Thursday, 27 August 2015
The Essay on Reproductive and Population Ethics that Vox.com Commissioned from Torbjörn Tännsjö, But Didn't Dare Publish
Indeed. For the informed in philosophical ethics, the ideas argued by professor of practical philosophy at Stockholm University and formerly my colleague in Gothenburg and once doctoral supervisor Torbjörn Tännsjö is no news. Apparently, though, it scared the socks off the Vox.com editors, who decided to give in a to a perceived heckler vote and scrap a commissioned piece popularly presenting one of several well-known standard positions in population and reproductive ethics. Of course, this is very good reason to spread the article as widely as poosible, so please download it here. Naturally, this has nothing to do with whether or not you agree with Tännsjö on the issue.
Brian Leiter has the backgroundstory here, including link to a response from the Vox editors, apparently produced in a panic at being faced with a minor uproar around Twitter and other places. Read it, and I think you'll agree that it only strengthen the reasons to continue having their underwear pulled down in public. Apparently it is Vox's official position that if a person holds what they take to be a pro-life opinion on abortion (which ironically Tännsjö don't, he's radically pro-choice! and pro-life positions on the politics of abortion is in no way implied by his argument), they cannot be published in Vox provided the editors don't feel sufficiently "comfortable" about they themselves promoting the view in question. I suppose they universalize this maxim, and publish only opinions they themselves personally feel comfortable promoting – good luck with that sorry excuse for publishing policy! That in addition to their more carefully elaborated exposition of their own lack of journalistic spunk.