Author Archive

Rutger Kaput

Rutger Kaput is a Tutor in Politics at the University of Amsterdam. He formerly as a lecturer in International Studies at Leiden University, and completed a DPhil in Political Theory at the University of Oxford.

Georgia Tech professor Ronald Arkin contends that we might soon see the advent of autonomous drones operated by algorithmic ‘ethical governors’ replacing human decision in warfare. As Peter W. Singer’s argues in his seminal book Wired for War, this prospect does not belong to the realm of science fiction: we are amidst a revolution in military warfare, with digital and robotic technology increasingly replacing human decision in contemporary warfare.

A long time before she relocated to Brussels, Europa was a Phoenician princess. Zeus was particularly fond of her and abducted the princess in the guise of a bull. She bore him a son, Minos, who also had his fair share of trouble with bulls. It was he who constructed the legendary labyrinth to keep the Minotaur at bay. Moreover, it was Minos too, who demanded that Athens periodically sacrifice its best boys and girls to that insatiable creature; half-man, half-bull. Until Theseus finally killed it. Today, again, Europe has become enthralled by ‘the bull’ and it seems the consequences are equally unfavorable.

  In terms of the financial crisis, there are fascinating links between the Rawlsian theory of justice and the economic liberal theory which has drawn criticsm for failing to predict the crash. For Rawlsian adepts: this is not an attempt to apply Rawls’ theory of justice to explain the current economic crisis. It would not be suited to do so and neither was it designed to do so. But highlighting these links may teach us a thing or two about both endeavours and also give us pause about the Rawlsian project itself. Much (too much?) has been written about Rawls, both in defense of his project and against it. Those in disagreement generally use one of two strategies: attack the …