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Social Theory and Practice

Volume 41, Issue 2, April 2015

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Displaying: 1-10 of 10 documents


1. Social Theory and Practice: Volume > 41 > Issue: 2
David Jenkins, An Ethos for (In)Justice
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Where institutions are well-ordered and governed according to principles identified as necessary for justice, the attitudes and behaviors of citizens are also likely to be affected: they will develop a specific ethos that is appropriate for sustaining that just order. However, the absence of a substantially just basic structure will also take effect on what is considered an appropriate sense of justice suited to dealing with nonideal situations characterized by potentially profound injustice. Where ideal theory can describe an ethos necessary for supporting already just institutions and practices, we require a separate account of an ethos appropriate to nonideal conditions.
2. Social Theory and Practice: Volume > 41 > Issue: 2
Kevin Vallier, On Distinguishing Publicly Justified Polities from Modus Vivendi Regimes
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This essay develops a novel account of the distinction between a publicly justified polity and modus vivendi regimes by appealing to the ideal of congruence in public reason liberalism. A fully publicly justified polity is one whose laws are supported by congruent “first-personal” and “second-personal” moral reasons to internalize laws as personally binding on those subject to them. Regimes approach modus vivendi status to the extent that their laws fail to be justified by either type of reason, or where firstpersonal and second-personal reasons fail to justify internalization.
3. Social Theory and Practice: Volume > 41 > Issue: 2
Matt Sleat, Justice and Legitimacy in Contemporary Liberal Thought: A Critque
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This article explores and critiques the relationship between justice and legitimacy in contemporary liberal thought. The first half sets out the extent to which liberalism demands the same necessary and sufficient conditions of justice and legitimacy, and in doing so obscures their evaluative distinctiveness. It then offers an interpretation of the deeper theoretical assumptions that result in this unsatisfactory conflation, arguing that the primacy that liberal theory has given to justice, understood as a moral concept, has resulted in a failure to appreciate the deeply multifaceted political nature of legitimacy. The suggestion is then made that it is only through recognizing this nature, including the different (political) circumstances in which the demand for legitimation arises and the needs to which it responds, that this theoretical impasse can be overcome. The article ends on the more radical thought that this may require liberal theory to displace justice as the first (moral) virtue of political systems and replace it with the (political) virtue of legitimacy.
4. Social Theory and Practice: Volume > 41 > Issue: 2
David Alm, Responsibility, Manipulation, and Resentment
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The paper presents a compatibilist explanation of why manipulated agents are not responsible for the actions that result from the manipulation. I first show that an agent’s having reason to resent being manipulated into action is a sufficient condition for his not being responsible for that action, and so an adequate explanation of the latter fact in standard cases in which the agent does have reason to resent. I then consider some cases in which, apparently, manipulation is not cause for resentment, and suggest a way of generalizing the original explanation. I also compare the suggested approach with alternatives.
5. Social Theory and Practice: Volume > 41 > Issue: 2
Patrick Tomlin, Should Retributivists Prefer Prepunishment?
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Some philosophers believe that we can, in theory, justifiably prepunish people—that is, punish them for a crime before they have committed that crime. In particular, it has been claimed that retributivists ought (in principle) to accept prepunishment. The question of whether prepunishment can be justified has sparked an interesting and growing philosophical debate. In this paper I look at a slightly different question: whether retributivists who accept that prepunishment can be justified should prefer (ordinary) postpunishment or prepunishment, or see them (in principle) as on a par. The answer is complex: asking this question brings to light unrecognized distinctions within both retributivism and prepunishment, giving us four different answers to the question, depending on what kind of retributivism and what kind of prepunishment are combined. Surprisingly, given that it is usually presented as a second best, to be pursued only when postpunishment is unavailable, some combinations will find prepunishment preferable.
6. Social Theory and Practice: Volume > 41 > Issue: 2
Paul Warren, In Defense of the Marxian Theory of Exploitation: Thoughts on Roemer, Cohen, and Others
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John Roemer and G.A. Cohen made seminal contributions to the reconstruction of the Marxian theory of exploitation. However, both came to doubt the importance of the Marxian theory of exploitation for the socialist project. This paper defends the Marxian theory of exploitation against their skeptical conclusions. In so doing, it explicates Marxian exploitation’s distributive and relational dimensions, normative and explanatory roles, and complex normative and causal structure.
7. Social Theory and Practice: Volume > 41 > Issue: 2
James Rocha, Kantian Respect for Minimally Rational Animals
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Immanuel Kant, in a much-maligned view, thought that we could only have indirect duties to nonhuman animals who have no inherent moral value since they lack rationality. While there are various responses to this worrisome position, no one seems to consider that animals could conceivably qualify as having rationality, even on Kantian high standards. Animals engage in various activities (such as playing, seeking revenge, and altruistically helping others) that could be taken as indicators of the core aspects of rationality that Kant requires for having absolute worth (such as a reflective selfconsciousness, a free end-setting ability, and the ability to make moral demands on others). While these animal behaviors will not prove that animals are rational, we must remember that we also cannot prove that other humans are rational. Instead, my goal is only to provide a basis for a precautionary moral principle that requires treating animals as minimally rational, given that they might be. On this basis, we ought to accept some direct Kantian duties for the respectful treatment of animals.
8. Social Theory and Practice: Volume > 41 > Issue: 2
Mohammed Abed, The Concept of Genocide Reconsidered
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Genocide is a violent process that aims at the liquidation of protected groups. Like individuals, groups can be killed in a variety of ways and for many different reasons. Only the intention of the perpetrator distinguishes genocide from other forms of mass violence. The implications of the account given are striking. Genocide is not in any sense distinctively heinous. Nor is it necessarily immoral. Under certain conditions, settlercolonialism, ethnic cleansing, and forced assimilation will count as instances of the phenomenon. While the argument undermines the orthodox view, it can accommodate the idea that the Holocaust was distinctively heinous.
book reviews
9. Social Theory and Practice: Volume > 41 > Issue: 2
George Sher, Harry Brighouse and Adam Swift, Family Values
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10. Social Theory and Practice: Volume > 41 > Issue: 2
Monicka Patterson-Tutschka, Julie E. Cooper, Secular Powers: Humility in Modern Political Thought
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