce money gives rise to one of the most substantial challenges facing Western democracy. But how could this be so? Money is produced by printing presses and there we have the end of it. What threat ... (read more)

Adrian Walsh reviews 'Trillion Dollar Baby: How Norway Beat the Oil Giants and Won a Lasting Fortune' by Paul Cleary

January–February 2017, no. 388 21 December 2016
The casual visitor to Oslo, with little or no knowledge of Norway’s recent history, could be forgiven for being unaware that per capita this is one of the wealthiest nations in the world. With its predominantly nineteenth-century streetscapes and the absence of large or monumental buildings, there is in fact little evidence, except for the recently built opera house on the harbour, that Oslo is ... (read more)

Adrian Walsh reviews 'How Propaganda Works' by Jason Stanley

April 2016, no. 380 29 March 2016
Jason Stanley argues in his new book that propaganda is more prevalent within liberal democracies – and is of far greater concern – than is typically assumed. Indeed, Stanley suggests that the very idea that propaganda only proliferates within authoritarian regimes, which have ministries set aside for its production, is a central tenet of the propaganda of the West. Stanley's aim in this book ... (read more)

Adrian Walsh reviews 'Consciousness and Moral Responsibility' by Neil Levy

December 2015, no. 377 27 November 2015
Consider the following dilemma. If it is possible to identify the cause of a person's action and beliefs – causes that are outside the agent's own conscious reasoning – in what sense can we say that the person chooses what she does or she thinks? If the person did not consciously choose, then it is reasonable to ask whether she should be held morally responsible for any of the subsequent conse ... (read more)

Adrian Walsh reviews 'Hard Times: The divisive toll of the economic slump' by Tom Clark and Adrian Heath

March 2015, no. 369 01 March 2015
It is now more than six years since the Global Financial Crisis threatened to topple the banking systems of the Western world. Although a complete breakdown in the financial system was ultimately avoided, one consequence of the events of 2008 has been the biggest slump in economic activity since the Great Depression. Australia was, in the main, spared the economic damage that ravaged large parts o ... (read more)

Adrian Walsh reviews 'The Worldly Philosopher: The odyssey of Albert O. Hirschman' by Jeremy Adelman and 'The Essential Hirschman' edited by Jeremy Adelman

September 2014, no. 364 01 September 2014
Albert O. Hirschman (1915–2012) was a development economist and political theorist whose work is essential reading for anyone interested in understanding how economic life figures in the political worlds we inhabit and the ways in which we give meaning to our lives in market-based societies. Perhaps best known for the distinction between ‘exit’ and ‘voice’, Hirschman was a prolific theor ... (read more)
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