A collective volume entitled Arguing about justice has just been published on the occasion of Philippe Van Parijs’s 60th birthday. The book was launched on October 28th, 2011, during the celebrations of the Hoover Chair (Louvain University) 20th anniversary, and remained a complete surprise for Van Parijs himself. The editors Axel Gosseries and Yannick Vanderborght had managed to convince almost 50 authors from all over the world, who all respect Philippe’s ideas and like him as a person, to join this secret project. The authors were asked to write pieces trying out new ideas, taking risks if possible, without knowing anything about who the other authors were, their number, the publisher’s name, the venue for the gift-giving, etc.

The diversity of Van Parijs’s research interests is reflected in the volume, with contributors from various disciplines covering a wide array of issues. Papers on basic income are of course well represented. They consider how and to what extent such a basic income can be justified (Christian Arnsperger & Warren A. Johnson, Samuel Bowles, Paul-Marie Boulanger, Ian Carter, Robert van der Veen, and Karl Widerquist) as well as the prospects of its implementation, based on experiences from France (Denis Clerc), the United Kingdom (Bill Jordan), Brazil (Eduardo Suplicy), or at a more general level (Almaz Zelleke). Among the other authors are Anne Alstott, Bruce Ackerman, John Baker, Joshua Cohen, Jon Elster, Robert Goodin, Claus Offe, John Roemer, Erik Olin Wright, and many others.

The endorsement by Amartya Sen reads as follows: “A book of quick and sharp thoughts on a grand theme is a novel way of paying tribute to a leading philosopher. But it has worked beautifully here, both as a stimulating book of ideas on justice, and as a fitting recognition of the intellectual contributions of Philippe Van Parijs, who is one of the most original and most creative thinkers of our time”.

Further details about the book (including all abstracts) and how to order it online are available at: https://www.uclouvain.be/394650.html

About Yannick Vanderborght

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