Subpoenas in a Free Society
Webcast Q&A: 22 May 2011, Question 1
I answered a question on subpoenas in a free society on 22 May 2011. You can listen to or download the podcast of just this question below – or check out the whole episode of Philosophy in Action Radio.
Why are subpoenas justified but not compulsory juries? In your 15 May 2011 webcast, you contrasted your position on jury duty with that of Dr. Peikoff's, saying that compulsory jury duty constituted the initiation of force. My understanding is that Ayn Rand's position was that subpoenas and the jury selection process are entirely consistent with justice, as Peikoff mentions in this podcast. Juries are selected using subpoenas. How would you reconcile being for subpoenas but against compulsory jury duty? And, does this also mean that you disagree with Ayn Rand's view of justice?
My Answer, In Brief: Ayn Rand's view of subpoenas, which I suspect to be right, seems to have been that for a person to fail to testify when required is a violation of the rights of the people involved in the court case, presumably their right to a fair trial. (That's different from the rationale offered by Dr. Peikoff.) A full theory, adequately defended, will depend on the work of philosophers of law.
- Duration: 22:25
- Download: MP3 Segment (7.7 MB)
To save the file to your computer, right-click and save the link above. You can automatically download that and other podcasts by subscribing to Philosophy in Action's Podcast RSS Feed:
- Amy Peikoff's defense of compulsory jury duty
- Ayn Rand interview with Raymond Newman: See 35:44 - 37:05 for her brief discussion of subpoenas
- Dr. Peikoff's podcast questions on compulsory juries and subpoenas: June 7th, 2010 and July 19th, 2010
- Association for Objective Law discussion of the subpoena power
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About Philosophy in Action
I'm Dr. Diana Brickell (formerly Diana Hsieh). I'm a philosopher, and I've long specialized in the application of rational principles to the challenges of real life. I completed my Ph.D in philosophy from the University of Colorado at Boulder in 2009. I retired from work as a public intellectual in 2015.
From September 2009 to September 2015, I produced a radio show and podcast, Philosophy in Action Radio. In the primary show, my co-host Greg Perkins and I answered questions applying rational principles to the challenges of real life. We broadcast live over the internet on Sunday mornings.
My first book, Responsibility & Luck: A Defense of Praise and Blame, can be purchased in paperback and Kindle. The book defends the justice of moral praise and blame of persons using an Aristotelian theory of moral responsibility, thereby refuting Thomas Nagel's "problem of moral luck." My second book (and online course), Explore Atlas Shrugged, is a fantastic resource for anyone wishing to study Ayn Rand's epic novel in depth.
I can be reached via e-mail to email@example.com.