In The Idea of Justice (2009), Amartya Sen distinguishes between ?transcendental institutional? approaches to justice and ?realization-focused comparisons,? rejecting the former and recommending the latter as a normative approach to global justice. I argue that Sen?s project fails for three principal reasons. First, he misdiagnoses the problem with accounts that he refers to as transcendental-institutionalist. The problem is not with these kinds of accounts per se, but with particular features of prominent approaches. Second, Sen?s realization-focus does not account well for (...) the value of institutions of global justice. And even Sen agrees that reforms to institutions are urgently needed. And third, the distinction between transcendentalism and comparative approaches is implausible. I close by suggesting a strategy for an alternative institutionalist approach that can offer the kind of guidance for reforming the global order that Sen rightly takes as urgent. (shrink)
Abstract Currently the international community is discussing the regulatory framework to replace the Kyoto Protocol after 2012. The unveiling of the new framework is scheduled to occur at the December 2009 COP in Copenhagen. The stakes are high, since any treaty will affect the development prospects of per capita poor countries and will determine the climate change–related costs borne by poor people for centuries to come. Failure to arrive at an agreement would have grave effects on the development prospects of (...) poor countries, many of which will experience the most severe effects of climate change. The original UNFCCC treaty recognizes these kinds of concerns and requires that further treaty negotiation pay them heed. Any agreement will be required to conform to UNFCCC norms related to sustainable development and the equitable distribution of responsibilities. In this paper I argue that UNFCCC norms tightly constrain the range of acceptable agreements for the distribution of burdens to mitigate climate change. I conclude that any legitimate treaty must put much heavier mitigation burdens on industrialized developed countries. Of the various proposals that have received international attention, two in particular stand out as possibly satisfying UNFCCC norms regarding the distribution of responsibilities. (shrink)
In this paper I argue that hope is best understood as a compound psychological state. When we take hope according to the details of this account, we are in a good position to understand why it is a political virtue of persons. I also argue that securing the institutional bases of hope is a virtue of state institutions, particularly in states in transition from severe injustice. And, finally, when the bases are secure, a person who fails to hope for the (...) political future is in that regard prima facie blameworthy. (shrink)
Habermas asserts that his discourse ethics rests on two main commitments: (1) Moral judgments have cognitive content analogous to truth value; and (2) moral justification requires real-life discourse. Habermas elaborates on the second claim by making actual consensus a necessary condition of normative validity. I argue that Habermas's two commitments sit uneasily together. The second entails that his cognitivism is revisionist in the sense that it must reject the law of the excluded middle. Moreover, Habermas's argument in defence of the (...) need for real-life discourse is unconvincing and his derivation of the principle which requires consensus is fallacious. (shrink)
Chris Roederer, Darrel Moellendorf. last two hundred years or more under the notion of stare decisis and the rule of law. The matrix of legal rules is no longer the seat of the law in South Africa, if it ever was. One can disagree with Mohamed J's ...
Traditional Marxists hold that capitalist modes of production are unjustly exploitative. In 'Self-Ownership, Freedom and Equality' G. A. Cohen argues that this ``exploitation charge'' commits traditional Marxists to the thesis that people own themselves (``self-ownership''). If so, then traditional Marxism is vulnerable to a libertarian challenge to its commitment to equality. Cohen, therefore, recommends that Marxists abandon the exploitation charge. This paper undermines Cohen's case for the alleged link between the exploitation charge and self-ownership primarily by defending an account of (...) the exploitation charge that does not involve self-ownership or compromise the Marxist commitment to equality. (shrink)
This paper examines the UN provisions concerning the legitimate use of force, which justified the 1991 Gulf War, and Michael Walzer's arguments, which can be read as a justification of the UN provisions. After a brief historical sketch of the approach to internationalism of Marx, Lenin, and the early Bolshevik regime, alternative internationalist criteria of Jus ad Bellum are proposed, which assume certain forms of common oppression among peoples of different states. If certain forms of common oppression can be defended (...) (in the case of Marxist theory, exploitation and imperialism), and if one shares Walzer's concern for individual rights, then the internationalist criteria for Jus ad Bellum are morally superior to the UN's and Walzer's. (shrink)
The paper examines a reconstructed version of Hegel's "Encyclopedia" account of freedom of the will, and situates it as an attempt to respond to Kant. Hegel's implicit position is that certain forms of human activity, in particular the establishment of rights based polities, can best be explained in terms of free goal-directed activity. Furthermore, Hegel's account of the free will is shown to include elements of both self-determination and compatibilism.