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  1. The Preference Satisfaction Model of Linguistic Advantage.Brian Carey - 2017 - Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy:1-21.
  • Action-Guidance, Oppression, and Nonideal Theory.Lisa H. Schwartzman - 2016 - Feminist Philosophy Quarterly 2 (1):1-9.
    Lisa Tessman’s Moral Failure: On the Impossible Demands of Morality raises important questions about ideal theory, oppression, and the role of action guidance in normative philosophy. After a brief overview of feminist and anti-racist philosophers’ critiques of ideal theory, I examine Tessman’s claim that nonideal oppression theorists focus too narrowly on action guidance and thereby obscure other important normative issues, such as the problem of moral failure. Although I agree with Tessman’s advocacy of a wider focus—and with her suggestion that (...)
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  • 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.
  • Can Pragmatists Be Institutionalists? John Dewey Joins the Non-Ideal/Ideal Theory Debate.Shane J. Ralston - 2010 - Human Studies 33 (1):65-84.
    During the 1960s and 1970s, institutionalists and behavioralists in the discipline of political science argued over the legitimacy of the institutional approach to political inquiry. In the discipline of philosophy, a similar debate concerning institutions has never taken place. Yet, a growing number of philosophers are now working out the institutional implications of political ideas in what has become known as “non-ideal theory.” My thesis is two-fold: (1) pragmatism and institutionalism are compatible and (2) non-ideal theorists, following the example of (...)
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  • Logical and Epistemic Foundationalism About Grounding: The Triviality of Facts and Principles.Robert Jubb - 2009 - Res Publica 15 (4):337-353.
    In this paper, I seek to undermine G.A. Cohen ’s polemical use of a metaethical claim he makes in his article, ‘ Facts and Principles’, by arguing that that use requires an unsustainable equivocation between epistemic and logical grounding. I begin by distinguishing three theses that Cohen has offered during the course of his critique of Rawls and contractualism more generally, the foundationalism about grounding thesis, the justice as non-regulative thesis, and the justice as all-encompassing thesis, and briefly argue that (...)
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  • 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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  • Dirty Hands and the Complicity of the Democratic Public.David Archard - 2013 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 16 (4):777-790.
    The alleged problem of the dirty hands of politicians has been much discussed since Michael Walzer’s original piece (Walzer 1974). The discussion has concerned the precise nature of the problem or sought to dissolve the apparent paradox. However there has been little discussion of the putative complicity, and thus also dirtying of hands, of a democratic public that authorizes politicians to act in its name. This article outlines the sense in which politicians do get dirty hands and the degree to (...)
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  • Comparative Assessments of Justice, Political Feasibility, and Ideal Theory.Pablo Gilabert - 2012 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 15 (1):39-56.
    What should our theorizing about social justice aim at? Many political philosophers think that a crucial goal is to identify a perfectly just society. Amartya Sen disagrees. In The Idea of Justice, he argues that the proper goal of an inquiry about justice is to undertake comparative assessments of feasible social scenarios in order to identify reforms that involve justice-enhancement, or injustice-reduction, even if the results fall short of perfect justice. Sen calls this the “comparative approach” to the theory of (...)
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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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  • Constructivism, Representation, and Stability: Path-Dependence in Public Reason Theories of Justice.John Thrasher - 2019 - Synthese 196 (1):429-450.
    Public reason theories are characterized by three conditions: constructivism, representation, and stability. Constructivism holds that justification does not rely on any antecedent moral or political values outside of the procedure of agreement. Representation holds that the reasons for the choice in the model must be rationally explicable to real agents outside the model. Stability holds that the principles chosen in the procedure should be stable upon reflection, especially in the face of diversity in a pluralistic society. Choice procedures that involve (...)
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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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  • Realism, Moralism, Models and Institutions.Christopher Bertram - 2016 - Journal of International Political Theory 12 (2):185-199.
  • Institutional Facts and Principles of Global Political Legitimacy.Terry Macdonald - 2016 - Journal of International Political Theory 12 (2):134-151.
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  • The Arrow of Care Map: Abstract Care in Ideal Theory.Asha L. Bhandary - 2017 - Feminist Philosophy Quarterly 3 (4):1-27.
    This paper advances a framework to conceptualize societal care-giving arrangements abstractly. It is abstract in that it brackets the meaning of our particular relationships. This framework, which I call “the arrow of care map”, is a descriptive tracking model that is a necessary component of a theory of justice, but it is not a normative prescription in itself. The basic idea of the map is then multiply specifiable to track various ascriptive identity categories as well as different categories of care (...)
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  • Towards a Non-Ideal Theory of Climate Migration.Joachim Wündisch - forthcoming - Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy:1-32.
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  • Addressing Poverty and Climate Change: The Varieties of Social Engagement.Simon Caney - 2012 - Ethics and International Affairs 26 (2):191-216.
    In this article I propose to explore two issues. The first concerns what kinds of contributions academics can make to reducing poverty. I argue that academics can contribute in a number of ways, and I seek to spell out the diversity of the options available. I concentrate on four ways in which these contributions might differ.My second aim is to outline some norms that should inform any academic involvement in activities that seek to reduce poverty. I set out six proposals. (...)
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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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  • Taking Responsibility in an Unjust World.Joe Hoover - forthcoming - Journal of International Political Theory.
    Journal of International Political Theory, Ahead of Print.
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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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  • 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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  • Debate: Ideal Theory—A Reply to Valentini.Holly Lawford-Smith - 2010 - Journal of Political Philosophy 18 (3):357-368.
    In her ‘On the apparent paradox of ideal theory’, Laura Valentini combines three supposedly plausible premises to derive the paradoxical result that ideal theory is both unable to, and indispensable for, guiding action. Her strategy is to undermine one of the three premises by arguing that there are good and bad kinds of ideal theory, and only the bad kinds are vulnerable to the strongest version of their opponents’ attack. By undermining one of the three premises she releases ideal theorists (...)
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  • The Struggle for Climate Justice in a Non‐Ideal World.Simon Caney - 2016 - Midwest Studies in Philosophy 40 (1):9-26.
    Many agents have failed to comply with their responsibilities to take the action needed to avoid dangerous anthropogenic climate change. This pervasive noncompliance raises two questions of nonideal political theory. First, it raises the question of what agents should do when others do not discharge their climate responsibilities. (the Responsibility Question) In this paper I put forward four principles that we need to employ to answer the Responsibility Question (Sections II-V). I then illustrate my account, by outlining four kinds of (...)
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  • Problema fezabilității în teoria dreptății sociale.Eugen Huzum - 2012 - Sfera Politicii 5 (171):124-135.
    G. A. Cohen and Andrew Mason have recently argued, against many contemporary philosophers, that feasibility is not a legitimate constraint in theorizing about social justice. Their main argument is that principles of justice are logically independent of issues of feasibility and, consequently, feasibility has no bearing on the correctness of these principles. This article is a critical examination of three attempts to show that Cohen and Mason’s argument is unsound. The examined attempts are those of Harry Brighouse, Collin Farrelly, and (...)
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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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  • Cautiously Utopian Goals : Philosophical Analyses of Climate Change Objectives and Sustainability Targets.Patrik Baard - 2016 - Dissertation, KTH Royal Institute of Technology
    In this thesis, the framework within which long-term goals are set and subsequently achieved or approached is analyzed. Sustainable development and climate change are areas in which goals have tobe set despite uncertainties. The analysis is divided into the normative motivations for setting such goals, what forms of goals could be set given the empirical and normative uncertainties, and how tomanage doubts regarding achievability or values after a goal has been set. Paper I discusses a set of questions that moral (...)
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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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  • 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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  • Nonideal Justice as Nonideal Fairness.Marcus Arvan - 2019 - Journal of the American Philosophical Association 5 (2):208-228.
    This article argues that diverse theorists have reasons to theorize about fairness in nonideal conditions, including theorists who reject fairness in ideal theory. It then develops a new all-purpose model of ‘nonideal fairness.’ §1 argues that fairness is central to nonideal theory across diverse ideological and methodological frameworks. §2 then argues that ‘nonideal fairness’ is best modeled by a nonideal original position adaptable to different nonideal conditions and background normative frameworks (including anti-Rawlsian ones). §3 then argues that the parties to (...)
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  • 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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  • Title IX: An Incomplete Effort to Achieve Equality in Sports.Leslie Francis - 2016 - Journal of the Philosophy of Sport 43 (1):83-99.
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  • Disability and Philosophy: Applying Ethics in Circumstances of Injustice.Leslie Francis - 2016 - Journal of Medical Ethics 42 (1):35-36.
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  • A Realistic Conception of Politics: Conflict, Order and Political Realism.Carlo Burelli - forthcoming - Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy:1-23.
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  • What “Realistic Utopias” Are — and Aren’T.William A. Galston - 2016 - Social Philosophy and Policy 33 (1-2):235-251.
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  • 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 Significance of Injustice for Bioethics.Leslie Francis - 2017 - Teaching Ethics 17 (1):1-8.
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  • Introduction to Special Issue: Real-World Justice and International Migration.Adrian Little & Terry Macdonald - 2015 - European Journal of Political Theory 14 (4):381-390.
    In this article, we introduce the project developed in this special issue: a search for principles of ‘real-world’ justice in international migration that can offer practical guidance on real political problems of migration governance. We begin by highlighting two sources of divergence between the principal topics of theoretical controversy within literatures on migration justice and the animating sources of political controversy within real national and international publics. These arise first in the framing of the problems on which normative theory is (...)
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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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  • Nonideal Theory and Compliance—A Clarification.Naima Chahboun - 2015 - European Journal of Political Theory 14 (2):229-245.
    This paper examines the various ways in which nonideal theory responds to noncompliance with ideal principles of justice. Taking Rawls’ definition of nonideal theory as my point of departure, I propose an understanding of this concept as comprising two subparts: Complementary nonideal theory responds to deliberate and avoidable noncompliance and consists mainly of theories of civil disobedience, rebellion, and retribution. Substitutive nonideal theory responds to nondeliberate and unavoidable noncompliance and consists mainly of theories of transition and caretaking. I further argue (...)
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  • What Might It Mean for Political Theory to Be More ‘Realistic’?John Horton - 2017 - Philosophia 45 (2):487-501.
    This paper explores two different versions of ‘the realist turn’ in recent political theory. It begins by setting out two principal realist criticisms of liberal moralism: that it is both descriptively and normatively inadequate. It then pursues the second criticism by arguing that there are two fundamentally different responses among realists to the alleged normative inadequacy of ideal theory. First, prescriptive realists argue that the aim of realism is to make political theory more normatively adequate by making it more realistic. (...)
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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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  • Practices and Principles: On the Methodological Turn in Political Theory.Eva Erman & Niklas Möller - 2015 - Philosophy Compass 10 (8):533-546.
    The question of what role social and political practices should play in the justification of normative principles has received renewed attention in post-millennium political philosophy. Several current debates express dissatisfaction with the methodology adopted in mainstream political theory, taking the form of a criticism of so-called ‘ideal theory’ from ‘non-ideal’ theory, of ‘practice-independent’ theory from ‘practice-dependent’ theory, and of ‘political moralism’ from ‘political realism’. While the problem of action-guidance lies at the heart of these concerns, the critics also share a (...)
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  • Three Feasibility Constraints on the Concept of Justice.Naima Chahboun - 2017 - Res Publica 23 (4):431-452.
    The feasibility constraint on the concept of justice roughly states that a necessary condition for something to qualify as a conception of justice is that it is possible to achieve and maintain given the conditions of the human world. In this paper, I propose three alternative interpretations of this constraint that could be derived from different understandings of the Kantian formula ‘ought implies can’: the ability constraint, the motivational constraint and the institutional constraint. I argue that the three constraints constitute (...)
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  • Adaptive Ideals and Aspirational Goals: The Utopian Ideals and Realist Constraints of Climate Change Adaptation.Patrik Baard - 2015 - Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 28 (4):739-757.
    There is a growing need to implement anticipatory climate change adaptation measures, particularly in vulnerable sectors, such as in agriculture. However, setting goals to adapt is wrought with several challenges. This paper discusses two sets of challenges to goals of anticipatory adaptation, of empirical and normative character. The first set of challenges concern issues such as the extent to which the climate will change, the local impacts of such changes, and available adaptive responses. In the second set of uncertainties are (...)
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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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  • The Preference Satisfaction Model of Linguistic Advantage.Brian Carey - 2019 - Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy 22 (2):134-154.