Intrinsically Scarce Goods

November 12, 2004 - 12:00pm to 1:30pm

Harris School of Public Policy Studies, Room 140c

Michael J. Green, Assistant Professor of Philosophy, University of Chicago, and Rachel Barney, Associate Professor of Philosophy, University of Toronto

View the paper: "Intrinsically Scarce Goods"

In this article, Barney and Green are concerned with a class of goods that are both scarce and valued for experiences that depend on their authenticity and unmediated access to them. Such goods include prehistoric cave paintings, spectacular natural sites, and several of the arts. Because these goods are scarce, access to them must be restricted if they are to survive. After characterizing the goods we have in mind, this essay proposes a scheme for distributing access to them. Finally, the authors suggest that the lessons learned from considering these goods and their distribution can be applied to other kinds of goods.

ABOUT MICHAEL GREEN: Michael Green is Assistant Professor of Philosophy and a member of the Human Rights Program. He received his A.B. from the University of Michigan (1989) and Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley (1997). He held lectureships at McGill (1996-97) and Stanford (1997-99) Universities and joined the faculty of the University of Chicago in 1999. He received the Quantrell Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching in 2004. Green works primarily in the areas of ethics and political philosophy. He has published and delivered papers on justice, nationalism, Thomas Hobbes, and David Hume’s theory of personal identity.

ABOUT RACHEL BARNEY: Rachel Barney is Associate Professor of Classics at the University of Toronto, where she is also appointed in the Philosophy Department. She received her Ph.D. from Princeton University (1996) and her B.A. form the University of Toronto (1989). She has also held the Canada Research Chair in Ancient Philosophy at the University of Toronto. Her current research interests include Plato’s Gorgias, Platonic ethics and moral psychology, and the sophistic movement. She has published in “Oxford Studies in Ancient Philosophy” and “Phronesis,” among other places.

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