The newest issue of Reason Papers, volume 37.1 (Spring 2015), is now out, our first issue since last July. We’ve been off schedule since 2013, but we’re back on track now, and should have another issue out this fall. Here’s a link to the PDF of the whole issue (189 pages). Here’s a link to our Archive page, which gives access to individual articles. At a mere 189 pages, this issue is shorter than 36.1 (which clocked in at 223 pages), but packed with great material. As usual, there’s an interesting (and coincidental) synergy between some of the pieces.
The issue starts off with a symposium on Christine Vitrano’s 2013 book, The Nature and Value of Happiness, originally an Author-Meets-Critics event at Felician College. John Kleinig makes an Aristotelian-type case against Vitrano; Christopher Rice offers a hedonist objection to her view. And of course, Vitrano responds to both critics. Many of the same topics arise in a different form in David Kelley’s discussion of Ole Martin Moen’s 2012 paper on the Objectivist Ethics (PDF, 30 pages). It pays to read the happiness symposium and Kelley’s discussion of Moen’s article in tandem, and may pay to read both in tandem with recent conversations here at PoT on related subjects. There’s also a book review in the issue on happiness and well-being (by Gary Jason); I anticipate we’ll be getting more material on happiness in the near future.
The symposium on emergencies has two very different pieces, one by Stephen Kershnar on the ethics of warfare, the other by Thomas May and colleagues on emergency planning in medical contexts. The latter article offers a useful coda to the Ebola outbreak last fall. I had wanted to contribute an essay on the definition of “emergency” in Rand’s “The Ethics of Emergencies,” but unfortunately didn’t get around to writing it.
The articles speak for themselves–one on rational choice, one on egoism, one attorney-client confidentiality, one on abortion. I got a lot out of reading them. Naturally, so will you.
Other material continues the discussion of Nozick and Marx from last summer’s issue (Mark Friedman vs. Danny Frederick on Nozick in the Discussion Notes, plus Dan Swain’s review of Paul Blackledge’s Marxism and Ethics). There’s also a short review of Islamic Political Thought–according to our reviewer Adam Walker, “a welcome and useful resource for the non-specialist reader” (worth comparing with Betsy Barre’s 2011 review of Princeton Readings in Islamist Political Thought).
Finally, two snappy pieces in the Afterwords–a review by Robert Begley of the film “Whiplash” (which came out this past fall; if I got out more I’d have seen it by now, but in the last year I’ve only managed to see “Atlas Shrugged 3” and “Interstellar“*) and a short piece by NOL’s Brandon Christensen about his undergraduate experiences at UCLA with Young Americans for Liberty and Students for Liberty. The latter piece is part of our series on contemporary student activism, which began in the July 2014 issue with a book review by the globe-trotting Matt Faherty. Reflecting on what these guys say, it occurs to me that we ought to branch out and get some writing not just from other libertarian activists, but from activists across the political spectrum.
So essentially: drop everything, cancel all the plans you had for this weekend, and read the whole issue. You won’t regret it. You have my word.
Totally random postscript, May 14, 2015: I belatedly remembered that I also saw the movie “Wild.”