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1. Social Theory and Practice: Volume > 50 > Issue: 2
Vikram R. Bhargava, Brian Berkey

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In this paper, we argue that if a set of plausible conditions obtain, then driving a standard vehicle rather than riding in an autonomous vehicle (AV) will become analogous to driving drunk rather than driving sober, and therefore impermissible. In addition, we argue that a ban on the production, sale, and purchase of new standard vehicles would also become justified. We make this case in part by highlighting that the central reasons typically offered in support of state-mandated vaccination will also support mandating AV use. Finally, we discuss some of the implications of our argument for the obligations of vehicle-producing firms.

2. Social Theory and Practice: Volume > 50 > Issue: 2
Luís Cordeiro-Rodrigues Orcid-ID

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The production of vaccines for COVID-19 has been far from ideal in terms of meeting world demand, thereby mitigating the infections and deaths caused by the pandemic. Part of the reason production has been inefficient is that those pharmaceutical companies that own the vaccine do not have sufficient productive capacity to meet demand. Resultantly, many have advocated for waiving patent rights to the vaccine so it can be massively produced worldwide. Pharmaceutical companies and their advocates have opposed this waiving of patent rights. In this article, I respond to the arguments that oppose waiving patents and contend that there is a case for temporarily waiving them. Mainly, I present a negative argumentative strategy that upholds the view that patents ought to be waived. However, in light of my arguments, the absence of positive reasons to withhold the patents implies that there are positive views for temporarily waiving them.

3. Social Theory and Practice: Volume > 50 > Issue: 2
Alex McLaughlin Orcid-ID

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This paper argues that climate injustice will be compounded in the future as a result of the deferred nature of many climate impacts. My claim is that the temporal disconnect between emissions and climate harm threatens future people’s ability to access what I call “resistance goods,” which rely on forms of address, often realised in oppositional political action. I identify three resistance goods—self-assertion, solidarity and testimony—and show that each is threatened by the temporality of climate change. A compound of climate injustice is that it will be experienced as demeaning, isolating and silencing by many future people.

4. Social Theory and Practice: Volume > 50 > Issue: 2
Lisa J. McLeod Orcid-ID

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In this paper, I discuss the work of W. E. B. Du Bois to expose the disastrous effects of white supremacy in the U.S. and the world. While his early works suggest that white supremacy might be rehabilitated by the careful presentation of contrary evidence, in later works he catalogs the primary features of whiteness, including an infantile comportment, a pathological attachment to innocence, and an epistemic incapacity to absorb evidence of its own error. To capture the scope of the delusion of whiteness on Du Bois’s account, I suggest the term “irrevocable license.” The remainder of the paper uses Du Bois’s account to examine the case of a “Karen”—a white woman who obliviously and inappropriately interferes with the lawful actions of a family of color—and further considers police violence against people of color as an outgrowth of white irrevocable license.

5. Social Theory and Practice: Volume > 50 > Issue: 2
Lars J. K. Moen Orcid-ID

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Public reason liberals expect individuals to have justificatory reasons for their views of certain political issues. This paper considers how groups can, and whether they should, give collective public reasons for their political decisions. A problem is that aggregating individuals’ consistent judgments on reasons and a decision can produce inconsistent collective judgments. The group will then fail to give a reason for its decision. The paper considers various solutions to this problem and defends a deliberative procedure by showing how it incentivizes information sharing and leads to outcomes most acceptable to the group members.

6. Social Theory and Practice: Volume > 50 > Issue: 2
Adrià Moret

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A complete theory of the permissibility of sex must not only determine the permissibility of sex between typical adult humans. In addition, it must also adequately take into consideration sex acts involving non-human animals, children, and humans with intellectual disabilities. However, when trying to develop a non-discriminatory account that includes these beings, two worrying problems of animal sex arise. To surpass them, I argue for a reformulation of the standard theory. To produce a truly inclusive account our theory should be focused on assent, dissent, the significance of sex, and the similarity of the beings engaging in the sex act.

7. Social Theory and Practice: Volume > 50 > Issue: 2
Davide Pala Orcid-ID

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What is the relation between non-domination and rights in the sense of claim-rights? This article argues that this relation is a tight one: rights turn out to be a necessary constituent of non-domination, or they are necessary, in a non-causal sense, for non-domination to come into existence and have its distinctive normative character. In particular, rights are necessary to constitute the following features of non-domination: the authority that non-domination signifies and the respect it demands; the kind of accountability that the non-arbitrariness condition of non-domination demands; and the robustness of non-domination. The article then suggests that rights, even if necessary for non-domination, are not also sufficient. It concludes by illustrating how the protection of rights often supports, rather than contradicts, other republican aims.

8. Social Theory and Practice: Volume > 50 > Issue: 1
Marcus Arvan

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School boosters are tax-exempt organizations that engage in fundraising efforts to provide public schools with supplementary resources. This paper argues that prevailing forms of school boosting are defeasibly unjust. Section 1 shows that inequalities in public education funding in the United States violate John Rawls’s two principles of domestic justice. Section 2 argues that prevailing forms of school boosting exacerbate and plausibly perpetuate these injustices. Section 3 then contends that boosting thereby defeasibly violates Rawlsian principles of nonideal theory for rectifying injustice. Thus, boosting should be presumptively either made illegal or substantially reformed. Finally, Section 4 responds to potential objections.

9. Social Theory and Practice: Volume > 50 > Issue: 1
Elizabeth Bell

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A central tenet of moral individualism is that only an entity’s intrinsic (non-relational) properties can ground moral status because only intrinsic properties give rise to agent-neutral reasons. However, I show that the two main approaches to making the agent-neutral/agent-relative distinction fail to exclude morally salient relational (extrinsic) properties from giving rise to agent-neutral reasons. As such, moral individualism accounts of moral status are false. Further, arguments that depend on moral individualism’s central tenet—like the argument from “marginal” cases—are unable to defend their thesis by merely claiming that special relations cannot ground moral status.

10. Social Theory and Practice: Volume > 50 > Issue: 1
Lisa Herzog

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“Home office” has become a reality for many employees. What is normatively at stake in this shift in the geography of work, given the various forms of structural injustice in our societies? Drawing on the normative criteria of employee well-being and protection from harm, autonomy, non-discrimination, environmental impact, and the role of workplaces as spaces of social encounters, I defend two claims: First, decisions about where individuals work need to be proceduralized on a fair basis, giving employees a voice. Second, giving up the workplace requires a broader discussion about alternatives spaces for social integration.

11. Social Theory and Practice: Volume > 50 > Issue: 1
Jakob Huber Orcid-ID

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What may democratic citizens hope for? In order to answer this question, this article takes its cue from John Rawls’s notion of reasonable hope. Rawls is acutely aware of a tension we face in demarcating the limits of hope in democratic politics, yet fails to resolve it: hope should allow us to critically distance ourselves from the existing social world, yet not be entirely disconnected from it. In order to do justice to both desiderata, I propose to distinguish between individual and collective levels of reasonable hope, with democratic institutions and practices mediating between the two.

12. Social Theory and Practice: Volume > 50 > Issue: 1
Elizabeth C. Hupfer Orcid-ID

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Theories such as effective altruism contend that people are morally obligated to give to charitable organizations that will efficiently do the most net good. The assumption is that aiding people who are most in need will create the most good; yet, it may be more inefficient to reach those most in need. In response, I outline my Inefficiency Principle in which efficiency has less moral weight when aiding those lacking in basic capabilities, and efficiency has more moral weight when aiding those who are lacking in more complex capabilities. This principle acknowledges the obstacles in assisting those most in need while sustaining the moral importance of efficiency.

13. Social Theory and Practice: Volume > 50 > Issue: 1
Johannes Steizinger, Natalie Alana Ashton

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The term ‘identity politics’ is used to refer to a wide range of political movements. In this paper, we look at the theoretical ideas underpinning two strongly, mutually opposed forms of identity politics, and identify some crucial differences between them. We critically compare the identitarian ideology of the New Right with feminist standpoint theory, focusing on two issues: relativism and essentialism. In carrying out this critical comparison we illuminate under-theorized aspects of both new right identitarianism and standpoint theory; demonstrate how the two are distinct; reveal the depth and pervasiveness of the new right ideology’s flaws; and show what a coherent left-wing identity politics could look like.

14. Social Theory and Practice: Volume > 50 > Issue: 1
Denise Vigani

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Some philosophers have argued that Aristotle’s view of habituation gives rise to a ‘paradox of moral education.’ The inculcation of habit, they contend, seems antithetical to the cultivation of virtue. I argue that this alleged paradox arises from significant misunderstandings of Aristotle’s view. Habit formation need not be at odds with the development of the kinds of intelligent, reflective capacities required for virtue. Indeed, Aristotle seems right to insist on an important role for habit in the cultivation of virtue. I suggest that habit formation is part of the story of how the virtuous come to see the world aright.

15. Social Theory and Practice: Volume > 49 > Issue: 4
Caleb Althorpe Orcid-ID

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This paper argues that two orthodox views of meaningful work—the subjective view and the autonomy view—are deficient. In their place is proposed the contributive view of meaningful work, which is constituted by work that is both complex and involves persons in its contributive aspect. These conditions are necessary due to the way work is inherently tied up with the idea of social contribution and the interdependencies between persons. This gives such features of the contributive view a distinct basis from those found in existent accounts of meaningful work.

16. Social Theory and Practice: Volume > 49 > Issue: 4
Linda Barclay Orcid-ID

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Individuals with ‘severe’ cognitive disabilities are primarily discussed in philosophy and bioethics to determine their moral status. In this paper it is argued that theories of moral status have limited relevance to the unjust ways in which people with cognitive disabilities are routinely treated in the actual world, which largely concerns their relegation to an inferior social status. I discuss three possible relationships between moral and social status, demonstrating that determinate answers about the moral status of individuals with ‘severe’ cognitive disabilities are neither necessary nor sufficient for defending the imperative that they be treated as our social equals.

17. Social Theory and Practice: Volume > 49 > Issue: 4
Maria Paola Ferretti

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This article argues that citizens are responsible for the way they participate in political communication and debate, including for the quality of the pieces of information they post or disseminate on social media. This view contrasts with approaches that prioritise institutional responsibility in combating misleading information. Instead, in the article’s perspective, public and private institutional interventions are justified only when they aim at sustaining citizens in upholding their epistemic duties and contribute to an environment that facilitates responsible communicative exchanges.

18. Social Theory and Practice: Volume > 49 > Issue: 4
Kyle G. Fritz Orcid-ID

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Political leaders may change their mind about a policy, or even a significant moral issue. While genuinely changing one’s mind is not hypocritical, there are reasons to think that leaders who claim such a change are merely hypocritically pandering for political advantage. Indeed, some social science studies allegedly confirm that constituents will judge political leaders who change positions as hypocritical. Yet these studies are missing crucial details that we normally use to distinguish genuine mind changers from hollow hypocrites. These details suggest ways in which political leaders can communicate that their mind change is genuine without necessarily being judged hypocritical.

19. Social Theory and Practice: Volume > 49 > Issue: 4
Corrado Fumagalli Orcid-ID

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While most of the literature has attempted to justify harsh and soft containment given some fundamental commitments of political liberalism, I focus on how justified forms of containment can in themselves be deemed effective. This article shows that a reading of Rawls allows for a comparison of different containment practices based on their capacity to protect the stability of liberal democracies under serious threat. And, in making it possible to compare harsh and soft containment, I evaluate immediate stability gains against citizens’ judgements about their liberal democratic institutions.

20. Social Theory and Practice: Volume > 49 > Issue: 4
Chris Mills

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Political liberals aim to treat citizens as free and equal participants in a society governed by principles endorsable from a wide range of reasonable conceptions of the good. This popular account of political morality struggles to accommodate child citizens yet to develop the capacities for freedom and equality enjoyed by citizens under political liberalism. It appears political liberals must either accept political liberalism should not apply to all citizens or intrusively constrain parental rights to shape the values of their children in line with anti-perfectionism. I defend a third possibility that justifies perfectionism in parenting and anti-perfectionism in education.