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Displaying: 101-120 of 1387 documents


101. Social Theory and Practice: Volume > 43 > Issue: 1
Alice Baderin Reflective Equilibrium: Individual or Public?
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The paper explores whether the method of reflective equilibrium (RE) in ethics and political philosophy should be individual or public in character. I defend a modestly public conception of RE, in which public opinion is used specifically as a source of considered judgments about cases. Public opinion is superior to philosophical opinion in delivering judgments that are untainted by principled commitments. A case-based approach also mitigates the methodological problems that commonly confront efforts to integrate philosophy with the investigation of popular attitudes. This conception of RE is situated in relation to alternative accounts, including those of Daniels, Rawls, and Wolff and de-Shalit.
102. Social Theory and Practice: Volume > 43 > Issue: 1
Paul Hurley Why Consequentialism’s "Compelling Idea" Is Not
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Many consequentialists take their theory to be anchored by a deeply intuitive idea, the “Compelling Idea” that it is always permissible to promote the best outcome. I demonstrate that this Idea is not, in fact, intuitive at all, either in its agent-neutral or its evaluator-relative form. There are deeply intuitive ideas concerning the relationship of deontic to telic evaluation, but the Compelling Idea is at best a controversial interpretation of such ideas, not itself one of them. Because there is no Compelling Idea at the heart of consequentialism, there is no initial burden of proof to be discharged nor any air of paradox to be cleared away by its opponents.
103. Social Theory and Practice: Volume > 43 > Issue: 1
Barry Hoffmaster, Cliff Hooker The Nature of Moral Compromise: Principles, Values, and Reason
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Compromise is a pervasive fact of life. It occurs when obligations conflict and repudiating one obligation entirely to satisfy another entirely is unacceptable—for example, when a single parent cannot both raise a child satisfactorily and earn the income that living together demands. Compromise is unsettling, but properly negotiating difficult circumstances develops moral and emotional maturity. Yet compromise has no place in moral philosophy, where it is logically anathematized and deemed to violate integrity. This paper defends compromise with more expansive accounts of reason and integrity that comport with our finite moral agency and infuse our moral lives.
104. Social Theory and Practice: Volume > 43 > Issue: 1
Paul Billingham Liberal Perfectionism and Quong’s Internal Conception of Political Liberalism
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Debates between political liberals and liberal perfectionists have been reinvigorated by Jonathan Quong’s Liberalism Without Perfection. In this paper, I argue that certain forms of perfectionism can rebut or evade Quong’s three central objections—that perfectionism is manipulative, paternalistic, and illegitimate. I then argue that perfectionists can defend an “internal conception” of perfectionism, parallel in structure to Quong’s “internal conception” of political liberalism, but with a different conception of the justificatory constituency. None of Quong’s arguments show that his view should be preferred to this perfectionist internal conception. It can thus equally claim to achieve “justification to all reasonable citizens.”
105. Social Theory and Practice: Volume > 43 > Issue: 1
James Stacey Taylor Vote Buying and Voter Preferences
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A common criticism of plurality voting is that it fails to reflect the degree of intensity with which voters prefer the candidate or policy that they vote for. To rectify this, many critics of plurality voting have argued that vote buying should be allowed. Persons with more intense preferences for a candidate could buy votes from persons with less intense preferences for the opposing candidate and then cast them for the candidate that they intensely support. This paper argues that instead of better reflecting voters’ weighted preferences, vote buying will lead to electoral outcomes that reflect them less accurately.
106. Social Theory and Practice: Volume > 43 > Issue: 1
Eric Cavallero Value Individualism and the Popular-Choice Theory of Secession
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According to the popular-choice theory of secession, the inhabitants of any territory, as a group, should have an internationally recognized right to secede from a sovereign state if their majority chooses by referendum to do so, and if they are capable of sustaining legitimate state institutions. Prior efforts to defend this group right on individualistic grounds—such as the individual right to associate freely or to participate as an equal in democratic decision-making—have failed. As a result, some recent defenders of the choice theory have suggested that the group right the theory implies is “irreducibly collective.” I argue, to the contrary, that this group right can be grounded fully in the fundamental right of each individual to be treated as an equal by the political institutions to which he is subject. The territorial implications of the choice theory are, moreover, consistent with a plausible account of the territorial rights of states.
107. Social Theory and Practice: Volume > 43 > Issue: 1
Jessica Begon Capabilities for All?: From Capabilities to Function, to Capabilities to Control
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The capability approach aims to ensure that all individuals are able to form and pursue their own conception of the good, whilst the state remains neutral between them, and has done much to include oppressed and marginalized groups. Liberal neutrality and social inclusivity are worthy goals, yet I argue that Martha Nussbaum’s influential formulation of the capability approach, at least, cannot meet them. Conceptualizing capabilities as opportunities to perform specific, valuable functionings fails to accommodate those who do not value, or cannot perform, these functionings. I therefore propose that the capability approach be modified, such that capabilities are conceptualized instead as opportunities to exercise control in certain central domains of our life.
108. Social Theory and Practice: Volume > 43 > Issue: 1
Alexander Zambrano Patient Autonomy and the Family Veto Problem in Organ Procurement
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A number of bioethicists have been critical of the power of the family to “veto” a patient’s decision to posthumously donate her organs within opt-in systems of organ procurement. One major objection directed at the family veto is that when families veto the decision of their deceased family member, they do something wrong by violating or failing to respect the autonomy of that deceased family member. The goal of this paper is to make progress on answering this objection. I do this in two stages. First, I argue that the most plausible interpretation of what happens when a person registers as an organ donor in an opt-in system is that she gives her consent to the state to posthumously remove her organs for transplantation purposes. Call this the Authorization Account. Second, given the Authorization Account, I argue by analogy that when families veto an individual’s decision to donate and the individual’s organs are not in the end removed, neither the doctors nor the family violate the individual’s autonomy in any morally objectionable sense. Call this the Nonremoval Thesis. I argue that since the Nonremoval Thesis is true, we do not violate or fail to respect the autonomy of registered donors when we fail to remove their organs because their family has objected.
book reviews
109. Social Theory and Practice: Volume > 43 > Issue: 1
Marco Verschoor Margaret Moore, A Political Theory of Territory
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110. Social Theory and Practice: Volume > 43 > Issue: 1
Jason M. Wirth Kelly Oliver, Earth & World: Philosophy after the Apollo Missions
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111. Social Theory and Practice: Volume > 43 > Issue: 1
Ruth Groenhout Stephanie Collins, The Core of Care Ethics
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112. Social Theory and Practice: Volume > 42 > Issue: 4
Sofia Jeppsson Accountability, Answerability, and Freedom
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It has been argued that we cannot be morally responsible in the sense required to deserve blame or punishment if the world is deterministic, but still morally responsible in the sense of being apt targets for moral criticism. Desert-entailing moral responsibility is supposed to be more freedom-demanding than other kinds of responsibility, since it justifies subjecting people to blame and punishments, is nonconsequentialist, and has been shown by thought experiments to be incompatible with determinism. In this paper, I will show that all these arguments can be resisted.
113. Social Theory and Practice: Volume > 42 > Issue: 4
Brian Berkey Against Rawlsian Institutionalism about Justice
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One of the most influential claims made by John Rawls in A Theory of Justice is that the principles of justice apply only to the institutions of the “basic structure of society,” and do not apply directly to the conduct of individuals. In this paper, I aim to cast doubt on this view, which I call “Institutionalism about Justice,” by considering whether several of the prominent motivations for it offered by Rawls and others succeed in providing the support for the view that they claim. I argue that all of the motivations are problematic as grounds for accepting Institutionalism, at least in part because they, and the Institutionalist view that they are thought to support, seem to misconceive what our concern about justice is fundamentally a concern about.
114. Social Theory and Practice: Volume > 42 > Issue: 4
Amir Saemi The Form of Practical Knowledge and Implicit Cognition: A Critique of Kantian Constitutivism
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Moral realism faces two worries: How can we have knowledge of moral norms if they are independent of us, and why should we care about them if they are independent of rational activities they govern? Kantian constitutivism tackles both worries simultaneously by claiming that practical norms are constitutive principles of practical reason. In particular, on Stephen Engstrom’s account, willing involves making a practical judgment. To will well, and thus to have practical knowledge (i.e., knowledge of what is good), the content of one’s will needs to conform to the formal presuppositions of practical knowledge. Practical norms are thus constitutive of practical knowledge. However, I will argue that the universality principles from which Engstrom derives the formal presuppositions of practical knowledge are reflectively and psychologically unavailable. As a result, they cannot help Kantian constitutivism provide an answer to moral realism's worries.
115. Social Theory and Practice: Volume > 42 > Issue: 4
Brian Carey Justice for Jerks: Human Nature, Selfishness, and Noncompliance
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Recent debates about the relationship between ideal and nonideal theory have begun to focus on exploring the concept of political feasibility and the role that feasibility considerations should play in a theory of justice. In this article I argue that if there are facts that constrain what is feasible for human beings to motivate themselves to do, these facts ought to be understood as constraints on what justice can demand of us. I begin by explaining why our feasibility considerations must be sensitive to facts about motivational capacities. I then argue that taking motivational constraints seriously need not commit us to an overly concessive theory of justice.
116. Social Theory and Practice: Volume > 42 > Issue: 4
Mark Piper Achieving Autonomy
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I argue that acting autonomously is often a far more difficult achievement than much of the recent literature on this topic would suggest. Several of the most influential autonomy achievement theories have low achievement thresholds, and there are conceptual and empirical reasons to hold that autonomy achievement ought to be viewed as having much higher thresholds in general. I consider and rebut a variety of reasons for keeping the autonomy achievement threshold low, and conclude with a brief word on the normative implications of my thesis.
117. Social Theory and Practice: Volume > 42 > Issue: 4
Michael Fuerstein Democratic Experiments: An Affect-Based Interpretation and Defense
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I offer an interpretation and defense of John Dewey’s notion of “democratic experiments,” which involve testing moral beliefs through the experience of acting on them on a social scale. Such testing is crucial, I argue, because our social norms and institutions fundamentally shape the relationships through which we develop emotional responses that represent the morally significant concerns of others. Improving those responses therefore depends on deliberate alterations of our social environment. I consider deliberative and activist alternatives and argue that an experimentalist approach better models some prominent cases of social progress, such as the extension of marital rights to same-sex couples.
118. Social Theory and Practice: Volume > 42 > Issue: 4
Caleb Yong Justice in Labor Immigration Policy
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I provide an alternative to the two prevailing accounts of justice in immigration policy, the free migration view and the state discretion view. Against the background of an internationalist conception of domestic and global justice that grounds special duties of justice between co-citizens in their shared participation in a distinctive scheme of social cooperation, I defend three principles of justice to guide labor immigration policy: the Difference Principle, the Duty of Beneficence, and the Duty of Assistance. I suggest how these principles are to be applied in both ideal and nonideal circumstances. Finally, I argue that the potential conflict between these principles has often been overstated, and propose priority rules for genuine cases of conflict.
119. Social Theory and Practice: Volume > 42 > Issue: 4
Colin Hickey, Travis N. Rieder, Jake Earl Population Engineering and the Fight against Climate Change
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Contrary to political and philosophical consensus, we argue that the threats posed by climate change justify population engineering, the intentional manipulation of the size and structure of human populations. Specifically, we defend three types of policies aimed at reducing fertility rates: (1) choice enhancement, (2) preference adjustment, and (3) incentivization. While few object to the first type of policy, the latter two are generally rejected because of their potential for coercion or morally objectionable manipulation. We argue that forms of each policy type are pragmatically and morally justified (perhaps even required) tools for preventing the harms of global climate change.
120. Social Theory and Practice: Volume > 42 > Issue: 4
Rebecca Kukla Whose Job Is It to Fight Climate Change?: A Response to Hickey, Rieder, and Earl
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