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Displaying: 1-11 of 11 documents


1. Social Theory and Practice: Volume > 39 > Issue: 2
Brandon Morgan-Olsen A Duty to Listen: Epistemic Obligations and Public Deliberation
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It is a common line in democratic theory that citizens must only offer “public” reasons into political discourse. This is a civic obligation that is traditionally taken bypolitical liberals to fall on the citizen as speaker—as an individual who forwards political arguments. I argue here that taking proper account of the epistemic complexity involved in distinguishing public from nonpublic reasons entails robust civic obligations on listeners. Thus, those who accept this obligation for speakers must accept a corresponding civic obligation on listeners—a duty to attempt to identify public reasons within others’ presented arguments, even if those arguments appear nonpublic at first blush.
2. Social Theory and Practice: Volume > 39 > Issue: 2
Joseph Q. Adams Retributive Prepunishment
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This paper argues that many of our most important theories of retributivism are unwittingly committed to the radical thesis that prepunishment—punishment before an offense—is morally permissible. From the perspective of diachronic justice on which these theories crucially depend, the timing of retribution is, ceteris paribus, irrelevant. But retributivism’s counterintuitive support does not stop there: there are conditions under which pre-offense apprehension and punishment guarantees a higher probability of justice being done. Under these conditions, the popular retributive theories I have in mind do not just permit, but require, prepunishment.
3. Social Theory and Practice: Volume > 39 > Issue: 2
Kevin J. Murtagh Free Will Denial and Punishment
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If we lack the kind of free will required for moral responsibility, what does that entail for the justification of particular punitive practices and punishment generally? Everyone seems to agree that incarceration can still be justified, and that retributive justifications of punishment will be unavailable. Beyond this, however, there is little agreement. In this article, I evaluate Derk Pereboom’s discussion of this issue in Living Without Free Will, and then articulate and defend my own positive position. In my view, significant punishment can be justified on consequentialist grounds by the free will denier without betraying important concerns about justice.
4. Social Theory and Practice: Volume > 39 > Issue: 2
Mark Navin Competing Epistemic Spaces: How Social Epistemology Helps Explain and Evaluate Vaccine Denialism
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Recent increases in the rates of parental refusal of routine childhood vaccination have eroded many countries’ “herd immunity” to communicable diseases. Some parents who refuse routine childhood vaccines do so because they deny the mainstream medical consensus that vaccines are safe and effective. I argue that one reason these vaccine denialists disagree with vaccine proponents about the reasons in favor of vaccination is because they also disagree about the sorts of practices that are conducive to good reasoning about healthcare choices. Vaccine denialists allocate epistemic authority more democratically than do mainstream medical professionals. They also sometimes make truth ascriptions for nonepistemic reasons, fail to recognize legitimate differences in expertiseand competence, and seek uncritical affirmation of their existing beliefs. By focusing on the different epistemic values and practices of vaccine denialists and mainstream medical professionals, I locate my discussion of vaccine denialism within broader debates about rationality. Furthermore, I argue that gender inequality and gendered conceptions of reason are important parts of the explanation of vaccine denialism. Accordingly, I draw upon feminist work—primarily feminist social epistemology—to help explain and evaluate this form of vaccine refusal.
5. Social Theory and Practice: Volume > 39 > Issue: 2
Hallie Liberto Noxious Markets versus Noxious Gift Relationships
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I argue that women in traditional marriages are a vulnerable source for kidneys and this vulnerability gives rise to exploitative donation arrangements made within families. In so doing, I critique Alan Wertheimer’s account of the impact that emotional closeness between participants in an agreement has on the wrongfulness of exploitation. I propose a regulated market scheme that is not only less exploitative than our current donation scheme, but also resolves a variety of other moral problems that typically arise in real and imagined kidney sale scenarios, problems that render markets “noxious,” according to Debra Satz.
6. Social Theory and Practice: Volume > 39 > Issue: 2
Rebekah Johnston Marriage and the Metaphysics of Bodily Union: Framing the Same-Sex Marriage Debate
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One current line of argument against the legalization of same-sex marriage, advocated primarily by the New Natural Lawyers, is that marriage is a pre-political institution that has, as an essential element, a bodily union requirement. They argue that same-sex couples cannot realize bodily union in their sexual activities and thus cannot meet the structural requirements of marriage. Accordingly, they argue that the same-sex marriage debate must be framed as a debate about what marriage is, and not, as it was in the anti-miscegenation precedents, about who can get married. I argue that their position, which promulgates a set of pernicious stereotypes about same-sex couples, is, first of all, internally inconsistent. According to their own metaphysical principles about bodily union, they provide no rational basis for the claim that same-sex couples cannot realize bodily union and thus that same-sex couples cannot be married. Second, I argue for a deflationary account of the significance of bodily union. While same-sex couples, like heterosexual couples, can realize bodily union, this sort of union has no moral significance and thus cannot be the factor that distinguishes marriages from other sorts of relationships. Finally, I suggest that they have no basis for their claims about the inferiority of same-sex relationships.
review essays
7. Social Theory and Practice: Volume > 39 > Issue: 2
Thaddeus Metz “The Meaning of Life Lies in the Search”: Robert Kane’s New Justification of Objective Values
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8. Social Theory and Practice: Volume > 39 > Issue: 2
Robert Kane Searching for Wisdom About the Good in Theory and Practice: A Response to Metz
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9. Social Theory and Practice: Volume > 39 > Issue: 2
Meira Levinson Tacking Toward Justice
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10. Social Theory and Practice: Volume > 39 > Issue: 2
M. Victoria Costa Justice as Fairness and Educational Policy: A Response to Levinson
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book review
11. Social Theory and Practice: Volume > 39 > Issue: 2
Michael Potts T. M. Wilkinson, "Ethics and the Acquisition of Organs"
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