Great Minds, Etc.

For years, my favorite philosophy books (and two of my favorite books period) have been The Myth of Sisyphus and On Liberty (though Utilitarianism had more influence on my moral philosophy). And so it’s a bit jarring to see that Greg Mankiw, with whom I disagree on very, very, very many things, has written that his two favorite philosophy books are…The Myth of Sisyphus and On Liberty. I can’t exactly see how one can reconcile Millian utilitarianism with laissez-faire capitalism (Mill, of course, believed that businesses should be converted into worker’s cooperatives); after all, one can’t logically call for “the greatest happiness for the greatest number” and oppose an extensive welfare state. But in any case it’s good to see that there are other absurdist utilitarians out there.

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