The UCL Centre for Philosophy, Justice and Health

with the financial support of the Aristotelian Society, The Mind Association,

and the Society for Applied Philosophy, presents:


Political Philosophy & Taxation:

An Interdisciplinary Conference


11-12 September 2008, UCL



UPDATE: This conference has now taken place. It was attended by policy makers and members of think tanks, economists working in government departments, finance journalists, and academics from social policy, philosophy, political science and economics.  The organizers are now preparing an edited book based on the papers presented at this conference and the papers given at a previous conference on political philosophy and taxation.


We hope to be adding the powerpoint presentations from the conferences in the meantime as they are made available to us.


Location:         Gustave Tuck Lecture Theatre, South Wing, Main Quadrangle, University College London


Organizers:      Martin O’Neill (MANCEPT, Politics, University of Manchester)        martin.oneill [AT]

Shepley Orr (Centre for Philosophy, Justice and Health, UCL)           s.orr [AT]


Conference Description:

This conference on Political Philosophy and Taxation will address the issue of how the activities of the state should best be funded.  The conference will bring together a number of leading political philosophers, as well as a number of other scholars working at the intersection of political philosophy with economics, law and social policy. It will further the state of current research on taxation within political philosophy, as well as facilitating productive interdisciplinary dialogue on the topic.


Conference Schedule


Thursday, September 11, 2008


10:00-10:30     Coffee


10:30am           Martin O’Neill (Manchester Centre for Political Theory,

University of Manchester)

‘Corporate Taxation, Personal Taxation and Social Justice’


11:30am           Judith Freedman (KPMG Professor of Tax Law, University of Oxford)

‘Is Tax Avoidance “Fair”?’


12:30-1:30pm  Lunch


1:30pm             David Williams (KPMG Tax Business School)

‘Tax and Corporate Social Responsibility’


2:30pm             Richard Murphy (Tax Justice Network; Tax Research LLP)

‘Searching for the Secrecy Space: Finding the True Nature of Offshore’


3:30-4pm         Coffee


4pm                 Marc Fleurbaey (Economics, Université Paris Descartes V; Lachman Fellow, Department of Philosophy, LSE)

‘Taxation and Fairness’


5pm                 Axel Gosseries (Economics & Philosophy, Université Catholique de Louvain)

‘Why Tax and Transfer is Not Enough’


6pm                 Close



Friday, September 12, 2008


10:00-10:30     Coffee


10:30am           Alan Hamlin (Manchester Centre for Political Theory,

University of Manchester)

                        ‘Three (or Four) Perspectives on Tax Structure’


11:30am           Shepley Orr (Centre for Philosophy, Justice and Health, UCL)

‘Consent Theory and Kaldor-Hicks Compensation Tests’


12:30-1:30pm  Lunch


1:30pm             Laura Biron (Philosophy, University of Cambridge)

                        Taxing or Taking? Property Rhetoric and the Justice of Taxation’


2:30                 Geoffrey Brennan (Philosophy, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; and Social and Political Theory, Research School of the Social Sciences, Australian National University)

‘Taxation and Political Philosophy: Murphy and Nagel Revisited’


3:30-4pm         Coffee


4pm                 Alexander Cappelen and Bertil Tungodden (Economics, Centre for Ethics and Economics, Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration)

‘Rich Meets Poor: An International Experiment of Redistribution’


5pm                 General Discussion


6pm                 Close



Registered Participants


Dave Banks

Enrico Biale

Laura Biron

Carola Black-Colditz

Gillian Brock

Alex Brown

Geoffrey Brennan

Aditya Chakrobortty

Joan Costa-Font

Frank Cowell

Christopher Deeming

Preetum Domah

Marc Fleurbaey

Judith Freedman

Zoe Gannon

Natalie Gold

Robert E. Goodin

Axel Gosseries

Edward Hall

Mark Hannam

Peter Hawkins

Alan Hamlin

Dave Holly

Vanessa Houlder

Francois Hudon

George Irvin

Keith Johnston

Omar Kahn

Sabrina LeBourgeois

Ann Matthars

Ruth McCance

Markus Meinzer

Martin McIvor

Riz Mokal

Richard Murphy

Adam Oliver

Martin O'Neill

Shepley Orr

Alberto Pompermaier

Howard Reed

Dour Rendle

Thomas Rixen

John Roche

Erik Schokkaert

Adam Swift

Bertil Tungodden

Laura Valentini

Leif Wenar

Gry Wester

Carol Wilcox

David Williams

Jonathan Wolff

Gabriel Wollner

Hadi Zamani



Information on the first conference on Political Philosophy and Taxation is available here.


*The conference is free and open to all, but we would be grateful if participants would register ahead of time by e-mailing Shepley Orr at: This event has been organized in conjunction with the sponsored events series of the SAS Institute of Philosophy, and the OUP/LSE one-day seminar on Marc Fleurbaery’s book Freedom, Responsibility and Welfare.

*Image: ‘Matthew the Tax Collector’