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Displaying: 1-20 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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11. Social Theory and Practice: Volume > 38 > Issue: 4
Index to Volume 38
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12. Social Theory and Practice: Volume > 38 > Issue: 3
Inder S. Marwah Bridging Nature and Freedom? Kant, Culture, and Cultivation
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In recent years, Kant’s lesser-known works on anthropology, education, and history have received increasing scholarly attention, illuminating his views on human nature, moral psychology, and historical development. This paper contributes to this literature by exploring Kant's conceptualization of culture. While recent commentary has drawn on Kant's “impure ethics” to suggest that his anti-imperialism and cosmopolitanism reflect a concern for the preservation of different cultures, I argue that this misinterprets the nature and function of culture in Kant’s thought. Rather than regarding culture as a constitutive good, I argue that Kant understands culture as a transitory good, as a sphere of individual and collective cultivation drawing humanity towards its teleologically given end: the perfection of our rational capacities. This suggests that only certain kinds of culture--those that “prepare [humanity] for a sovereignty in which reason alone is to dominate”--are valuable for Kant. Given this, I argue that Kant’s view of culture in fact presents far greater problems than prospects for theorizing an anti-imperial and cosmopolitan politics.
13. Social Theory and Practice: Volume > 38 > Issue: 3
Micah Lott Moral Virtue as Knowledge of Human Form
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This essay defends Aristotelian naturalism against the objection that it is naïvely optimistic, and contrary to empirical research, to suppose that virtues like justice are naturally good while vices like injustice are naturally defective. This objection depends upon the mistaken belief that our knowledge of human goodness in action and choice must come from the natural sciences. In fact, our knowledge of goodness in human action and character depends upon a practical understanding that is possessed by someone not qua scientist but qua practically wise person. I spell out some key features of this knowledge of human form, including its relation to practical reasons and its similarity to the “know-how” of crafts-persons. My account of virtue as knowledge of human form sheds light on the Aristotelian thesis that humans live according to an understanding of their own form. My account also clarifies the kinship and the divergence between Aristotelian and Kantian ethics.
14. Social Theory and Practice: Volume > 38 > Issue: 3
Kyle Swan Republican Equality
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Philosophers attracted to the republican ideal of freedom as nondomination sometimes offer the thought that a state concerned to promote this ideal would be more committed to economic justice than a liberal state pursuing freedom as noninterference. The republican commitment to economic justice is more demanding and its provisions are more substantial. These philosophers overstate republican redistributive commitments. The state need only provide a basic set of capabilities in order to achieve the republican goal, and concerns about domination in society better support a sufficiency aim in redistributive policy.
15. Social Theory and Practice: Volume > 38 > Issue: 3
Gavin Kerr Property-Owning Democracy and the Idea of Highest-Order Interests
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This paper examines the distinction drawn by Rawls between the ideas of property-owning democracy and welfare state capitalism, and assesses the strength of the support provided by justice as fairness for the implementation of the kinds of policies that distinguish property-owning democracy most sharply from welfare state capitalism. It is argued first that justice as fairness does not provide strong grounds for the implementation of policies designed to improve access to and broaden the distribution of nonhuman capital, arguably the most important institutional feature of property-owning democracy. It is then argued that the idea of “highest-order interests” provides the basis upon which a powerful case for the implementation of this key policy type may be constructed.
16. Social Theory and Practice: Volume > 38 > Issue: 3
Zoltan Miklosi Against the Principle of All-Affected Interests
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The paper examines the so-called principle of all-affected interests (PAAI), which holds that political decisions ought to be made in such a manner that all those whose interests are affected by them have appropriate opportunity to participate in them. In conjunction with factual observations regarding global economic interdependence, the PAAI is frequently proposed as the normative premise of arguments for global democracy. The paper argues that these arguments underspecify the supposed wrong of affectedness. It argues that the perceived wrongness of some situations of being affected without an opportunity to participate can be fully captured in terms of inequality rather than exclusion.
17. Social Theory and Practice: Volume > 38 > Issue: 3
Glen Pettigrove, Nigel Parsons Shame: A Case Study of Collective Emotion
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This paper outlines what we call a network model of collective emotions. Drawing upon this model, we explore the significance of collective emotions in the Palestine-Israel conflict. We highlight some of the ways in which collective shame, in particular, has contributed to the evolution of this conflict. And we consider some of the obstacles that shame and the pride-restoring narratives to which it gave birth pose to the conflict's resolution.
18. Social Theory and Practice: Volume > 38 > Issue: 3
Jovana Davidovic The International Rule of Law and Killing in War
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In this paper, I suggest that for some proposed solutions to global justice problems, incompatibility with the necessary features of international law is a reason to reject them. I illustrate this by discussing the problem raised by the case of unjust combatants, that is, combatants lacking a just cause for war. I argue that the principle of inequality of combatants, which suggests that we ought to prohibit those without a just cause for war from fighting, is not only a bad international legal principle, but also a bad principle of global justice.
book reviews
19. Social Theory and Practice: Volume > 38 > Issue: 3
Michael W. Austin David Archard and David Benatar (eds.), Procreation and Parenthood: The Ethics of Bearing and Rearing Children
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20. Social Theory and Practice: Volume > 38 > Issue: 3
C.A.J. Coady Stephen Nathanson, Terrorism and the Ethics of War
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