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Displaying: 1-10 of 42 documents


1. Social Theory and Practice: Volume > 38 > Issue: 4
Richard Dean A Plausible Kantian Argument Against Moralism
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There seems to be something wrong with passing moralistic judgments on others’ moral character. Immanuel Kant’s ethics provides insight into an underexplored way in which moralistic judgments are problematic, namely, that they are both a sign of fundamentally poor character in the moralistic person herself and an obstacle to that person’s own moral self-improvement. Kant’s positions on these issues provide a basically compelling argument against moralistic judgment of others, an argument that can be detached from the most controversial elements of Kantian ethics to stand as plausible and instructive in its own right.
2. Social Theory and Practice: Volume > 38 > Issue: 4
Nathan Hanna It’s Only Natural: Legal Punishment and the Natural Right to Punish
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Some philosophers defend legal punishment by appealing to a natural right to punish wrongdoers, a right people would have in a state of nature. Many of these philosophers argue that legal punishment can be justified by transferring this right to the state. I’ll argue that such a right may not be transferrable to the state because such a right may not survive the transition out of anarchy. A compelling reason for the natural right claim--that in a state of nature there are few if any viable nonpunitive enforcement options--isn’t obviously true in state contexts.
3. Social Theory and Practice: Volume > 38 > Issue: 4
Alexander Brown Rawls, Buchanan, and the Legal Doctrine of Legitimate Expectations
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The article responds to an overlooked objection put by Allen Buchanan to John Rawls’s theory of justice: that implementing the Difference Principle over time may require gross and frequent disruptions of people’s framing and execution of long-term plans. Having strengthened Buchanan’s objection to resolve significant weaknesses in his main counterexample, I argue that the best response to this objection draws on the concept of the rule of law, specifically, the legal doctrine of legitimate expectations, which can be found in English, French, and European Union administrative law. I also explore the suitability of incorporating this doctrine into Justice as Fairness given its absence in United States constitutional and administrative law. Finally, I turn to consider the question of what the government owes to agents in whom legitimate expectations are induced and then frustrated. Here I introduce the Precept of Administrative Liability.
4. Social Theory and Practice: Volume > 38 > Issue: 4
Jessica Payson Individuals, Institutions, and Structures: Agents of Political Responsibilities in Cohen, Pogge, and Young
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In this essay I argue that Iris Marion Young provides a substantially new model of responsibility that provides a way out of the standard debate regarding whether and the extent to which individuals have responsibilities for justice. This debate, best represented in an exchange of essays between G.A. Cohen and Thomas Pogge, hinges on the causal efficacy of the bearers of responsibility for justice. By distinguishing herself from both Cohen’s individualism and Pogge’s institutionalism, Young provides an enhanced way to conceptualize the responsibilities that individuals have towards justice in a nonideal world in which they have limited causal impact.
5. Social Theory and Practice: Volume > 38 > Issue: 4
Graham Parsons The Incoherence of Walzer’s Just War Theory
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In his Just and Unjust Wars, Michael Walzer claims that his theory of just war is based on the rights of individuals to life and liberty. This is not the case. Walzer in fact bases his theory of jus ad bellum on the supreme rights of supra-individual political communities. According to his theory of jus ad bellum, the rights of political communities are of utmost importance, and individuals can be sacrificed for the sake of these communal rights. At the same time, Walzer bases his theory of jus in bello on the supreme rights of individuals to life and liberty. According to his theory of jus in bello, the rights of individuals are of utmost importance, and political communities can never permissibly violate them in war. Thus, Walzer’s theory of just war is based on two incompatible theories of justice. This explains why Walzer’s theory produces incoherent practical prescriptions in cases of supreme emergencies. Furthermore, it is impossible for Walzer to base his theory of jus ad bellum on the rights of individuals as he conceives them. The theory of jus ad bellum holds that soldiers are obligated to obey the commands of their political superiors. However, this obligation violates the rights of individuals in a number of respects. This is why Walzer does not base the theory of jus ad bellum on individual rights, and produces an incoherent theory.
6. Social Theory and Practice: Volume > 38 > Issue: 4
Patrick Lenta Corporal Punishment of Children
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In this paper I consider arguments advanced by supporters of corporal punishment and argue that they have failed to show that this practice is justified on either consequentialist or retributivist grounds. Not only are there alternative punishments that bring about as much (if not more) benefit at a lower cost, but corporal punishment poses a risk of psychological harm to children and violates children’s rights. I conclude that corporal punishment is morally impermissible and that it ought to be criminalized.
7. Social Theory and Practice: Volume > 38 > Issue: 4
Brynn F. Welch A Theory of Filial Obligations
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Despite the fact that many people face pressing questions about what they are morally required to do for their aging parents, surprisingly little has been said in the literature about filial obligations. After considering and rejecting two theories--Gratitude Theory and Special Goods Theory--this paper offers a novel, blended theory of filial obligations, called the Gratitude for Special Goods Theory. On this view, grown children often have extensive obligations to meet their parents’ needs, for doing so serves as an expression of gratitude for the parents’ past provision of goods to the child.
review essay
8. Social Theory and Practice: Volume > 38 > Issue: 4
Jeffrey Reiman The Structure of Structural Injustice: Thoughts on Iris Marion Young’s Responsibility for Justice
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book review
9. Social Theory and Practice: Volume > 38 > Issue: 4
Larry Krasnoff Jonathan Quong, Liberalism Without Perfection, Reviewed by Larry Krasnoff
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10. Social Theory and Practice: Volume > 38 > Issue: 4
Books Received
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