Stephen Nathanson, a Northeastern Professor in the Department of Philosophy and Religion and College of Social Sciences and Humanities will be giving a talk titled, “What are Governments For?”

Since 2008 there has been an intense philosophical debate in the United States about the role of government. Most Republicans want a smaller government and favor leaving the distribution of goods to a “free market” economic system. Most Democrats want the government to play a larger role in assuring that citizens have access to education, health care, and other goods. The 2008 economic collapse and fears about government deficits have intensified these debates.

Professor Nathanson, the author of Economic Justice and other works in political philosophy, will describe the ways in which philosophical methods of thinking can help us to understand and resolve arguments about what the role of government should be.