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G.A. Cohen

August 7, 2009

G.A. Cohen, who retired last year from Oxford, died on August 5. Although he was a Marxist, he took libertarian ideas with great seriousness; and his efforts to come to grips with the self-ownership principle merit careful study. I rate him one of the best philosophers of the past fifty years. He was extraordinarily sharp in argument but, at least judged by the few times I was in touch with him, warm and generous. He was also extremely funny. I will miss Jerry Cohen.

I have tried to address Cohen’s views in my reviews of Mythologies of Marxism, Self-Ownership, Freedom, and Equality, and Rescuing Justice and Equality, as well as in my book Resurrecting Marx.

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