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1. Social Theory and Practice: Volume > 38 > Issue: 2
Gideon Elford Men Who Would Be Kings: Choice, Inequality, and Counterfactual Responsibility
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The luck egalitarian view famously maintains that inequalities in individuals' circumstances are unfair, whereas inequalities traceable to individuals' own responsible choices are fair. There is, however, an important question about the inequality justifying power of responsible choice where choices are made in circumstances of existing unfair inequality. This paper considers a luck egalitarian answer to this question which holds that individuals are fairly held liable for disadvantages resulting from their choices unless that disadvantage would have been avoided under circumstances of fair equality. The paper argues that this counterfactual account faces multiple serious problems, rendering it a tool of only limited use for the luck egalitarian.
2. Social Theory and Practice: Volume > 38 > Issue: 2
J. K. Miles A Perfectionist Defense of Free Speech
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It is often said that if free speech means anything it means freedom for the thought we hate. This core idea is generally referred to as “viewpoint neutrality” and is consistent with the liberal intuition that governments should remain neutral with regard to conceptions of the good life. None of the traditional defenses of free speech seem to secure viewpoint neutrality, however. Instead, each justification leaves room to censor some viewpoints. Ironically my defense of viewpoint neutrality does not come from the liberal assumption that governments should remain neutral about the good life. I defend a version of the virtue argument for free speech that is explicitly perfectionist—-government does not have to remain neutral when promoting good lives for its citizens. Free speech is not just a means to promote virtue but is part and parcel of intellectual virtue—-a decidedly perfectionist value.
3. Social Theory and Practice: Volume > 38 > Issue: 2
Andrew Jason Cohen Exchanges and Relationships: On Hard-Headed Economics Capturing the Soft Side of Life
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Many social scientists think of exchange in terms far broader than philosophers. I defend the broader use of the term as well as the claim that meaningful human relationships are usefully understood as constituted by exchanges. I argue, though, that we must recognize that a great number of non-monetary and non-material goods are part of our daily lives and exchanges. Particularly important are emotional goods. I defend my view against the important objection that it demeans intimate relationships. As an addendum, I also defend it against claims that economics cannot study such exchanges.
4. Social Theory and Practice: Volume > 38 > Issue: 2
Meena Krishnamurthy Reconceiving Rawls’s Arguments for Equal Political Liberty and Its Fair Value: On Our Higher-Order Interests
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Few have discussed Rawls's arguments for the value of democracy. This is because his arguments, as arguments that the principle of equal basic liberty should include democratic liberties, are incomplete. Rawls says little about the inclusion of political liberties of a democratic sort – such as the right to vote – among the basic liberties. And, at times, what he does say is unconvincing. My aim is to complete and, where they fail, to reconceive Rawls's arguments and to show that a principle requiring equal political liberty and its fair value is an appropriate component of his theory of justice.
5. Social Theory and Practice: Volume > 38 > Issue: 2
Jesper Ryberg Restitutionism: A Self-Defeating Theory of Criminal Justice
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According to the restitutionist view on justice, criminals should compensate their victims for the losses they have suffered as the result of crime. The discussion amongst proponents and critics of restitutionism has, to a large extent, focused on the question as to whether the theory is capable of dealing with many of the complicated challenges that arise within a criminal justice system. However, in this paper it is suggested that the restitutionist theory of justice should be rejected from the very outset. Given an empirical assumption, referred to as the Third Parties Assumption, it is argued that the theory is practically self-defeating in the sense that it cannot be applied without violating its own prescriptions.
6. Social Theory and Practice: Volume > 38 > Issue: 2
Alice MacLachlan Closet Doors and Stage Lights: On the Goods of Out
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This paper makes an ethical and a conceptual case against any purported duty to come out of the closet. While there are recognizable goods associated with coming out, namely, leading an authentic life and resisting oppression, these goods generate a set of imperfect duties that are defeasible in a wide range of circumstances, and are only sometimes fulfilled by coming out. Second, practices of coming out depend on a ‘lump’ picture of sexuality and on an insufficiently subtle account of responsible disclosure. We value and promote the goods of out best when we leave the framework of the closet, and not merely the closet door, behind.
7. Social Theory and Practice: Volume > 38 > Issue: 2
Vaughn Bryan Baltzly Same-Sex Marriage, Polygamy, and Disestablishment
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The Progressive favors extending the legal institution of marriage so as to include same-sex unions along with heterosexual ones. The Traditionalist opposes such an extension, preferring to retain the legal institution of marriage in its present form. I argue that the Progressive ought to broaden her position, endorsing instead the Liberal case for extending the current institution so as to include polygamous unions as well—for any consideration favoring Progressivism over Traditionalism likewise favors Liberalism over Progressivism. Progressives inclined to resist Liberalism are invited to consider an alternative position: the Libertarian stance that favors instead the ‘disestablishment’ of marriage.
book reviews
8. Social Theory and Practice: Volume > 38 > Issue: 2
Kenneth Shockley The Moral Foundations of Social Institutions
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9. Social Theory and Practice: Volume > 38 > Issue: 2
Leslie P. Francis The Faces of Intellectual Disability: Philosophical Reflections
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10. Social Theory and Practice: Volume > 38 > Issue: 2
Richard Dagger Modus Vivendi Liberalism: Theory and Practice
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