>> Go to Current Issue

Social Theory and Practice

Volume 40, Issue 4, October 2014

Already a subscriber? Login here
Not yet a subscriber? - Subscribe here

Browse by:



Displaying: 1-10 of 13 documents


1. Social Theory and Practice: Volume > 40 > Issue: 4
Edward Hall, Contingency, Confidence, and Liberalism in the Political Thought of Bernard Williams
abstract | view |  rights & permissions | cited by
This paper offers a systematic examination of the political thought of Bernard Williams by explaining the relation between his political realism and critical assessment of modern moral philosophy and discussing how his work illuminates the debates about the nature and purpose of political theory. I argue that Williams’s realism is best read as an attempt to make ethical sense of politics, and as an attempt to explain how we can continue to affirm a kind of liberalism, without recourse to the moralized presuppositions that he insists we must jettison. I begin by outlining Williams’s claims about the limits of philosophy and his conception of confidence. I then address his understanding of the relationship between historical and philosophical inquiry and his contention that historical understanding can foster a kind of confidence in some of our contemporary commitments. I conclude by showing how this leads Williams to articulate a defense of liberalism that is compatible with his skepticism about modern moral philosophy and his ancillary critique of political moralism. In this sense, Williams’s work has important implications for political theory and the study of politics more generally because it enables us to articulate a defense of liberalism that has marked advantages over the “high liberalism” that most contemporary liberal political philosophers defend and shows how we might develop a political theory that does not begin by asserting universal moral foundations but which, despite this, avoids reverting to a crude postmodern antifoundationalism.
2. Social Theory and Practice: Volume > 40 > Issue: 4
Christian Barry, Gerhard Øverland, The Implications of Failing to Assist
abstract | view |  rights & permissions | cited by
In this essay we argue that an agent’s failure to assist someone in need at one time can change the cost she can be morally required to take on to assist that same person at a later time. In particular, we show that the cost the agent can subsequently be required to take on to help the person in need can increase quite significantly, and can be enforced through the proportionate use of force. We explore the implications of this argument for the duties of the affluent to address global poverty.
3. Social Theory and Practice: Volume > 40 > Issue: 4
Saba Fatima, Liberalism and the Musli-American Predicament
abstract | view |  rights & permissions | cited by
The underlying objective of this project is to examine the ways in which the exclusionary status of Muslim Americans remains unchallenged within John Rawls’s version of political liberalism. Toward this end, I argue that the stipulation of genuine belief in what is reasonably accessible to others in our society is an unreasonable expectation from minorities, given our awareness of how we are perceived by others. Second, using the work of Lisa Schwartzman, I show that Rawls’s reliance on the abstraction of a closed society legitimizes the exclusion of citizens with marginal social locations. And finally, applying Charles Mills’s critique of ideal theory, I argue that Rawls’s idealization of a posture of civic friendship detracts from a discussion of equally significant societal values while sustaining existing social hierarchies.
4. Social Theory and Practice: Volume > 40 > Issue: 4
Adam Omar Hosein, Immigration: The Argument for Legalization
abstract | view |  rights & permissions | cited by
Many liberal democracies have large populations of “unauthorized” migrants, who entered in contravention of immigration laws. In this paper, I will offer a new argument for allowing long-resident unauthorized migrants to transfer to “legal” status, which would allow them to live and work legally in their country of residence, without fear of deportation. I argue that legalization is required to secure the autonomy of these migrants, and that only by securing their autonomy can the state exercise authority over them legitimately. I also respond to popular objections to legalization and illustrate the distinctive policy implications of my approach.
5. Social Theory and Practice: Volume > 40 > Issue: 4
Nicholas Parkin, Pacifism, Supreme Emergency, and Moral Tragedy
abstract | view |  rights & permissions | cited by
This paper develops and defends a new way for pacifists to deal with the problem of supreme emergency. In it I argue that a supreme emergency in which some disaster can only be prevented by modern war is a morally tragic situation. This means that a leader faced with a supreme emergency acts unjustifiably in both allowing something terrible to occur, as well as in waging war to prevent it. I also argue that we may have cause to excuse from wrongdoing the agents who must choose an unjustified action in a supreme emergency.
6. Social Theory and Practice: Volume > 40 > Issue: 4
Cristian Pérez Muñoz, Essential Services, Workers’ Freedom, and Distributive Justice
abstract | view |  rights & permissions | cited by
This article examines the normative implications of the essential service argument commonly used to justify restrictions on workers’ freedom to withhold their labor. The essential service argument states that essential service workers should not be allowed to strike because this form of collective bargaining can likely inflict imminent and substantial harm on society at large. This paper argues that if the provision of essential services justifies limitations on freedom to strike, then restrictions on occupational freedom can be justified for the same purpose. I illustrate this point by considering the case of compulsory service programs as recruiting tools for health workers.
book symposium: simon keller, partiality
7. Social Theory and Practice: Volume > 40 > Issue: 4
Jörg Löschke, Partiality, Agent-Relative Reasons, and the Individuals View
view |  rights & permissions | cited by
8. Social Theory and Practice: Volume > 40 > Issue: 4
Monika Betzler, Personal Projects and Reasons for Partiality
view |  rights & permissions | cited by
9. Social Theory and Practice: Volume > 40 > Issue: 4
Simon Keller, Response to Löschke and Betzler
view |  rights & permissions | cited by
book reviews
10. Social Theory and Practice: Volume > 40 > Issue: 4
Paul Robinson, John W. Lango, The Ethics of Armed Conflict: A Cosmopolitan Just War Theory
view |  rights & permissions | cited by