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  1. The Construction of a Sustainable Development in Times of Climate Change.Eric Brandstedt - 2013 - Dissertation, Lund University
    This dissertation is a contribution to the debate about ‘climate justice’, i.e. a call for a just and feasible distribution of responsibility for addressing climate change. The main argument is a proposal for a cautious, practicable, and necessary step in the right direction: given the set of theoretical and practical obstacles to climate justice, we must begin by making contemporary development practices sustainable. In times of climate change, this is done by recognising and responding to the fact that emissions of (...)
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  • Differences of Difference.David Jenkins - 2018 - Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy:1-24.
  • Normative Behaviourism as a Solution to Four Problems in Realism and Non-Ideal Theory.Jonathan Floyd - 2018 - Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy:1-26.
  • Beyond the Classroom Wall: Theorist-Practitioner Relationships and Extra-Mural Ethics. [REVIEW]Alan Cribb - 2011 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 14 (4):383-396.
  • The Aim of a Theory of Justice.Martijn Boot - 2012 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 15 (1):7-21.
    Amartya Sen argues that for the advancement of justice identification of ‘perfect’ justice is neither necessary nor sufficient. He replaces ‘perfect’ justice with comparative justice. Comparative justice limits itself to comparing social states with respect to degrees of justice. Sen’s central thesis is that identifying ‘perfect’ justice and comparing imperfect social states are ‘analytically disjoined’. This essay refutes Sen’s thesis by demonstrating that to be able to make adequate comparisons we need to identify and integrate criteria of comparison. This is (...)
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  • Why Physicians Ought to Lie for Their Patients.Nicolas Tavaglione & Samia A. Hurst - 2012 - American Journal of Bioethics 12 (3):4-12.
    Sometimes physicians lie to third-party payers in order to grant their patients treatment they would otherwise not receive. This strategy, commonly known as gaming the system, is generally condemned for three reasons. First, it may hurt the patient for the sake of whom gaming was intended. Second, it may hurt other patients. Third, it offends contractual and distributive justice. Hence, gaming is considered to be immoral behavior. This article is an attempt to show that, on the contrary, gaming may sometimes (...)
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  • Burdened Societies and Transitional Justice.Lisa L. Fuller - 2012 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 15 (3):369-386.
    Following John Rawls, nonideal theory is typically divided into: "partial-compliance theory" and " transitional theory." The former is concerned with those circumstances in which individuals and political regimes do not fully comply with the requirements of justice, such as when people break the law or some individuals do not do their fair share within a distributive scheme. The latter is concerned with circumstances in which background institutions may be unjust or may not exist at all. This paper focuses on issues (...)
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  • The Best and the Rest: How Ideals Mislead and Distort -- Yet Sharpen -- Comparative Evaluation.David Wiens - manuscript
    Political philosophers sometimes defend the value of idealistic normative theories by arguing that they help specify principles for evaluating feasible solutions to real-world problems. I start by showing that this defense is ambiguous between three interpretations, one of which I show to be a nonstarter. The second interpretation says (roughly) that a description of a normatively ideal society provides a benchmark from which to measure deviations from the ideal; the third says (again, roughly) that a description of a normatively ideal (...)
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  • What Second-Best Scenarios Reveal About Ideals of Global Justice.Christian Barry & David Wiens - 2019 - In Thom Brooks (ed.), Oxford Handbook to Global Justice. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    While there need be no conflict in theory between addressing global inequality (inequalities between people worldwide) and addressing domestic inequality (inequalities between people within a political community), there may be instances in which the feasible mechanism for reducing global inequality risks aggravating domestic inequality. The burgeoning literature on global justice has tended to overlook this type of scenario, and theorists espousing global egalitarianism have consequently not engaged with cases that are important for evaluating and clarifying the content of their theories. (...)
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  • Research and Global Health Emergencies: On the Essential Role of Best Practice.Nayha Sethi - 2018 - Public Health Ethics 11 (3):237-250.
    This article addresses an important, overlooked regulatory challenge during global health emergencies. It provides novel insights into how, and why, best practice can support decision makers in interpreting and implementing key guidance on conducting research during GHEs. The ability to conduct research before, during and after such events is crucial. The recent West-African Ebola outbreaks and the Zika virus have highlighted considerable room for improvement in meeting the imperative to research and rapidly develop effective therapies. A means of effectively capturing (...)
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  • The Impossibility of a Virtue Ethic.Loren Lomasky - 2019 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 22 (3):685-700.
    Virtue ethics is increasingly regarded as a viable alternative to consequentialist or deontological systems of normative ethics. This paper argues that there can be no such triumvirate of contending comprehensive ethical systems. That is not because virtue is unimportant but rather because genuine virtue is excellent and therefore rare. For most people in most morally salient situations there is no possibility of virtuous response because possession of the relevant virtues simply does not obtain nor can be usefully simulated. Instead, the (...)
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  • The Challenges of Ideal Theory and Appeal of Secular Apocalyptic Thought.Ben Jones - 2017 - European Journal of Political Theory:147488511772207.
    Why do thinkers hostile or agnostic toward Christianity find in its apocalyptic doctrines—often seen as bizarre—appealing tools for interpreting politics? This article tackles that puzzle. First, i...
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  • Justice, Feasibility, and Ideal Theory: A Pluralist Approach.Andrew Mason - 2016 - Social Philosophy and Policy 33 (1-2):32-54.
    :A qualified pluralism is defended that recognizes value in a variety of forms of political theory and resists arguments that purport to show that one particular approach should occupy a privileged position. Against realists, it is argued that abstract analyses of political values that bracket a wide range of facts about people and their circumstances can be both coherent and important, whereas against those who think “ideal theory” or the identification of ultimate principles should come first, it is argued that (...)
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  • Probing the Limits of Rawls’s Realistic Utopia.Annette Förster - 2016 - Social Philosophy and Policy 33 (1-2):334-353.
    :InThe Law of Peoples, John Rawls introduces a framework for realistic utopia, within which the limits of practicable political possibility are probed through the further development of his international theory. This essay addresses the apparent paradox of realistic utopianism within the context of, and in relation to, ideal theory, in an attempt to explore the scope and limits of Rawls’s theory. The ideas behind Rawls’s realistic utopia are discussed in detail, the concept is contrasted with ideal theory in order to (...)
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  • Measuring well-being for public policy: a freedom-based approach.Alessandra Cenci - 2014 - Agora 34 (1).
    Este artículo pone en cuestión la adecuación de los enfoques convencionales de la Calidadde Vida e intenta realizar una contribución al debate existente acerca de la revisión, integración o mejora de las métricas del bienestar tal como son usadas tradicionalmente en la bibliografía de indicadores estadísticos. Como una alternativa, este estudio basa sus principales supuestos en el Enfoque de la Capacidad de Amartya Sen. La principal hipótesis es que los análisis del bienestar que se basan en mediciones puramente monetarias o (...)
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  • The Methodology of Political Theory.Christian List & Laura Valentini - 2016 - In Herman Cappelen, Tamar Szabó Gendler & John Hawthorne (eds.), Oxford Handbook of Philosophical Methodology. Oxford University Press.
    This article examines the methodology of a core branch of contemporary political theory or philosophy: “analytic” political theory. After distinguishing political theory from related fields, such as political science, moral philosophy, and legal theory, the article discusses the analysis of political concepts. It then turns to the notions of principles and theories, as distinct from concepts, and reviews the methods of assessing such principles and theories, for the purpose of justifying or criticizing them. Finally, it looks at a recent debate (...)
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  • Navigating by the North Star: The Role of the ‘Ideal’ in John Stuart Mill's View of ‘Utopian’ Schemes and the Possibilities of Social Transformation.Helen McCabe - 2019 - Utilitas 31 (3):291-309.
    The role of the ‘ideal’ in political philosophy is currently much discussed. These debates cast useful light on Mill's self-designation as ‘under the general designation of Socialist’. Considering Mill's assessment of potential property-relations on the grounds of their desirability, feasibility and ‘accessibility’ shows us not only how desirable and feasible he thought ‘utopian’ socialist schemes were, but which options we should implement. This, coupled with Mill's belief that a socialist ideal should guide social reforms, reveals much more clearly the extent (...)
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  • The Practicality of Political Philosophy.Justin Weinberg - 2013 - Social Philosophy and Policy 30 (1-2):330-351.
    Must principles of justice be practical? Some political philosophers, the “implementers,” say yes. Others, the “idealists,” say no. Despite this disagreement, the implementers and idealists agree on what “practical” means, subscribing to the “implementation-prediction” conception of practicality. They also seem to agree that principles of so-called “ideal theory” need not be IP-practical. The implementers take this as a reason to reject ideal theory as an approach to principles of justice, while the idealists do not. In this paper, I argue that (...)
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  • Thinking About Justice in the Unjust Meantime.Alison M. Jaggar - 2019 - Feminist Philosophy Quarterly 5 (2).
    Many philosophers endorse the ideal of justice yet disagree radically over what that ideal requires. One persistent problem for thinking about justice is that the unjust social arrangements that originally motivated our questions may also distort our thinking about possible answers. This paper suggests some strategies for improving our thinking about justice in the unjust meantime. As our world becomes more just, we may expect our thinking about justice to improve.
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  • Political Ideals and the Feasibility Frontier.David Wiens - 2015 - Economics and Philosophy 31 (3):447-477.
    Recent methodological debates regarding the place of feasibility considerations in normative political theory are hindered for want of a rigorous model of the feasibility frontier. To address this shortfall, I present an analysis of feasibility that generalizes the economic concept of a production possibility frontier and then develop a rigorous model of the feasibility frontier using the familiar possible worlds technology. I then show that this model has significant methodological implications for political philosophy. On the Target View, a political ideal (...)
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  • Against Ideal Guidance.David Wiens - 2015 - Journal of Politics 77 (2):433-446.
    Political philosophers frequently claim that political ideal can provide normative guidance for unjust and otherwise nonideal circumstances. This is mistaken. This paper demonstrates that political ideals contribute nothing to our understanding of the normative principles we should satisfy amidst unjust or otherwise nonideal circumstances.
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  • Assessing Ideal Theories: Lessons From the Theory of Second Best.David Wiens - 2016 - Politics, Philosophy, and Economics 15 (2):132-149.
    Numerous philosophers allege that the "general theory of second best" (Lipsey and Lancaster, 1956) poses a challenge to the Target View, which asserts that real world reform efforts should aim to establish arrangements that satisfy the constitutive features of ideal just states of affairs. I demonstrate two claims that are relevant in this context. First, I show that the theory of second best fails to present a compelling challenge to the Target View in general. But, second, the theory of second (...)
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  • Twenty-One Statements About Political Philosophy: An Introduction and Commentary on the State of the Profession.Mark R. Reiff - 2018 - Teaching Philosophy 41 (1):65-115.
    While the volume of material inspired by Rawls’s reinvigoration of the discipline back in 1971 has still not begun to subside, its significance has been in serious decline for quite some time. New and important work is appearing less and less frequently, while the scope of the work that is appearing is getting smaller and more internal and its practical applications more difficult to discern. The discipline has reached a point of intellectual stagnation, even as real-world events suggest that the (...)
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  • An Ideology Critique of Nonideal Methodology.Matthew Adams - forthcoming - European Journal of Political Theory:147488511985872.
    Ideal theory has been extensively contested on the grounds that it is ideology: namely, that it performs the distorting social role of reifying and enforcing unjust features of the status quo. Inde...
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  • Self-Ownership, the Conflation Problem, and Presumptive Libertarianism: Can the Market Model Support Libertarianism Rather Than the Other Way Around?Marcus Agnafors - 2015 - Libertarian Papers 7.
    David Sobel has recently argued that libertarian theories that accept full and strict self-ownership as foundational confront what he calls the conflation problem: if transgressing self-ownership is strictly and stringently forbidden, it is implied that the normative protection against one infringement is precisely as strong as against any other infringement. But this seems to be an absurd consequence. In defense of libertarianism, I argue that the conflation problem can be handled in a way that allows us to honor basic libertarian (...)
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  • A Theory of Resistance.Phillip Ricks - 2017 - Dissertation, University of Iowa
    The dissertation attempts to answer the question of how to theorize resistance from within the philosophy of social science. To answer this question we must consider more than just the philosophy of social science; we also must look to political and moral philosophy. Resistance to the social norms of one’s community is possible to theorize from within the philosophy of social science once we develop a sufficiently nuanced account of social and moral communities, according to which membership in a community (...)
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  • Because It is Normative, Stupid! On the Role of Political Theory in Political Science.Roland Pierik - 2011 - Res Publica (Misc) 53 (1):9-29.
  • Idealizing Morality.Lisa Tessman - 2010 - Hypatia 25 (4):797 - 824.
    Implicit in feminist and other critiques of ideal theorizing is a particular view of what normative theory should be like. Although I agree with the rejection of ideal theorizing that oppression theorists (and other theorists of justice) have advocated, the proposed alternative of nonideal theorizing is also problematic. Nonideal theorizing permits one to address oppression by first describing (nonideal) oppressive conditions, and then prescribing the best action that is possible or feasible given the conditions. Borrowing an insight from the "moral (...)
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  • Motivational Limitations on the Demands of Justice.David Wiens - 2016 - European Journal of Political Theory 15 (3):333-352.
    Do motivational limitations due to human nature constrain the demands of justice? Among those who say no, David Estlund offers perhaps the most compelling argument. Taking Estlund’s analysis of “ability” as a starting point, I show that motivational deficiencies can constrain the demands of justice under at least one common circumstance — that the motivationally-deficient agent makes a good faith effort to overcome her deficiency. In fact, my argument implies something stronger; namely, that the demands of justice are constrained by (...)
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  • Sen's Perfectionist 'Reason To Value'.Tulsa Jansson - 2015 - Public Reason 7 (1-2).
    Amartya Sen, the initiator of the Capability Approach, rejects perfectionism and the idea that theorists can, or ought to, predefine what capabilities we have reason to value. Instead he insists that the route to social justice stay true to the liberal ideal of value pluralism and human diversity and demands a content-neutral procedure of reflective scrutiny. This paper investigates the theoretical underpinnings assumed in such a procedural account. Can it avoid perfectionistic assumptions? I think it cannot for two reasons. First, (...)
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  • Promoting Distributive Justice in Education and the Challenge of Unpredictability.Tal Gilead - 2019 - Studies in Philosophy and Education 38 (4):439-451.
    This article examines how the existence of unpredictability should influence the quest to promote distributive justice in education. First, the article briefly discusses resource allocation in education finance policy and its relationships with existing philosophical theories of distributive justice. It then explains why unpredictability comes into play in education and how this endangers the achievements of distributive justice. It is argued that unpredictability poses a real challenge to enhancing educational justice. Second, the article examines the common policy conception that educational (...)
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  • Schwartzman Vs. Okin: Some Comments on Challenging Liberalism.Charles W. Mills - 2009 - Hypatia 24 (4):164 - 177.
  • Ideal Vs. Non‐Ideal Theory: A Conceptual Map.Laura Valentini - 2012 - Philosophy Compass 7 (9):654-664.
    This article provides a conceptual map of the debate on ideal and non‐ideal theory. It argues that this debate encompasses a number of different questions, which have not been kept sufficiently separate in the literature. In particular, the article distinguishes between the following three interpretations of the ‘ideal vs. non‐ideal theory’ contrast: full compliance vs. partial compliance theory; utopian vs. realistic theory; end‐state vs. transitional theory. The article advances critical reflections on each of these sub‐debates, and highlights areas for future (...)
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  • Principles and Policies.Harald Stelzer - 2016 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 46 (4):375-391.
    Even though social engineering has gained a bad reputation, due to new possibilities in the information age, it may be time to reconsider Karl Popper’s conception of “piecemeal social engineering.” Piecemeal social engineering is not only an element within Popper’s open society. It also connects his political philosophy to his philosophy of science and his evolutionary epistemology. Furthermore, it seems to fit well into the search for implementation strategies for policies and social actions in the context of nonideal theory. Nevertheless, (...)
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  • Ideal Theory in an Nth-Best World: The Case of Pauper Labor.Joseph Heath - 2013 - Journal of Global Ethics 9 (2):159 - 172.
    One of the most troubling features of international trade is that it often involves exchange between individuals facing dramatically different life circumstances, who therefore derive different levels of benefit from the exchange. Most obviously, wages are extremely low in underdeveloped countries. However, the principle underlying these wages is the same as the one the dictates wage levels in wealthy countries. It is, therefore, difficult to criticize the wages paid to ?pauper labor? without at the same time criticizing the way that (...)
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  • Water and Justice: Towards an Ethics of Water Governance.Neelke Doorn - 2013 - Public Reason 5 (1).
    Water is recognized to pose some very urgent questions in the near future. A significant number of people are deprived of clean drinking water and sanitation services, with an accordingly high percentage of people dying from water borne diseases. At the same time, an increasing percentage of the global population lives in areas that are at risk of flooding, partly exacerbated by climate change. Although it is increasingly recognized that adequate governance of water requires that issues of “equity” or “social (...)
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  • Helen Frowe’s “Practical Account of Self-Defence”: A Critique.Uwe Steinhoff - 2013 - Public Reason 5 (1):87-96.
    Helen Frowe has recently offered what she calls a “practical” account of self-defense. Her account is supposed to be practical by being subjectivist about permissibility and objectivist about liability. I shall argue here that Frowe first makes up a problem that does not exist and then fails to solve it. To wit, her claim that objectivist accounts of permissibility cannot be action-guiding is wrong; and her own account of permissibility actually retains an objectivist (in the relevant sense) element. In addition, (...)
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  • What Is the Point of Justice?Andrew Mason - 2012 - Utilitas 24 (4):525-547.
    Conflicting answers to the question of what principles of justice are for may generate very different ways of theorizing about justice. Indeed divergent answers to it are at the heart of G. A. Cohen's disagreement with John Rawls. Cohen thinks that the roots of this disagreement lie in the constructivist method that Rawls employs, which mistakenly treats the principles that emerge from a procedure that involves factual assumptions as ultimate principles of justice. But I argue that even if Rawls were (...)
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  • What Kind of Theory Should Theory on Education for Human Flourishing Be?Lynne S. Wolbert, Doret J. De Ruyter & Anders Schinkel - 2019 - British Journal of Educational Studies 67 (1):25-39.
  • Lessons From Dystopia: Critique, Hope and Political Education.Christine Sypnowich - 2018 - Journal of Philosophy of Education 52 (4):660-676.
  • The Incompleteness of Ideal Theory.Jörg Schaub - 2014 - Res Publica 20 (4):413-439.
    Can one give an account of a perfectly just society without invoking principles governing our responses to injustice? My claim is that addressing this question puts us in a position to reveal ambiguities and problems with the way in which Rawls draws the ideal/nonideal theory distinction that have so far gone unnoticed. In the first part of my paper, I demonstrate that Rawls’s original definition of the ideal/nonideal theory distinction is ambiguous as it is composed of two different conceptual distinctions, (...)
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  • A Conceptual Structure of Justice - Providing a Tool to Analyse Conceptions of Justice.Klara Helene Stumpf, Christian U. Becker & Stefan Baumgärtner - 2016 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 19 (5):1187-1202.
    Justice is a contested concept. There are many different and competing conceptions, i.e. interpretations of the concept. Different domains of justice deal with different fields of application of justice claims, such as structural justice, distributive justice, participatory justice or recognition. We present a formal conceptual structure of justice applicable to all these domains. We show that conceptions of justice can be described by specifying the following conceptual elements: the judicandum, the community of justice including claim holders and claim addressees, their (...)
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  • The Problem of Historical Rectification for Rawlsian Theory.Juan Espindola & Moises Vaca - 2014 - Res Publica 20 (3):227-243.
    In this paper we claim that Rawls’s theory is compatible with the absence of rectification of extremely important historical injustices within a given society. We hold that adding a new principle to justice-as-fairness may amend this problem. There are four possible objections to our claim: First, that historical rectification is not required by justice. Second, that, even when historical rectification is a matter of justice, it is not a matter of distributive justice, so that Rawls’s theory is justified in leaving (...)
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  • Prescribing Institutions Without Ideal Theory.David Wiens - 2012 - Journal of Political Philosophy 20 (1):45-70.
    It is conventional wisdom among political philosophers that ideal principles of justice must guide our attempts to design institutions to avert actual injustice. Call this the ideal guidance approach. I argue that this view is misguided— ideal principles of justice are not appropriate "guiding principles" that actual institutions must aim to realize, even if only approximately. Fortunately, the conventional wisdom is also avoidable. In this paper, I develop an alternative approach to institutional design, which I call institutional failure analysis. The (...)
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  • Good and Bad Idealizations in Political Theory.Luca Jacopo Uberti - 2014 - Theoria 80 (3):205-231.
    This article criticizes Laura Valentini's criterion for distinguishing good and bad idealizations in normative political theory. I argue that, on an attentive reading of her criterion, all ideal theories she discusses must be written off as incorporating bad idealizations. This fact makes Valentini's criterion trivially implausible, for it is argued that there are good idealizations that succeed in promoting the action-guiding goal of ideal theory. Upon rejecting an attempt to salvage the idealizations that Valentini marks off as bad, I develop (...)
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  • Justice in a Non-Ideal World: The Case of Climate Change.Alexandre Gajevic Sayegh - 2018 - Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy 21 (4):407-432.
  • Rawls and Racial Justice.D. C. Matthew - 2017 - Politics, Philosophy and Economics 16 (3):235-258.
    This article discusses the adequacy of Rawls’ theory of justice as a tool for racial justice. It is argued that critics like Charles W Mills fail to appreciate both the insights and limits of the Rawlsian framework. The article has two main parts spread out over several different sections. The first is concerned with whether the Rawlsian framework suffices to prevent racial injustice. It is argued that there are reasons to doubt whether it does. The second part is concerned with (...)
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  • Toward a Theory of Justice for Animals. Garner - 2012 - Journal of Animal Ethics 2 (1):98.
  • Schwartzman Vs. Okin: Some Comments on Challenging Liberalism.Charles W. Mills - 2009 - Hypatia 24 (4):164-177.