Understanding Society

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Huub Brouwer MA MSc

foto Huub Brouwer

I am PhD Candidate in Political Philosophy at the Tilburg Center for Logic, Ethics, and Philosophy of Science (TiLPS). My project is supervised by Dr. Bart Engelen, Prof. Dr. Maureen Sie, and Prof. Dr. Serena Olsaretti. My primary research interests are in theories of distributive justice (especially desert-based and luck egalitarian ones) and philosophy of taxation. My secondary research interests are in theories of well-being and philosophy of death.           I have a BA in Liberal Arts and Sciences from University College Utrecht (2011, cum laude), an MA in Business and Economics from the Stockholm School of Economics (2013) and an MSc in Philosophy and Economics from Erasmus University Rotterdam (2015, cum laude). During my first master's, I spent a semester at Sciences Po Paris (2013). During my PhD, I spent a semester at the Philosophy and Law research group at Pompeu Fabra University (2016). 

I am one of the editors of the Erasmus Journal for Philosophy and Economics. I am a co-organizer of the OZSW peer review circle practical philosophy

Research project: Can Earnings Be Deserved?

Keywords: desert, luck egalitarianism, markets, taxation

Desert has been a central notion in philosophical discussions of distributive justice for centuries. Since the 1970s, however, the concept has largely been absent from such discussions. Philosophers of all stripes have rejected desert - from John Rawls to Robert Nozick. I do not think that the arguments against desert imply that the it should play no role at all in distribution in a just society. The aim of my project is to investigate what aspects of desert-based theories of justice should be salvaged from - to use John Kleinig’s terminology - the 'philosophical scrap heap’ to which the concept has been consigned. Topics that interest me in particular are (1) responsibility requirements on desert claims, (2) the ways in which desert may help luck egalitarians to flesh out the consequences of option luck, (3) the justifiability of an asymmetry of desert between the distributive and retributive spheres of justice, (4) the relevance of folk intuitions for theorising about justice, and (5) the ways in which desert-based theories of justice could be implemented through systems of taxation.