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1. Social Theory and Practice: Volume > 38 > Issue: 4
Index to Volume 38
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2. 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.
3. 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.
4. 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.
5. 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.
6. 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.
7. 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.
8. 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
9. 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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10. Social Theory and Practice: Volume > 38 > Issue: 3
C.A.J. Coady Stephen Nathanson, Terrorism and the Ethics of War
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11. Social Theory and Practice: Volume > 38 > Issue: 3
Shane Darcy Larry May, Global Justice and Due Process
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12. 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.
13. 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.
14. 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.
15. 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.
16. 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.
17. 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.
18. 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
19. Social Theory and Practice: Volume > 38 > Issue: 2
Kenneth Shockley The Moral Foundations of Social Institutions
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20. Social Theory and Practice: Volume > 38 > Issue: 2
Leslie P. Francis The Faces of Intellectual Disability: Philosophical Reflections
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