Sunday, July 22, 2007

Introducing Myself

I thought that before I make any substantive posts I should introduce myself and give a little background into who I am and the research I am currently doing. I'd like to thank David for asking me to join this blog, and I look forward to contributing positively here. I am an M.A. student in philosophy at the University of Waterloo in Waterloo Ontario, Canada. My primary interests are in political philosophy, ethics and applied ethics, and I am currently in the process of writing my M.A. thesis under Dr. Brian Orend, a noted human rights scholar and just war theorist. I blog regularly on matters political, philosophical and religious at Dinner Table Donts.

The posts linked to by David explore arguments I have encountered while preparing to write my thesis. I am working on the defense of a universal and equal health care system with an appeal to human rights theory. I am particularly interested in how human rights can help a society maintain a more egalitarian system of distributive justice when it comes to health care, all the while being sensitive to the issues of resource allocation, health care rationing and the reality of economics. Many of the knock down arguments concerning the application of human rights theory to the health care problem come from the thought that viewing health care as a human right necessarily commits a society to an unreasonable financial burden. I am looking not only to defend human rights theory against this objection, but also to show that an appeal to human rights is the only way to ensure that a society will appropriately value health care as equal and universal, without discrimination by socio-economic status, race, age or sex.

I look forward to posting arguments, thoughts, comments and linking to articles that may be of interest to those who read this blog. I'm also looking forward to constructive criticism on any and all posts that I write, as I have found that criticism is typically more valuable to me than praise.


Richard said...

Hi Peter, a quick clarificatory question: will you be assuming egalitarianism as a basic premise, or do you also hope to persuade those who (like myself) think inequality is unproblematic so long as it yields a net benefit?