Joseph Heath (born 1967) is a professor of philosophy at the University of Toronto, where he was formerly the director of the Centre for Ethics. He also teaches at the School of Public Policy and Governance. He received his Bachelor of Arts from McGill University in 1990, where his teachers included Charles Taylor, and his Master of Arts and doctor of philosophy (1995) degrees are from Northwestern University, where he studied under Thomas A. McCarthy and Jürgen Habermas. He has published both academic and popular writings, including the bestselling The Rebel Sell. His philosophical work includes papers and books in political philosophy, business ethics, rational choice theory, action theory, and critical theory.
Heath is the recipient of the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation Fellowship (2012). In 2013, Heath was named to the Royal Society of Canada. His popular book Enlightenment 2.0 won the 2014 Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for Political Writing.
The central claim of The Rebel Sell is that counter-cultural movements have failed, and that they all share a common fatal error in the way they understand society; thus counter-culture is not a threat to "the system". For example, it is suggested of Adbusters' Blackspot campaign that the shoe's existence proves that "no rational person could possibly believe that there is any tension between 'mainstream' and 'alternative' culture."
It would make just as much sense to declare an annual "mortgage freedom day", in order to let mortgage owners know what day they "stop working for the bank and start working for themselves". ...But who cares? Homeowners are not really "working for the bank"; they're merely financing their own consumption. After all, they're the ones living in the house, not the bank manager.
- Heath, Joseph "The efficient society : why Canada is as close to utopia as it gets Viking, 2001. ISBN 0670891495
- Heath, Joseph "The Rebel Sell" Capstone, 2005. ISBN 1841126543
- Heath, Joseph "Filthy Lucre: Economics for People Who Hate Capitalism" HarperCollins, 2009. ISBN 9781554683956
- Heath, Joseph "Economics Without Illusions: Debunking the Myths of Modern Capitalism" Crown Publishing Group, 2010. ISBN 9780307590596
- Heath, Joseph "Enlightenment 2.0: Restoring Sanity to Our Politics, Our Economy, and Our Lives" HarperCollins, 2014. ISBN 9781443422529
- Heath, Joseph "Communicative Action and Rational Choice" MIT, 2003. ISBN 9780262275156
- Heath, Joseph "Following the Rules: Practical Reasoning and Deontic Constraint" Oxford University Press, 2008. ISBN 9780195370294
- Heath, Joseph "Morality, Competition, and The Firm: The Market Failures Approach to Business Ethics" Oxford University Press, 2014. ISBN 9780199990481
- University of Toronto profil
- Academia.edu profile
- Video (with mp3 available) of conversation between Heath and Will Wilkinson on Bloggingheads.tv