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Displaying: 1-10 of 43 documents


1. Social Theory and Practice: Volume > 37 > Issue: 4
Michael Cholbi, The Moral Conversion of Rational Egoists
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One principal challenge to the rationalist thesis that the demands of morality are requirements of rationality has been that posed by the "rational egoist." In attempting to answer's the egoist's challenge, some rationalists have supposed that an adequate reply must take the form of a deductive argument that "converts" the egoist by showing that her position is contradictory, arbitrary, or violates some precept that defines practical rationality as such. Here I argue (a) that such rationalist replies will fail to persuade the egoist to adopt a recognizably moral way of life; (b) that this failure can be traced to epistemic assumptions that underlie typical rationalist replies; (c) that egoist conversion can better be understood by rejecting these assumptions and seeing egoist conversion as akin to a paradigm shift in the sciences; and (d) that conceptualizing egoist conversion as a paradigm shift accords with empirical psychological evidence regarding the acquisition and modification of individuals' moral attitudes and beliefs.
2. Social Theory and Practice: Volume > 37 > Issue: 4
Whitley Kaufman, Understanding Honor: Beyond the Shame/Guilt Dichotomy
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The concept of honor continues to be among the most widely misunderstood of human ideals. It has long been claimed that honor is an essentially external ideal, motivated by shame at one's appearance before others rather than an inward sense of guilt, the implication being that honor is a superficial moral ideal and one superseded by the higher ideal of the moral conscience. This account does not, however, stand up to scrutiny; honor is a genuinely "internal" value as much as virtue, and when properly understood cannot be understood as somehow more superficial or less morally advanced than the modern ideal of virtue.
3. Social Theory and Practice: Volume > 37 > Issue: 4
Linda Radzik, On Minding Your Own Business: Differentiating Accountability Relations within the Moral Community
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When is one person entitled to sanction another for moral wrongdoing? When, instead, must one mind one's own business? Stephen Darwall argues that the legitimacy of social sanctioning is essential to the very concept of moral obligation. But, I will argue, Darwall's "second person" theory of accountability unfortunately implies that every person is entitled to sanction every wrongdoer for every misdeed. In this essay, I defend a set of principles for differentiating those who have the standing to sanction from those who do not.
4. Social Theory and Practice: Volume > 37 > Issue: 4
Theresa Weynand Tobin, The Relevance of Trust for Moral Justification
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In this paper, I argue that relationships of trust are often necessary for moral justification. Even if a moral claim is likely to be true, it may not be adequately justified, and thus may not have normative force, unless those who are to accept the claim have good reason to believe that the one entering the claim is a trustworthy moral interlocutor. The complexity of moral knowledge coupled with differences among people in moral experience, capacities for moral perception, and reasoning abilities creates relations of epistemic dependence that make trust necessary in order to achieve adequate moral justification.
5. Social Theory and Practice: Volume > 37 > Issue: 4
Shmuel Nili, Our Problem of Global Justice
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Global justice seems to be all about "us" treating "them," especially "their" problem of extreme poverty. This article argues that there is such a thing as our problem of global justice, and that it must be both temporally and logically prior to the problem of global justice. In order to establish this thesis, I seek to corroborate three main claims: that our elected governments are actively complicit in dictators' de facto armed robbery of their population's resources; that each democracy as a unitary agent has a duty, which holds independently of poverty questions, to stop profiting from this robbery by boycotting severely oppressive regimes; and that such "democratic disengagement" requires postponing an ideal theory of global justice to a later stage, since the implications of disengagement will be so unprecedented that philosophizing past them means jumping ahead of our time.
6. Social Theory and Practice: Volume > 37 > Issue: 4
William R. Lund, Reconsidering “Supreme Emergencies”: Michael Walzer and His Critics
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Michael Walzer has argued that nations fighting a just war may be permitted indiscriminate attacks on enemy noncombatants if they are genuinely necessary to avoid an imminent and morally disastrous defeat. Critics often challenge this "supreme emergency" exemption from just war principles by arguing that it is inconsistent with his critiques of utilitarianism, realism, and sub-state terrorism. While morally troubling, I argue that Walzer's doctrine is both tightly cabined and consistent with his meta-ethical pluralism, his emphasis on the value of political community, and his doubts about abstract philosophy's ability to answer pressing political questions.
7. Social Theory and Practice: Volume > 37 > Issue: 4
Rekha Nath, Two Wrongs Don’t Make a Right: A Critique of Virginia Held’s Deontological Justification of Terrorism
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Virginia Held argues that terrorism can be justified in some instances. But unlike standard, consequentialist justifications, hers is deontological. This paper critically examines her argument. It explores how the values of fairness, responsibility, and desert can serve to justify acts of terrorism. In doing so, two interpretations of her account are considered: a responsibility-insensitive and a responsibility-sensitive interpretation. On the first, her argument collapses into a consequentialist justification. On the second, it relies on an implausible conception of responsibility. Either way, her argument fails as a distinctly deontological defense of terrorism.
book reviews
8. Social Theory and Practice: Volume > 37 > Issue: 4
Marguerite La Caze, Dancing with Iris: The Philosophy of Iris Marion Young
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9. Social Theory and Practice: Volume > 37 > Issue: 4
Susan Dieleman, Feminist Interpretations of Richard Rorty
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10. Social Theory and Practice: Volume > 37 > Issue: 4
Eric M. Cave, Untying the Knot: Marriage, the State, and the Case for Their Divorce
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