Talks on radio; podcasts

'Is Inequality Bad?' Philosophy Bites. Link here.

'On Philippa Foot' (with Sarah Broadie). Link here.

'On Exploitation' (An episode of The Philosopher's Arms, BBC Radio 4.) Available here.

'Can We Trust Our Moral Intuitions?'  The Forum (BBC World Service). Link here.

Videos

'Why do we need moral philosophers?' (Gearty Grilling, LSE). Link here.

'Ethics and the Importance of Dialogue' (LSE Research Channel). Link here.

'Distributive Justice and Universal Health Coverage' (LSE Philosophy). Link here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Alex Voorhoeve

I'm an Associate Professor in the Department of Philosophy, Logic and Scientific Method at the LSE. I hold an M.Sc. in Economics (1997) and an M.A. in Philosophy (1999) from Erasmus University Rotterdam. After finishing my economics degree, I worked for a year as an economist at the Netherlands' Ministry of Finance, before giving in to the temptation to do graduate study in philosophy. I completed an M.Phil. in Philosophy at Cambridge (2000) and then a Ph.D. in Philosophy (with co-supervision in the Economics Department) at University College London (2006). I joined LSE in 2004 and have worked here ever since, though I have held visiting positions at Harvard (2008-09), Princeton (2012-13) and the National Institutes of Health, U.S. (2016-17).

Most of my research is in one of the three following areas, though I have broader interests, including in the philosophy of death and the thought of Bernard Mandeville, David Hume and Adam Smith.

1. Liberal Egalitarianism

I work on several questions that are central to liberal egalitarian theory:

Does it matter that some are worse off than others?

What role do people's opportunities to choose play in the justification of social arrangements?

What is a suitably neutral conception of well-being?

2. Decision Theory and Moral Decision-Making

I am interested in what psychology reveals to us about how we actually make decisions and what rational choice theory and moral reflection tell us about how we should make decisions.

3. Applied Philosophy: A Fair Allocation of Resources in Health Care.

I try to apply philosophical analysis to decisions on how to use limited resources to meet people's needs, particularly in health care. To this end, I served as a member of the World Health Organisation's Consultative Group on Equity and Universal Health Coverage. I'm also a member of Giving What We Can.

 

 

 

 

E-mail: a [dot] e [dot] voorhoeve [at] lse [dot] ac [dot] uk

 

LSE Experts page

 

Philpapers page

 

Google Scholar page

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Responses to the report

 

 

 

 

Reviews

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Counter-Composition of Dissonances (fragment)

by Theo van Doesburgh

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Counter-Composition VI by

Theo van Doesburgh (TATE modern)

Working papers             Publications              Grants            Teaching                   CV    

Working papers

Similarity and Moral Choice. Alex Voorhoeve, Arnaldur Stefansson, and Brian Wallace.

Further data and analysis here.

Healthy Nails versus Long Lives: The Psychology, Theory and Practice of Weighing Small against Large Burdens.

Why Health-Related Inequalities Matter and which Ones Do.

Making Fair Choices on the Path to Universal Health Coverage: Applying Principles to Difficult Cases. Alex Voorhoeve*, Tessa TT Edejer,* Lydia Kapiriri*, Ole F Norheim*, James Snowden*, Olivier Basenya, Dorjsuren Bayarsaikhan, Ikram Chentaf, Nir Eyal, Amanda Folsom, Rozita Halina Tun Hussein, Cristian Morales, Florian Ostmann, Trygve Ottersen, Phusit Prakongsai, Carla Saenz, Karima Saleh, Angkana Sommanustweechai, Daniel Wikler, Afisah Zakariah (* = lead author).

Universal Health Coverage, Priority Setting and the Human Right to Health. Benedict Rumbold, Rachel Baker, Octavio Ferraz, Sarah Hawkes, Carleigh Krubiner, Peter Littlejohns, Ole Frithjof Norheim, Thomas Pegram, Annette Rid, Sridhar Venkatapuram, Alex Voorhoeve, Daniel Wang, Albert Weale, James Wilson, Alicia Ely Yamin, and Paul Hunt.

Should Losses Count? A Critique of the Complaint Model. Choice Group Working Papers Vol 2 (2006).

Publications

Report

Making Fair Choices on the Path to Universal Health Coverage: Final Report of the WHO Consultative Group on Equity and Universal Health Coverage. Trygve Ottersen,* Ole F Norheim,* Frehiwot Berhane, Bona Chitah, Richard Cookson, Norman Daniels,  Nir Eyal, Walter Flores, Axel Gosseries, Daniel Hausman, Samia Hurst, Lydia Kapiriri, Toby Ord, Andreas Reis, Ritu Sadana, Carla Saenz, Shlomi Segall, Gita Sen, Tessa Tan-Torres Edejer, Alex Voorhoeve, Daniel Wikler, and Alicia Yamin (* = lead author). World Health Organization (2014). French translation (2015). Spanish translation (2015).

Responses to and impact of the report.

Book

Conversations on Ethics. Oxford University Press (2009). (UK) (US). Simplified Chinese translation, Xinhua Press (2015).

A book of conversations on moral philosophy with leading thinkers from philosophy, psychology and evolutionary theory. With photographs by Steve Pyke. For reviews click here.

Sample chapters:

Introduction

Chapter 1: Frances Kamm: In Search of the Deep Structure of Morality

Chapter 3: Daniel Kahneman: Can We Trust Our Moral Intuitions?

Chapter 4: Philippa Foot: The Grammar of Goodness

Journal articles and book chapters (English)

May a Government Mandate More Extensive Health Insurance than Citizens Want for Themselves? Oxford Studies in Political Philosophy, Vol. 4 (forthcoming).

Equality versus Priority. Michael Otsuka and Alex Voorhoeve. In Serena Olsaretti (ed.) Oxford Handbook of Distributive Justice. Oxford University Press (forthcoming).

Three Case Studies in Making Fair Choices on the Path to Universal Health Coverage. Alex Voorhoeve, Tessa TT Edejer, Lydia Kapiriri, Ole F Norheim, Olivier Basenya, Dorjsuren Bayarsaikhan, Ikram Chentaf, Nir Eyal, Amanda Folsom, Rozita Halina Tun Hussein, Cristian Morales, Florian Ostmann, Trygve Ottersen, Phusit Prakongsai, Carla Saenz, Karima Saleh, Angkana Sommanustweechai, James Snowden, Dan Wikler, Afisah Zakariah. Health and Human Rights Journal (forthcoming).

Why One Should Count only Claims with which One Can Sympathize. Public Health Ethics (forthcoming).

Ambiguity Attitudes, Framing, and Consistency. Alex Voorhoeve, Ken Binmore, Arnaldur Stefansson, and Lisa Stewart. Theory and Decision 81 (2016): 313-37.

Further data and analysis is here.

Priority or Equality for Possible People? Alex Voorhoeve and Marc Fleurbaey. Ethics 126 (2016): 929-54.

Making Fair Choices on the Path to Universal Health Coverage: A Precis. Alex Voorhoeve, Ole Frithjof Norheim and Trygve Ottersen. Health Economics, Policy, and Law 11 (2016): 71-7.

Replies to Our Critics. Alex Voorhoeve, Trygve Ottersen and Ole Frithjof Norheim. Health Economics, Policy, and Law 11 (2016): 103-11.

On the Social and Personal Value of Existence. Marc Fleurbaey and Alex Voorhoeve. In Iwao Hirose and Andrew Reisner (ed.) Weighing and Reasoning: Themes from the Work of John Broome. Oxford University Press (2015): 95-109.

How Should We Aggregate Competing Claims? Ethics 125 (2014): 64-87.

Subject of the following responses:

John Halstead, The Numbers Always Count. Ethics 126 (2016): 789-802. (Why One Should Count only Claims with Which One Can Sympathize replies to this criticism.)

Gabriele Badano, On the Moral Importance of Numbers, Relevance, and the Workings of Non-Aggregative Reasoning. Ethical Perspectives, forthcoming.

Response to Rabin. In Adam Oliver (ed.), Behavioural Public Policy. Cambridge University Press (2013): 140-147.

Vaulting Intuition: Temkin's Critique of Transitivity. (Critical Notice of Temkin's Rethinking the Good.) Economics and Philosophy, 29 (2013): 409-25.

Decide as You Would with Full Information! An Argument against ex ante Pareto. Marc Fleurbaey and Alex Voorhoeve. In Nir Eyal, Samia Hurst, Ole Norheim, and Dan Wikler (eds.), Inequalities in Health: Concepts, Measures, and Ethics. Oxford University Press (2013), pp. 113-128.

Subject of a response by Johann Frick, 'Uncertainty and Justifiability to Each Person: A Response to Fleurbaey and Voorhoeve'. In the same volume, pp. 129-146.

How Much Ambiguity Aversion? Finding Indifferences Between Ellsberg's Risky and Ambiguous Bets. Ken Binmore, Lisa Stewart and Alex Voorhoeve. Journal of Risk and Uncertainty 45 (2012): 215-38.

Note: the pdf on the above link corrects some typos in the original.

Egalitarianism and the Separateness of Persons. Alex Voorhoeve and Marc Fleurbaey. Utilitas 24 (2012): 381-98.

Subject of a response by Keith Hyams, Hypothetical Choice, Egalitarianism, and the Separateness of Persons. Utilitas 27 (2015): 217-239.

Reply to Crisp. Michael Otsuka and Alex Voorhoeve. Utilitas 23 (2011): 109-14.

Why It Matters that Some Are Worse Off Than Others: An Argument Against the Priority View. Michael Otsuka and Alex Voorhoeve. Philosophy & Public Affairs 37 (2009): 171-99.

Subject of a one-day conference 'Problems with Priority?', November 19, 2010 at the University of Manchester.

Subject of the following responses:

Roger Crisp, In Defence of the Priority View: A Response to Otsuka and Voorhoeve, Utilitas 23 (2011): 105-8. See our 'Reply to Crisp' (above).

Andrew Williams, The Priority View Bites the Dust? Utilitas 24 (2012): 315-31.

Martin O'Neill, Priority, Preference, and Value. Utilitas 24 (2012): 332-48.

Thomas Porter, In Defence of the Priority View. Utilitas 24 (2012): 349-64.

Derek Parfit, Another Defence of the Priority View. Utilitas 24 (2012): 399-440.

Greg Bognar, Empirical and Armchair Ethics. Utilitas 24 (2012): 467-82.

Matthew Rendall, Priority and Desert. Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 16:5 (2013), 939-951.

Shlomi Segall, In Defense of Priority (and Equality). Philosophy, Politics and Economics 14 (2015): 343-64.

Benjamin Lange, Restricted Prioritarianism or Competing Claims? Utilitas, forthcoming.

 

For an analysis of the different positions in this debate, see:

Michael Weber, Prioritarianism. Philosophy Compass 9 (2014): 756-768.

Luc Bovens, Concerns for the Poorly Off in Ordering Risky Prospects. Economics and Philosophy 31 (2015): 397-429.

Luc Bovens, Evaluation Risky Prospects: the Distribution View. Analysis 75 (2015): 243-53.

 

The arguments of 'Why It Matters' have also been further developed by Michael Otsuka. See:

Michael Otsuka, Prioritarianism and the Separateness of Persons. Utilitas, 24 (2012), 365−80.

Michael Otsuka, Prioritarianism and the Measure of Utility. Journal of Political Philosophy 23 (2015): 1-22.

Heuristics and Biases in a Purported Counterexample to the Acyclicity of "Better Than". Politics, Philosophy and Economics 7 (2008): 285-99.

Subject of a response by Larry Temkin in Rethinking the Good, Oxford University Press, Section 9.3. For my reply, see 'Vaulting Intuition' (above).

Scanlon on Substantive Responsibility. Journal of Political Philosophy 16 (2008): 184-200.

Subject of the following responses:

Zofia Stemplowska, Harmful Choices: Scanlon and Voorhoeve on Substantive Responsibility. Journal of Moral Philosophy 10:4 (2013): 488-507.

T.M. Scanlon, Response to Stemplowska. Journal of Moral Philosophy 10:4 (2013): 508-514.

Preference Change and Interpersonal Comparisons of Welfare. In Serena Olsaretti (ed.)  Preferences and Well-Being. Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement 59 (2006): 265-79.

Transitivity, the Sorites Paradox, and Similarity-Based Decision-Making. Alex Voorhoeve and Ken Binmore. Erkenntnis 64:1 (2006): 101-14.

 

Incentives and Principles for Individuals in Rawls' Theory of Justice. Ethics & Economics 3 (2005): 1-7.

Equal Opportunity and Opportunity Dominance. Matthias Hild and Alex Voorhoeve. Economics and Philosophy 20 (2004): 117-45.

Defending Transitivity Against Zeno's Paradox. Ken Binmore and Alex Voorhoeve. Philosophy & Public Affairs 31 (2003): 272-79.

Reprinted in Recent Work on Intrinsic Value, eds. Toni Ronnow-Rasmussen and M. Zimmerman, Springer (2005): 265-72 with a commentary by Erik Carlson. My Heuristics and Biases in a Purported Counterexample to the Acyclicity of "Better Than" replies to Carlson's criticism.

Journal articles (Dutch)

Prioriteit voor patienten met een lagere levenskwaliteit. (Priority for patients who are worse off.)  Filosofie & Praktijk (Philosophy & Practice) 31 (2010): 40-51.

Schuldverlichting: niet voor niets. (Debt relief: not for nothing.) Renske Oort and Alex Voorhoeve. Economisch-Statistische Berichten (Economic-Statistical Letters) 85 (2000): 141-43.

Dollarisering gewenst? (Is dollarisation desirable?) Economisch-Statistische Berichten 84 (1999): 577-81.

Reviews and short contributions to books, journals, and magazines

Introduction to the Symposium on Equality or Priority? Economics and Philosophy 31 (2015): 201-202.

Why Sore Throats Don't Aggregate, but Arms Do. Journal of Medical Ethics 41 (2015): 492-3.

Subject of a response by Frances Kamm. Author Meets Critics: Response. Journal of Medical Ethics 41 (2015): 493-5.

Review of Well-Being and Fair Distribution: Beyond Cost-Benefit Analysis by Matthew W. Adler. Social Choice and Welfare 42:1 (2014): 245-54.

Inequalities in HIV Care: Chances versus Outcomes. With Nir Eyal. The American Journal of Bioethics 11 (12) (2011): 42-4.

Who Am I? Beyond "I Think, Therefore I Am". Alex Voorhoeve, Elie During, David Jopling, Timothy Wilson and Frances Kamm. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences 1234 (2011): 134-48.

Philippa Foot. The Philosophers' Magazine 52 (2011): 9.

(In Russian) Can We Trust Our Intuitions? Esquire Russia 56 (2010): 48-54. [A translation by Ivan Bogantsev of an excerpt of chapter 3 of Conversations on Ethics.]

Review of The Practice of Ethics by Hugh LaFollette. Social Choice and Welfare 34 (2010): 497-501.

(In Russian) Peter Singer Interviewed. Esquire Russia 52 (2010): 82-9. [A translation by Ivan Bogantsev of an excerpt of chapter 2 of Conversations on Ethics.]

Mill and Barry on the Foundations of Liberal Rights. Published in a shortened version as 'The Limits of Autonomy'. The Philosophers' Magazine 46 (2009): 78-82.

The Price of Security. Catherine Audard, Tony McWalter, Saladin Meckled-Garcia, and Alex Voorhoeve. In What More Philosophers Think. Eds. J. Baggini and J. Stangroom Continuum (2007): 19-32.

In Search of the Deep Structure of Morality. An Interview with Frances Kamm. Imprints 9:2 (2006): 93-117. [A revised version appears in Conversations on Ethics.]

Is Poverty Our Problem? The Philosophers' Magazine 36 (2006): 46-9.

(In Russian) Shockwave. With Mika Velikovskiy. Political Journal 27 (2005): 48-9.

Review of Pursuing Equal Opportunities: The Theory and Practice of Egalitarian Justice by Lesley A. Jacobs. Economics and Philosophy 21 (2005): 155-61.

A Mistrustful Animal: Bernard Williams Interviewed. The Harvard Review of Philosophy XII (2004): 81-92. [A revised version appears in Conversations on Ethics.]

Erasmus in The Great Thinkers A-Z. Eds. Julian Baggini and Jeremy Stangroom, Continuum (2004): 91-3.

Reprinted in The Philosophers' Magazine 48 (2010): 98-100.

Rawls in The Great Thinkers A-Z. Eds. Julian Baggini and Jeremy Stangroom, Continuum (2004): 199-201.

Harry Frankfurt on the Necessity of Love. Philosophical Writings 23 (2003): 55-70. [A revised version appears in Conversations on Ethics.]

The House that Jack Built. The Philosophers' Magazine 22 (2003): 28-31.

The Grammar of Goodness. An Interview with Philippa Foot. The Harvard Review of Philosophy XI (2003): 32-44. [A revised version appears in Conversations on Ethics.]

The Good, the Right, and the Seemly. Ken Binmore Interviewed. The Philosophers' Magazine 21 (2002): 48-51. [A revised and expanded version appears in Conversations on Ethics.]

Mandeville. The Philosophers' Magazine 20 (2002): 53.

Review of The Philosophy of Science by A. Rosenberg. Philosophy Today 14 (2001): 8-9.

Kant on the Cheap. Thomas Scanlon Interviewed. The Philosophers' Magazine 16 (2001): 29-30. [A revised and expanded version appears in Conversations on Ethics.]

 

Research Grants

2016-17: Visiting Scholar Grant at the National Institutes of Health (US), USD 60,000.

2013-15: STICERD grant for 'Ambiguity Aversion, the Hurwicz Criterion, and the Principle of Insufficient Reason' (with Ken Binmore). GBP 7,200.

2013:15 AHRC grant (co-investigator, lead investigator is Richard Bradley) on 'Managing Severe Uncertainty'. GBP 725,000.

2012-13: Laurance S. Rockefeller Fellowship at the Center for Human Values, Princeton University. USD 55,000.

2009-10: ELSE grant for a follow-up to 'An Experimental Test of the Hurwicz Criterion for Decision-Making Under Uncertainty' (with Ken Binmore). GBP 3,000.

2008-09: STICERD grant for the proposal 'An Experimental Test of the Hurwicz Criterion for Decision-Making Under Uncertainty' (with Ken Binmore). GBP 4,657.

2008-09: Faculty Fellowship at the Center for Ethics, Harvard University. USD 50,000.

2006-08: British Academy Small Research Grant for the proposal 'Rational Choice Theory and Moral Decision-Making' (with Ken Binmore). GBP 6,700.

 

Teaching

At LSE, I have taught (part of) the following courses:

LSE 100: Thinking Like a Social Scientist

PH 103 Reason, Knowledge and Values

PH 214 Philosophy, Morals and Politics

PH 222 Philosophy and Public Policy

PH 311 Philosophy of Economics

PH 416 Philosophy, Morals, and Politics (M.Sc. Seminar)

PH 413 Philosophy of Economics (M.Sc. Seminar)

PH 415 Philosophy and Public Policy (M.Sc. Seminar)

PH 418 Economics and Philosophy Research and Writing Seminar

PH 426E Executive MSc course in Philosophy and Public Policy

In 2012, I was awarded LSE's Teaching Excellence Prize. In 2016, I was a runner-up for a prize.