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1. 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.

2. 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.

3. 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.

4. 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.

5. 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.

6. 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.

7. Social Theory and Practice: Volume > 49 > Issue: 4
Jonathan Seglow

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This article examines the concept of integrity in scholarly debate on religious accommodation. There is a scholarly consensus on the value of integrity as manifesting one’s commitments (‘MM integrity’) as a way of approaching accommodation disputes, but the article argues that MM integrity is often at stake on both sides of a legal dispute. It defends a divergent view of integrity where it consists in a person’s responsible exercise of her moral and epistemic capacities in seeking to arrive at well-founded commitments (‘MR integrity’). It’s argued that MR integrity is in—sometimes productive—tension with MM integrity. These claims are illustrated by examining two recent Supreme Court cases, from the US and the UK, both of which involve bakeries accused of discriminating against gay customers

8. Social Theory and Practice: Volume > 49 > Issue: 4

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9. Social Theory and Practice: Volume > 49 > Issue: 3
Randall Curren Orcid-ID

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This paper argues that rural children’s prospects of achieving civic equality within the wider society are limited by the fact that the education they receive is not inclusive, that this is in some respects unjust, and that some partial remedies are available. The non-inclusiveness of rural education is characterized as a form of rural isolation, defined by physical and cultural distance from pathways of opportunity that are significant for civic equality, and by failures of mutually recognized mutual goodwill. Physical and cultural distance are identified as aspects of an evolving geography of opportunity, in which college graduates are highly favored and high-status opportunities are concentrated in cities.

10. Social Theory and Practice: Volume > 49 > Issue: 3
Yvette Drissen Orcid-ID

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This paper takes issue with the widespread claim that positional competitions are zero-sum games. It shows how the notions of ‘positional good’ and ‘positional competition’ have changed in meaning and how this has resulted in conceptual confusion in discussions amongst economists and philosophers. I argue that the Zero-Sum Claim is hardly ever true when it comes to the novel understanding of positionality that currently dominates the philosophical literature. I propose dropping the Zero-Sum Claim and construing positional competitions as win-lose. This is conceptually clearer and deepens our understanding and ethical evaluation of these important competitions in contemporary societies.

11. Social Theory and Practice: Volume > 49 > Issue: 3
Giulio Fornaroli, Orcid-ID Cristián Rettig Orcid-ID

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International human rights law allows states to derogate some of their human rights obligations in times of public emergency. This essay attempts a normative assessment of the practice of derogation. We discuss, specifically, whether derogation is compatible with the logics and morality of rights. We notice that a major inconsistency between rights and derogation derives from the unilateral character of derogation: derogating parties are assigned a power-right to annul their own rights-based obligations. This contrasts with the idea, central to rights, that rights-based obligations are owed to the right-holder. Only through consent of right-holders, we argue, can duties owed to them be modified or annulled. But whether the current practice of derogation is interpretable as a form of consent to rights infringement is highly disputable.

12. Social Theory and Practice: Volume > 49 > Issue: 3
Raja Halwani Orcid-ID

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A common belief is that, among our sexual dispositions, sexual orientations are important and deep features of who someone is. This distinguishes them from other sexual dispositions—“mere” preferences—that are thought to be trivial in comparison. Is there a way to adequately account for this distinction? What is a plausible explanation for the belief that sexual orientation is a deep and important feature of who one is? This paper defends one necessary condition for a sexual disposition to be an orientation, the well-being condition: if a sexual disposition is an orientation, then the inability to act on it lowers one’s well-being by rendering one’s life sexually deprived. The paper argues that the well-being condition better explains than other criteria the belief that orientations are important features of who one is. The paper concludes by tracing the implications of this view to the common understanding of sexual orientation.

13. Social Theory and Practice: Volume > 49 > Issue: 3
Anne-Sofie Greisen Hojlund

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How should we understand stigmatization in policies that force, induce, or nudge people to make healthier choices? Sometimes when health authorities try to alleviate (inequality in) lifestyle diseases by such means, stigmatization is reinforced and additional burdens are imposed on those who are already at a disadvantage. Distinguishing between policies that rely on stigma effects and policies that produce stigma as an unintended side effect, the paper argues that stigmatization is objectionable because it makes people’s lives worse, instrumentally as well as non-instrumentally. How stigmatizing a policy is thus partly determines how desirable it is vis-à-vis other policies that might achieve the same end. In order to settle this matter, the paper suggests four evaluative dimensions and brings them to bear on three different types of policy: legal mandates, incentives, and nudges.

14. Social Theory and Practice: Volume > 49 > Issue: 3
Madeleine Shield Orcid-ID

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How one should respond to shame is a moral consideration that has figured relatively little in philosophical discourse. Recent psychological insights tell us that, at its core, shame reflects an unfulfilled need for emotional connection. As such, it often results in psychological and moral damage—harm which, I argue, renders shaming practices very difficult to justify. Following this, I posit that a morally preferable response to shame is one that successfully addresses and dispels the emotion. To this end, I critique two common responses to shame, compliance and anger, and then propose an alternative: the practice of emotional vulnerability.

15. Social Theory and Practice: Volume > 49 > Issue: 3
Anne-Cathrine Wackerhausen

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In this article, three new concepts of dehumanization are proposed in order to distinguish clearly between three different kinds of phenomena that are frequently conflated and misrepresented in current research: subjective dehumanization, detrimental conditions, and objective dehumanization. The article offers (i) a more fine-grained understanding of these three kinds of dehumanization phenomena, which in turn (ii) illuminates new strategies for conflict prevention. This is achieved through a process of conceptual engineering, where the boundaries of our concepts are redrawn, so they are better suited for the dealing with the phenomena in question.

16. Social Theory and Practice: Volume > 49 > Issue: 2
Brian Dirk Eckley Orcid-ID

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Now that the Washington Football Team, formerly known as the Redskins, has succumbed to recent political pressure and changed its name, some may think that the fight over pseudo-Native-American representations (PNAR) in sports is over and won in favor of the activists. I will argue, using Beauvoir’s existential ethics, that PNAR in general is immoral and that several other teams should also change their branding.

17. Social Theory and Practice: Volume > 49 > Issue: 2
Jason Edwards

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The distinction between work and play is a defining feature of the modern world. But the border between them has been a site of major political contestation, giving rise to new forms of authority. I turn to the work of Michael Oakeshott to examine the distinction between work and play and how it relates to the idea of authority. I argue that reading Oakeshott on work, play, conduct, and authority can give us important insights into key questions of democratic theory at a time when socio-economic and technological changes are once again transforming the border of work and play.

18. Social Theory and Practice: Volume > 49 > Issue: 2
Daniel Guillery

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States more or less universally claim discretionary rights to decide who may or may not cross their boundaries, and to use force and violence to ensure compliance with these decisions. The justification of these practices has received much attention, but I think there is an important underexplored element of this debate. I argue that, in order to provide a plausible justification, it is indispensable to ask questions about feasibility. Any plausible defence of anything like the kind of border control regime actually in force will need to pay close attention to social scientific research into feasible alternatives.

19. Social Theory and Practice: Volume > 49 > Issue: 2
L. Chad Horne Orcid-ID

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In this paper, I distinguish two conceptions of solidarity, which I call solidarity as beneficence and solidarity as mutual advantage. I argue that only the latter is capable of providing a complete foundation for national universal health care programs. On the mutual advantage account, the rationale for universal insurance is parallel to the rationale for a labor union’s “closed shop” policy. In both cases, mandatory participation is necessary in order to stop individuals free-riding on an ongoing system of mutually advantageous cooperation.

20. Social Theory and Practice: Volume > 49 > Issue: 2
Josh Mund Orcid-ID

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Humanely raised farm animals have lives worth living, and their existence is contingent upon human actions. Do these facts render the act of humanely slaughtering such animals permissible? I identify two ethical principles that may seem to connect these facts to the permissibility of humane animal slaughter. The first principle, inspired by the non-identity problem, exonerates some actions that maximize an individual’s well-being, but it is often inapplicable to animal slaughter. The second principle, which exonerates actions that are part of a practice that makes the animal better off, does apply to animal slaughter; but this principle is false.