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  1. Respect the Author: A Research Ethical Principle for Readers.J. Ahlin Marceta - forthcoming - Journal of Academic Ethics:1-11.
    Much of contemporary research ethics was developed in the latter half of the twentieth century as a response to the unethical treatment of human beings in biomedical research. Research ethical considerations have subsequently been extended to cover topics in the sciences and technology such as data handling, precautionary measures, engineering codes of conduct, and more. However, moral issues in the humanities have gained less attention from research ethicists. This article proposes an ethical principle for reading for research purposes: Respect the (...)
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  • Norms, Evaluations and Ideal and Nonideal Theory.Robert Jubb - 2016 - Social Philosophy and Policy 33 (1-2):393-412.
    -/- This essay discusses the relation between ideal theory and two forms of political moralism identified by Bernard Williams, structural and enactment views. It argues that ideal theory, at least in the sense Rawls used that term, only makes sense for structural forms of moralism. These theories see their task as describing the constraints that properly apply to political agents and institutions. As a result, they are primarily concerned with norms that govern action. In contrast, many critiques of ideal theory (...)
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  • Normative Behaviourism and Global Political Principles.Jonathan Floyd - 2016 - Journal of International Political Theory 12 (2):152-168.
    This article takes a new idea, ‘normative behaviourism’, and applies it to global political theory, in order to address at least one of the problems we might have in mind when accusing that subject of being too ‘unrealistic’. The core of this idea is that political principles can be justified, not just by patterns in our thinking, and in particular our intuitions and considered judgements, but also by patterns in our behaviour, and in particular acts of insurrection and crime. The (...)
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  • Should Global Political Theory Get Real?Jonathan Floyd - 2016 - Journal of International Political Theory 12 (2):93-95.
    This special edition brings together (1) the recent methodological worries of the moralism/realism and ideal/non-ideal theory debates with (2) the soaring ambition of work in international or global political theory, as found in, say, theories of global justice. Contributors are as follows: Chris Bertram, Jonathan Floyd, Aaron James, Terry MacDonald, David Miller, Shmulik Nili, Mathias Risse and Matt Sleat.
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  • Lockeans Versus Nationalists on Territorial Rights.David Miller - 2019 - Politics, Philosophy and Economics 18 (4):323-335.
    This article examines John Simmons’ Lockean theory of territorial rights and defends the superiority of the rival nationalist theory that he rejects. It begins by arguing that all philosophical acc...
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  • The Externalist Challenge to Conceptual Engineering.Steffen Koch - forthcoming - Synthese:1-22.
    Unlike conceptual analysis, conceptual engineering does not aim to identify the content that our current concepts do have, but the content which these concepts should have. For this method to show the results that its practitioners typically aim for, being able to change meanings seems to be a crucial presupposition. However, certain branches of semantic externalism raise doubts about whether this presupposition can be met. To the extent that meanings are determined by external factors such as causal histories or microphysical (...)
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  • Algorithmic Fairness From a Non-Ideal Perspective.Sina Fazelpour & Zachary C. Lipton - manuscript
    Inspired by recent breakthroughs in predictive modeling, practitioners in both industry and government have turned to machine learning with hopes of operationalizing predictions to drive automated decisions. Unfortunately, many social desiderata concerning consequential decisions, such as justice or fairness, have no natural formulation within a purely predictive framework. In efforts to mitigate these problems, researchers have proposed a variety of metrics for quantifying deviations from various statistical parities that we might expect to observe in a fair world and offered a (...)
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  • Anti-Immigration Backlashes as Constraints.Lorenzo Del Savio - forthcoming - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice:1-22.
    Migration often causes what I refer to in this paper as ‘anti-immigration backlashes’ in receiving countries. Such reactions have substantial costs in terms of the undermining of national solidarity and the diffusion of political distrust. In short, anti-immigration backlashes can threaten the social and political stability of receiving countries. Do such risks constitute a reason against permissive immigration policies which are otherwise desirable? I argue that a positive answer may depend on a skeptical view based on the alleged constraints that (...)
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  • Non-Ideal Climate Justice.Eric Brandstedt - 2019 - Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy 22 (2):221-234.
    Based on three recently published books on climate justice, this article reviews the field of climate ethics in light of developments of international climate politics. The central problem addressed is how idealised normative theories can be relevant to the political process of negotiating a just distribution of the costs and benefits of mitigating climate change. I distinguish three possible responses, that is, three kinds of non-ideal theories of climate justice: focused on (1) the injustice of some agents not doing their (...)
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  • Contractualism for Us As We Are.Nicholas Southwood - 2019 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 99 (3):529-547.
    A difficult problem for contractualists is how to provide an interpretation of the contractual situation that is both subject to appropriately stringent constraints and yet also appropriately sensitive to certain features of us as we actually are. My suggestion is that we should embrace a model of contractualism that is structurally analogous to the “advice model” of the ideal observer theory famously proposed by Michael Smith (1994; 1995). An advice model of contractualism is appealing since it promises to deliver a (...)
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  • A World of Possibilities: The Place of Feasibility in Political Theory.Eva Erman & Niklas Möller - 2019 - Res Publica 26 (1):1-23.
    Although the discussion about feasibility in political theory is still in its infancy, some important progress has been made in the last years to advance our understanding. In this paper, we intend to make a contribution to this growing literature by investigating the proper place of feasibility considerations in political theory. A motivating force behind this study is a suspicion that many presumptions made about feasibility in several current debates—such as that between practice-independence and practice-dependence, ideal and non-ideal theory, and (...)
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  • Inferential Seemings and the Problem of Reflective Awareness.Luca Moretti - 2019 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 49 (2):253-271.
    Phenomenal conservatism (PC) is the internalist view that non-inferential justification rests on appearances. PC’s advocates have recently argued that seemings are also required to explain inferential justification. The most general and developed view to this effect is Huemer (2016)’s theory of inferential seemings (ToIS). Moretti (2018) has shown that PC is affected by the problem of reflective awareness, which makes PC open to sceptical challenges. In this paper I argue that ToIS is afflicted by a version of the same problem (...)
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  • Shared Intentions, Public Reason, and Political Autonomy.Blain Neufeld - 2019 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 49 (6):776-804.
    John Rawls claims that public reasoning is the reasoning of ‘equal citizens who as a corporate body impose rules on one another backed by sanctions of state power’. Drawing on an amended version of Michael Bratman’s theory of shared intentions, I flesh out this claim by developing the ‘civic people’ account of public reason. Citizens realize ‘full’ political autonomy as members of a civic people. Full political autonomy, though, cannot be realised by citizens in societies governed by a ‘constrained proceduralist’ (...)
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  • Idealization and Abstraction in Models of Injustice.Leif Hancox‐Li - 2017 - Hypatia 32 (2):329-346.
    Charles Mills has argued against ideal theory in political philosophy on the basis that it contains idealizations. He calls for political philosophers to do more nonideal theory, namely political theory that pays more attention to the most visible oppressions in society, such as those based on race, gender, and class. Mills's argument relies on a distinction between idealization and abstraction. Idealizations involve adding false assumptions to one's model, which is unacceptable, whereas abstractions merely leave out details without undermining descriptive power. (...)
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  • Differences of Difference.David Jenkins - 2018 - Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy:1-24.
  • Political Realism and Dirty Hands: Value Pluralism, Moral Conflict and Public Ethics.Demetris Tillyris - 2019 - Philosophia 47 (5):1579-1602.
    This paper draws on the underappreciated realist thought of Isaiah Berlin, Stuart Hampshire and Judith Shklar, rehearses their critique of moralism and extends it to a position which seems far from obvious a target: the dirty hands thesis, which is mostly owed to Michael Walzer, and which a number of contemporary realists have recently appealed to in their endeavour to challenge moralism and/or tackle the insufficiently addressed question of what a more affirmative, realist public ethic might involve. In illustrating that (...)
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  • Being Realistic and Demanding the Impossible.Enzo Rossi - 2019 - Constellations 26 (4):638-652.
  • Social Freedom and Migration in a Non-Ideal World.Drew Thompson - 2019 - Ethics and Global Politics 12 (4):21-31.
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  • Realism in Normative Political Theory.Enzo Rossi & Matt Sleat - 2014 - Philosophy Compass 9 (10):689-701.
    This paper provides a critical overview of the realist current in contemporary political philosophy. We define political realism on the basis of its attempt to give varying degrees of autonomy to politics as a sphere of human activity, in large part through its exploration of the sources of normativity appropriate for the political and so distinguish sharply between political realism and non-ideal theory. We then identify and discuss four key arguments advanced by political realists: from ideology, from the relationship of (...)
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  • Experimental Philosophy and the Fruitfulness of Normative Concepts.Matthew Lindauer - forthcoming - Philosophical Studies:1-24.
    This paper provides a new argument for the relevance of empirical research to moral and political philosophy and a novel defense of the positive program in experimental philosophy. The argument centers on the idea that normative concepts used in moral and political philosophy can be evaluated in terms of their fruitfulness in solving practical problems. Empirical research conducted with an eye to the practical problems that are relevant to particular concepts can provide evidence of their fruitfulness along a number of (...)
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  • An Agonistic Notion of Political CSR: Melding Activism and Deliberation.Cedric E. Dawkins - forthcoming - Journal of Business Ethics:1-15.
    Flagging labor governance in far-flung supply networks has prompted greater scrutiny of instrumental CSR and calls for models that are tethered more closely to accountability, constraint, and oversight. Political CSR is an apt response, but this paper seeks to buttress its deliberative moorings by arguing that the agonist notion of ‘domesticated conflict’ provides a necessary foundation for substantive deliberation. Because deliberation is more viable and effective when coupled with some means of coercion, a concept of CSR solely premised on reciprocal (...)
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  • How to Do Realistic Political Theory.Edward Hall - 2017 - European Journal of Political Theory 16 (3):283-303.
    In recent years, a number of realist thinkers have charged much contemporary political theory with being idealistic and moralistic. While the basic features of the realist counter-movement are reasonably well understood, realism is still considered a critical, primarily negative creed which fails to offer a positive, alternative way of thinking normatively about politics. Aiming to counteract this general perception, in this article I draw on Bernard Williams’s claims about how to construct a politically coherent conception of liberty from the non-political (...)
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  • Realism, Utopianism, and Radical Values.Paul Raekstad - 2018 - European Journal of Philosophy 26 (1):145-168.
    One of the more debated topics in the recent realist literature concerns the compatibility of realism and utopianism. Perhaps the greatest challenge to utopian political thought comes from Bernard Williams' realism, which argues, among other things, that political values should be subject to what he calls the ‘realism constraint’, which rules out utopian arguments based on values which cannot be offered by the state as unrealistic and therefore inadmissible. This article challenges that conclusion in two ways. First, it argues that (...)
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  • Political Realism as Ideology Critique.Janosch Prinz & Enzo Rossi - 2017 - Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy 20 (3):334-348.
    This paper outlines an account of political realism as a form of ideology critique. Our focus is a defence of the normative edge of this critical-theoretic project against the common charge that there is a problematic trade-off between a theory’s groundedness in facts about the political status quo and its ability to consistently envisage radical departures from the status quo. To overcome that problem we combine insights from three distant corners of the philosophical landscape: theories of legitimacy by Bernard Williams (...)
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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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  • Radical Markets: Uprooting Capitalism and Democracy for a Just Society, Eric A. Posner and E. Glen Weyl. Princeton University Press, 2018, Xxii + 337 Pages. [REVIEW]David V. Axelsen - 2019 - Economics and Philosophy 35 (3):569-574.
  • 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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  • A Non-Ideal Authenticity-Based Conceptualization of Personal Autonomy.Jesper Ahlin Marceta - 2019 - Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy 22 (3):387-395.
    Respect for autonomy is a central moral principle in bioethics. The concept of autonomy can be construed in various ways. Under the non-ideal conceptualization proposed by Beauchamp and Childress, everyday choices of generally competent persons are autonomous to the extent that they are intentional and are made with understanding and without controlling influences. It is sometimes suggested that authenticity is important to personal autonomy, so that inauthenticity prevents otherwise autonomous persons from making autonomous decisions. Building from Beauchamp and Childress’s theory, (...)
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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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  • The Commonwealth of Bees: On the Impossibility of Justice-Through-Ethos.Gerald Gaus - 2016 - Social Philosophy and Policy 33 (1-2):96-121.
    :Some understand utopia as an ideal society in which everyone would be thoroughly informed by a moral ethos: all would always act on their pure conscientious judgments about justice, and so it would never be necessary to provide incentives for them to act as justice requires. In this essay I argue that such a society is impossible. A society of purely conscientiously just agents would be unable to achieve real justice. This is the Paradox of Pure Conscientiousness. This paradox, I (...)
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  • Hierarchies and Dignity: A Confucian Communitarian Approach.Jessica A. Kennedy, Tae Wan Kim & Alan Strudler - 2016 - Business Ethics Quarterly 26 (4):479-502.
    ABSTRACT:We discuss workers’ dignity in hierarchical organizations. First, we explain why a conflict exists between high-ranking individuals’ authority and low-ranking individuals’ dignity. Then, we ask whether there is any justification that reconciles hierarchical authority with the dignity of workers. We advance a communitarian justification for hierarchical authority, drawing upon Confucianism, which provides that workers can justifiably accept hierarchical authority when it enables a certain type of social functioning critical for the good life of workers and other involved parties. The Confucian (...)
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  • Psychological Constraints on Egalitarianism: The Challenge of Just World Beliefs.T. J. Kasperbauer - 2015 - Res Publica 21 (3):217-234.
    Debates over egalitarianism for the most part are not concerned with constraints on achieving an egalitarian society, beyond discussions of the deficiencies of egalitarian theory itself. This paper looks beyond objections to egalitarianism as such and investigates the relevant psychological processes motivating people to resist various aspects of egalitarianism. I argue for two theses, one normative and one descriptive. The normative thesis holds that egalitarians must take psychological constraints into account when constructing egalitarian ideals. I draw from non-ideal theories in (...)
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  • Aiming for Moral Mediocrity.Eric Schwitzgebel - 2019 - Res Philosophica 96 (3):347-368.
    Most people aim to be about as morally good as their peers—not especially better, not especially worse. We do not aim to be good, or non-bad, or to act permissibly rather than impermissibly, by fixed moral standards. Rather, we notice the typical behavior of our peers, then calibrate toward so-so. This is a somewhat bad way to be, but it’s not a terribly bad way to be. We are somewhat morally criticizable for having low moral ambitions. Typical arguments defending the (...)
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  • 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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  • Reasoning About Development: Essays on Amartya Sen's Capability Approach.Thomas R. Wells - 2013 - Dissertation, Erasmus University Rotterdam
    Over the last 30 years the Indian philosopher-economist Amartya Sen has developed an original normative approach to the evaluation of individual and social well-being. The foundational concern of this ‘capability approach’ is the real freedom of individuals to achieve the kind of lives they have reason to value. This freedom is analysed in terms of an individual’s ‘capability’ to achieve combinations of such intrinsically valuable ‘beings and doings’ (‘functionings’) as being sufficiently nourished and freely expressing one’s political views. In this (...)
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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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  • 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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  • Learning in Democracy: Deliberation and Activism as Forms of Education.Rachel Wahl - 2019 - Studies in Philosophy and Education 38 (5):517-536.
    The press and scholars alike often bemoan the failure of civil public deliberation. Yet this insistence on civility excludes people who engage in adversarial tactics, limiting the ideas that are heard within deliberation. Drawing on a deliberative dialogue that occurred in Charlottesville, Virginia, in the aftermath of the deadly White Supremacist rally of 2017, this article reveals how the capacity of deliberation to be inclusive of diverse voices depends upon deliberators’ orientation to learn from people who do not participate in (...)
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  • On Justification, Idealization, and Discursive Purchase.Thomas M. Besch - 2019 - Philosophia 47 (3):601-623.
    Conceptions of acceptability-based moral or political justification take it that authoritative acceptability, widely conceived, constitutes, or contributes to, validity, or justification. There is no agreement as to what bar for authoritativeness such justification may employ. The paper engages the issue in relation to (i) the level of idealization that a bar for authoritativeness, ψ, imparts to a standard of acceptability-based justification, S, and (ii) the degree of discursive purchase of the discursive standing that S accords to people when it builds (...)
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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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  • Can the Welfare State Justify Restrictive Asylum Policies? A Critical Approach.Clara Sandelind - 2019 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 22 (2):331-346.
    Liberal egalitarians tend to be committed both to generous asylum policies and generous, universal welfare states. Yet there may be political, social and economic reasons why there is a conflict in realising both. Asylum seekers may create economic pressures to the welfare state, or undermine national solidarity supposedly necessary to support redistribution. In this paper, I discuss how political theorists should approach these empirical concerns. I take issue with the view that theorists can simply move between ‘realism’ and ‘idealism’ by (...)
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  • Open Borders and the Ideality of Approaches: An Analysis of Joseph Carens’ Critique of the Conventional View Regarding Immigration.Thomas Pölzler - 2019 - European Journal of Analytic Philosophy 15 (1):17-34.
    Do liberal states have a moral duty to admit immigrants? According to what has been called the “conventional view”, this question is to be answered in the negative. One of the most prominent critics of the conventional view is Joseph Carens. In the past 30 years Carens’ contributions to the open borders debate have gradually taken on a different complexion. This is explained by the varying “ideality” of his approaches. Sometimes Carens attempts to figure out what states would be obliged (...)
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  • Social Freedom as Ideology.Karen Ng - 2018 - Philosophy and Social Criticism 45 (7):795-818.
    This article explores objections made against ideal theorizing in political philosophy by two prominent contemporary critical theorists: Axel Honneth and Charles Mills. In Freedom’s Right, Honneth...
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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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  • “Clinician Knows Best”? Injustices in the Medicalization of Mental Illness.Abigail Gosselin - 2019 - Feminist Philosophy Quarterly 5 (2).
    This paper uses a non-ideal theory approach advocated for by Alison Jaggar to show that practices involved with the medicalization of serious mental disorders can subject people who have these disorders to a cycle of vulnerability that keeps them trapped within systems of injustice. When medicalization locates mental disorders solely as problems of individual biology, without regard to social factors, and when it treats mental disorders as personal defects, it perpetuates injustice in several ways: by enabling biased diagnoses through stereotyping, (...)
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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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  • Cohen's Equivocal Attack on Rawls's Basic Structure Restriction.Kyle Johannsen - 2016 - Ethical Perspectives 23 (3):499-525.
    G.A. Cohen is famous for his critique of John Rawls’s view that principles of justice are restricted in scope to institutional structures. In recent work, however, Cohen has suggested that Rawlsians get more than just the scope of justice wrong: they get the concept wrong too. He claims that justice is a fundamental value, i.e. a moral input in our deliberations about the content of action-guiding regulatory principles, rather than the output. I argue here that Cohen’s arguments for extending the (...)
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