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Social Theory and Practice

Volume 42, Issue 1, January 2016

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Displaying: 1-10 of 11 documents

1. Social Theory and Practice: Volume > 42 > Issue: 1
James Pearson, Wittgenstein and the Utility of Disagreement
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This paper focuses on the theme of intersubjective disagreement in the late Wittgenstein and how his thought can be applied to our understanding of deliberative political practice. To this end, the study critically compares the contradictory readings of Wittgenstein that we find epitomized in Saul Kripke and James Tully. Drawing on Tully (and Stanley Cavell), I argue against Kripke that widespread disagreement over meaning does not necessarily threaten the utility of social practices. Notwithstanding, I also demonstrate how Tully’s reading, which can be considered pro-disagreement, is in need of refinement if certain misreadings are to be foreclosed and Wittgenstein is to be properly invoked as theoretical support for more comprehensive approaches to deliberative practice.
2. Social Theory and Practice: Volume > 42 > Issue: 1
Hye Ryoung Kang, Can Rawls’s Nonideal Theory Save his Ideal Theory?
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Critical attention directed to John Rawls’s ideal theory has in particular leveled three charges against it: first, its infeasibility; second, its inadequacy for providing normative guidance on actual injustices; and third, its insensitivity to the justice concerns of marginalized groups. Recently, advocates for Rawls’s ideal theory have replied that problems arising at the stage of ideal theory can be addressed at the later stage of his nonideal theory. This article disputes that claim by arguing that although Rawls’s nonideal theory provides a good answer to the infeasibility charge, it does not do so for the second and third charges. To argue for this thesis, I illustrate that nonideal theory in Rawls’s Law of Peoples is unable to identify crucial injustices that emerge in the nonideal conditions of real world globalization.
3. Social Theory and Practice: Volume > 42 > Issue: 1
Alfred Archer, Community, Pluralism, and Individualistic Pursuits: A Defense of Why Not Socialism?
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Is socialism morally preferable to free market capitalism? G.A. Cohen has argued that even when the economic inequalities produced by free markets are not the result of injustice, they nevertheless ought to be avoided, because they are community-undermining. As free markets inevitably lead to economic inequalities and socialism does not, socialism is morally preferable. This argument has been the subject of recent criticism. Chad Van Schoelandt argues that it depends on a conception of community that is incompatible with pluralism, while Richard Miller argues that it rules out individualistic pursuits. I will show that both of these objections rest upon a misreading of Cohen’s argument.
4. Social Theory and Practice: Volume > 42 > Issue: 1
Scott Gallagher, The Limits of Pure Restitution
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The theory of pure restitution claims that a state should not punish offenders, and instead it should be limited to exacting restitution from offenders. I begin the paper by assessing and rejecting Jesper Ryberg’s critique of pure restitution. I then assess David Boonin’s defense of pure restitution. I argue that Boonin’s theory of pure restitution fails because it cannot rely on carceral nonmonetary interventions. After evaluating Boonin’s theory, I advance three novel versions of common objections to pure restitution. I conclude that there are strong objections to any theory of pure restitution that have yet to be overcome.
5. Social Theory and Practice: Volume > 42 > Issue: 1
Fabian Wendt, Political Authority and the Minimal State
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Robert Nozick and Eric Mack have tried to show that a minimal state could be just. A minimal state, they claim, could help to protect people’s moral rights without violating moral rights itself. In this article, I will discuss two challenges for defenders of a minimal state. The first challenge is to show that the just minimal state does not violate moral rights when taxing people and when maintaining a monopoly on the use of force. I argue that this challenge can be met. The second challenge is to show that the just minimal state has political authority, including, most importantly, the moral power to impose duties on citizens. I argue that both Nozick and Mack lack the resources to meet that challenge, and that political authority cannot be deflated. This is an important problem, because a lack of political authority also undermines a state’s justness.
6. Social Theory and Practice: Volume > 42 > Issue: 1
Douglas MacKay, Are Skill-Selective Immigration Policies Just?
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Many high-income countries have skill-selective immigration policies, favoring prospective immigrants who are highly skilled. I investigate whether it is permissible for high-income countries to adopt such policies. Adopting what Joseph Carens calls a “realistic approach” to the ethics of immigration, I argue first that it is in principle permissible for high-income countries to take skill as a consideration in favor of selecting one prospective immigrant rather than another. I argue second that high-income countries must ensure that their skill-selective immigration policies do not contribute to the nonfulfillment of their duty to aid residents of low- and middle-income countries.
7. Social Theory and Practice: Volume > 42 > Issue: 1
Asha Bhandary, A Millian Concept of Care: What Mill’s Defense of the Common Arrangement Can Teach Us About Care
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This paper advances a Millian concept of care by re-evaluating his defense of the “common arrangement,” or a gendered division of labor in marriage, in connection with his views about traditionally feminine capacities, time use, and societal expectations. Informed by contemporary care ethics and liberal feminism, I explicate the best argument Mill could have provided in defense of the common arrangement, and I show that it is grounded in a valuable concept of care for care-givers. This dual-sided concept of care theorizes care-giving both as a domain of human excellence and as labor with accompanying burdens. Liberal feminists should adopt this Millian concept of care, which can then inform principled thinking about distributive arrangements.
8. Social Theory and Practice: Volume > 42 > Issue: 1
Gabriele Badano, Still Special, Despite Everything: A Liberal Defense of the Value of Healthcare in the Face of the Social Determinants of Health
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Recent epidemiological research on the social determinants of health has been used to attack an important framework, associated with Norman Daniels, that depicts healthcare as special. My aim is to rescue the idea that healthcare has special importance in society, although specialness will turn out to be mainly limited to clinical care. I build upon the link between Daniels’s theory and the work of John Rawls to develop a conception of public justification liberalism that is applicable to the field of justice and health. I argue that, from the perspective of public justification liberalism, (clinical) healthcare deserves special status.
book reviews
9. Social Theory and Practice: Volume > 42 > Issue: 1
Zac Cogley, Manuel Vargas, Building Better Beings: A Theory of Moral Responsibility
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10. Social Theory and Practice: Volume > 42 > Issue: 1
Jason Brennan, Claudio López-Guerra, Democracy and Disenfranchisement: The Morality of Electoral Exclusions
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