Conferences & lectures

"Must surfers still be fed?" Basic income and its philosophical justification after thirty years

Friday, April 6, 2018
4 p.m. – 6 p.m.

Philippe Van Parijs, Professor of Philosophy, University of Louvain, Belgium


This event is free


Pablo Gilabert
514-848-2424 ext. 2520


Henry F. Hall Building
1455 De Maisonneuve W.
Room 407



In April 1990, Philippe Van Parijs gave a lecture at Harvard subsequently published under the title “Why surfers should be fed. The liberal case for an unconditional basic income.”

Three decades later, the idea he was then arguing for is being discussed, proposed and tested throughout the world. In this lecture, he will look back at the initial ethical justification of basic income and update it in the light of what has been happening since then. 

Van Parijs is a Belgian political philosopher and political economist, best known as a proponent and main defender of the idea of a universal basic income . He is professor at the faculty of economic, social and political sciences of the Catholic University of Louvain, where has directed the Hoover Chair of economic and social ethics since its creation in 1991.

He has also been a Visiting Professor at Harvard University's Department of Philosophy since 2004. His books include Evolutionary Explanation in the Social Sciences (1981), Qu'est-ce qu'une société juste? (1991), Marxism Recycled (1993), Real Freedom for All (1995), Refonder la solidarité (1996), Linguistic Justice for Europe and for the World (2011), and Basic Income. A Radical Proposal for a Free Society and a Sane Economy (2017).​


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