034: Ep30 – Private Government

Philosophy Bakes Bread radio show and podcast

Dr. Elizabeth AndersonIn this thirtieth episode of the Philosophy Bakes Bread radio show and podcast, co-hosts Dr. Eric Thomas Weber and Dr. Anthony Cashio interview Dr. Elizabeth Anderson about her new book, Private Government: How Employers Rule Our Lives (and Why We Don’t Talk About It). She recently published a piece on the book on Vox.com.

Cover image of Elizabeth Anderson's book, Private Government.

Dr. Anderson is the Arthur F. Thurnau Professor, and the John Dewey Distinguished University Professor of Philosophy and Women’s Studies at the University of Michigan. Dr. Anderson’s research focuses on democratic theory, equality in political philosophy and American law, racial integration, and the ethical limits of markets. She writes about the philosophies of John Stuart Mill and John Dewey as well as the philosophy of science. She also designed and was the first Director of the Program in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics at the University of Michigan. She published the 2011 book, The Imperative of Integration, which came up in our episode with Dr. Nussbaum a few weeks ago. Liz’s new book, Private Government, is based on her Tanner Lectures delivered at Princeton University. 

Listen for our “You Tell Me!” questions and for some jokes in one of our concluding segments, called “Philosophunnies.” Reach out to us on Facebook @PhilosophyBakesBread and on Twitter @PhilosophyBB; email us at philosophybakesbread@gmail.com; or call and record a voicemail that we play on the show, at 859.257.1849. Philosophy Bakes Bread is a production of the Society of Philosophers in America (SOPHIA). Check us out online at PhilosophyBakesBread.com and check out SOPHIA at PhilosophersInAmerica.com.


(1 hr 9 mins)

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  1. Adam Smith, The Theory of Moral Sentiments and The Wealth of Nations.
  2. Liz Klimas, “Woman Sues Company for Refusing to Let Her Go to the Bathroom,” The Blaze, March 4, 2013.



You Tell Me!

For our future “You Tell Me!” segments, Dr. Anderson proposed the following question in this episode, for which we invite your feedback: “If you’re a wage worker, how would you like the governance of the workplace to be reformed? What would you like to see? Would you like some say in leadership? Would you like to see constitutional rights in the governance of the workplace?

What do you think?

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