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Displaying: 1-7 of 7 documents


1. Social Theory and Practice: Volume > 45 > Issue: 4
Amy Berg Incomplete Ideal Theory
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What is the best way to make sustained societal progress over time? Non-ideal theory done on its own faces the problem of second best, but ideal theory seems unable to cope with disagreement about how to make progress. If ideal theory gives up its claims to completeness, then we can use the method of incompletely theorized agreements to make progress over time.
2. Social Theory and Practice: Volume > 45 > Issue: 4
Mavis Biss A Kantian Response to the Problem of Reception
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This paper addresses the problem of explaining the relationship between social recognition and justification of moral action, or “the problem of reception.” It is an especially acute and distinctive problem for agents who resist oppression by challenging established norms because action may be necessary even when good reception cannot be expected. I draw on recent work in Kantian ethics that acknowledges the conditions of socially embedded rational agency to argue that moral resisters’ misread actions may count as moral achievements, despite the fact that failed reception may frustrate the realization of moral ends, threaten moral confidence and inhibit rational flourishing.
3. Social Theory and Practice: Volume > 45 > Issue: 4
Naima Chahboun Ideal Theory and Action-Guidance: Why We Still Disagree
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This article clarifies the disagreement concerning ideal theory’s action-guiding capacity through the unpacking of two underlying disagreements. The first concerns the threshold for action-guidance on the scales of empirical and normative determinacy; I argue that the dispute between critics and proponents of ideal theory is not about whether ideal principles offer some specific information, but about which information should count as action-guiding. The second concerns the task of normative principles; I argue that the different weight critics and proponents attribute to the risks associated with ideal theory may reflect diverging views on whether principles primarily generate or explain normative judgments.
4. Social Theory and Practice: Volume > 45 > Issue: 4
Lina Eriksson Social Norms as Signals
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According to the signaling theory of social norms, people comply with social norms in order to signal that they have a low discount rate for future costs and benefits and thereby that they are reliable cooperation partners. But the theory does not take into sufficient account the fact that the signaling value of social norm compliance depends on how many other people that comply, and that the signaling value at high compliance levels (which is typical for social norms) is rather low. Therefore, although signaling can explain some compliance with social norms, it is unlikely to be the main explanation.
5. Social Theory and Practice: Volume > 45 > Issue: 4
Michael Huemer Gun Rights as Deontic Constraints
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In earlier work, I argued that gun prohibition is unjustified because it violates an individual right to self-defense. Here, I defend that argument against objections posed by Nicholas Dixon and Jeff McMahan to the effect that the right of citizens to be free from gun violence counterbalances the right of self-defense, and that gun prohibition does not violate the right of self-defense because it renders everyone overall safer.
6. Social Theory and Practice: Volume > 45 > Issue: 4
Brian Kogelmann Kant, Rawls, and the Possibility of Autonomy
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One feature of John Rawls’s well-ordered society in both A Theory of Justice (TJ) and Political Liberalism (PL) is that citizens in the well-ordered society, when adhering to the principles of justice governing that society, realize their full autonomy. This notion of full autonomy is explicitly Kantian. This constancy, I shall argue, raises problems. Though the model of the well-ordered society presented in TJ is arguably consistent with Kant’s notion of autonomy, the model of the well-ordered society presented in PL is not. The problem is that in the well-ordered society of PL people’s reasons for complying with the principles of justice are overdetermined in a problematic way. This raises the interesting question of acting from overdetermined motives in Kant’s system of ethics. In this paper I argue that regardless of which plausible interpretation of acting from overdetermined motives we adopt, the prospect of citizens realizing their full autonomy in Rawls’s PL are small. This is a serious defect of the theory.
7. Social Theory and Practice: Volume > 45 > Issue: 4
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