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Concerning publicized goods (or, the promiscuity of the public goods argument)

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  15 December 2020

Vaughn Bryan Baltzly
Affiliation:
Department of Philosophy, Texas State University, San Marcos, Texas, USA
Corresponding
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Abstract

Proponents of the public goods argument (‘PGA’) seek to ground the authority of the state on its putative indispensability as a means of providing public goods. But many of the things we take to be public goods – including many of the goods commonly invoked in support of the PGA – are actually what we might term publicized goods. A publicized good is any whose ‘public’ character results only from a policy decision to make some (otherwise private) good freely and universally available. This fact poses complications for the PGA, insofar as the set of possible publicized goods is quite extensive indeed.

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© The Author(s), 2020. Published by Cambridge University Press

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