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  1. The Concept of Feasibility: A Multivocal Account.Daniel Guillery - forthcoming - Res Publica:1-17.
    A common objection to a proposal or theory in political philosophy is that it is not feasible to realise what it calls for. This is commonly taken to be sufficient to reject a proposal or theory: feasibility, on this common view, operates as a straightforward constraint on moral and political theory, whatever is not feasible is simply ruled out. This paper seeks to understand what we mean when we say that some proposal or outcome is or is not feasible. It (...)
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  • Infeasibility as a Normative Argument‐Stopper: The Case of Open Borders.Nicholas Southwood & Robert E. Goodin - forthcoming - European Journal of Philosophy.
    The open borders view is frequently dismissed for making infeasible demands. This is a potent strategy. Unlike normative arguments regarding open borders, which tend to be relatively intractable, the charge of infeasibility is supposed to operate as what we call a "normative argument-stopper." Nonetheless, we argue that the strategy fails. Bringing about open borders is perfectly feasible on the most plausible account of feasibility. We consider and reject what we take to be the only three credible ways to save the (...)
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  • Global Democracy and Feasibility.Eva Erman - 2020 - Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy 23 (3):1-21.
    While methodological and metatheoretical questions pertaining to feasibility have been intensively discussed in the philosophical literature on feasibility and justice in recent years, these discussions have not permeated the debate on global democracy. The overall aim in this paper is to demonstrate the fruitfulness of importing some of the advancements made in this literature into the debate on global democracy as well as to develop aspects that are relevant for explaining the role of feasibility in normative political theory. This is (...)
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  • To Every Thing There is a Season: Theory, History, and Global Justice.Amnon Lev - forthcoming - Constellations.
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  • The Possibility of Wildly Unrealistic Justice and the Principle/Proposal Distinction.Nicholas Southwood - forthcoming - Philosophical Studies.
    Are institutional principles of justice subject to a minimal realism constraint to the effect that, in order to be valid, they must not make wildly unrealistic demands? Most of us say “yes.” David Estlund says, “no.” However, while Estlund holds that 1) institutional principles of justice are not subject to a minimal realism constraint, he accepts that 2) institutional principles of justice are subject to an *attainability constraint* to the effect that, in order to be valid, they must not make (...)
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  • Feasibility Claims in the Debate Over Anarchy Versus the Minimal State.Brad Taylor - 2018 - Libertarian Papers 10.
    : Accusations of infeasibility or utopianism are common in debates over libertarian institutions, but exactly what we mean when we say an idea is “utopian” or “infeasible” is often left unspecified. After reviewing recent philosophical work attempting to clarify the concept of “feasibility,” I consider how the concept has been deployed in the debate among libertarians […].
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  • A World of Possibilities: The Place of Feasibility in Political Theory.Eva Erman & Niklas Möller - 2020 - Res Publica 26:1-23.
    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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  • The Two-Dimensional Analysis of Feasibility: A Restatement.Renan Silva - 2019 - Moral Philosophy and Politics 6 (2):357-378.
    Pablo Gilabert and Holly Lawford-Smith have, both in collaboration and individually, provided a compelling account of feasibility, which states that feasibility is both ‘binary’ and ‘scalar’, and both ‘synchronic’ and ‘diachronic’. This two-dimensional analysis, however, has been the subject of four major criticisms: it has been argued that it rests upon a false distinction between ‘hard’ and ‘soft’ constraints, that it ignores the importance of intentional action, and that diachronic feasibility is incoherent and insensitive to the existence of epistemic limitations. (...)
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  • "Actual" Does Not Imply "Feasible".Nicholas Southwood & David Wiens - 2016 - Philosophical Studies 173 (11):3037-3060.
    The familiar complaint that some ambitious proposal is infeasible naturally invites the following response: Once upon a time, the abolition of slavery and the enfranchisement of women seemed infeasible, yet these things were actually achieved. Presumably, then, many of those things that seem infeasible in our own time may well be achieved too and, thus, turn out to have been perfectly feasible after all. The Appeal to History, as we call it, is a bad argument. It is not true that (...)
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  • Justice, Feasibility, and Social Science as It Is.Emily McTernan - 2019 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 22 (1):27-40.
    Political philosophy offers a range of utopian proposals, from open borders to global egalitarianism. Some object that these proposals ought to be constrained by what is feasible, while others insist that what justice demands does not depend on what we can bring about. Currently, this debate is mired in disputes over the fundamental nature of justice and the ultimate purpose of political philosophy. I take a different approach, proposing that we should consider which facts could fill out a feasibility requirement. (...)
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  • Social Reform in a Complex World.Jacob Barrett - 2020 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 17 (2).
    Our world is complex—it is composed of many interacting parts—and this complexity poses a serious difficulty for theorists of social reform. On the one hand, we cannot merely work out ways of ameliorating immediate problems of injustice, because the solutions we generate may interact to set back the achievement of overall long-term justice. On the other, we cannot supplement such problem solving with theorizing about how to make progress towards a long-term goal of ideal justice, because the very interactions that (...)
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  • Feasibility as a Constraint on ‘Ought All-Things-Considered’, But Not on ‘Ought as a Matter of Justice’?Nicholas Southwood - 2019 - Philosophical Quarterly 69 (276):598-616.
    It is natural and relatively common to suppose that feasibility is a constraint on what we ought to do all-things-considered but not a constraint on what we ought to do as a matter of justice. I show that the combination of these claims entails an implausible picture of the relation between feasibility and desirability given an attractive understanding of the relation between what we ought to do as a matter of justice and what we ought to do all-things-considered.
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  • Justice and Feasibility: A Dynamic Approach.Pablo Gilabert - 2017 - In K. Vallier & M. Weber (eds.), Political Utopias: Contemporary Debates. Oxford University Press. pp. 95-126.
    It is common in political theory and practice to challenge normatively ambitious proposals by saying that their fulfillment is not feasible. But there has been insufficient conceptual exploration of what feasibility is, and very little substantive inquiry into why and how it matters for thinking about social justice. This paper provides one of the first systematic treatments of these issues, and proposes a dynamic approach to the relation between justice and feasibility that illuminates the importance of political imagination and dynamic (...)
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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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  • The Tyranny of a Metaphor.David Wiens - 2018 - Cosmos + Taxis 5 (2):13-28.
    Debates on the practical relevance of ideal theory revolve around Sen's metaphor of navigating a mountainous landscape. In *The Tyranny of the Ideal*, Gerald Gaus presents the most thorough articulation of this metaphor to date. His detailed exploration yields new insight on central issues in existing debates, as well as a fruitful medium for exploring important limitations on our ability to map the space of social possibilities. Yet Gaus's heavy reliance on the navigation metaphor obscures questions about the reasoning by (...)
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  • Will the Real Principles of Justice Please Stand Up?David Wiens - 2017 - In Kevin Vallier & Michael Weber (eds.), Political Utopias: Contemporary Debates. Oxford University Press.
    This chapter develops a ``nesting'' model of deontic normative principles (i.e., principles that specify moral constraints upon action) as a means to understanding the notion of a ``fundamental normative principle''. I show that an apparently promising attempt to make sense of this notion such that the ``real'' or ``fundamental'' demands of justice upon action are not constrained by social facts is either self-defeating or relatively unappealing. We should treat fundamental normative principles not as specifying fundamental constraints upon action, but as (...)
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  • Feasibility Four Ways.Alan Hamlin - 2017 - Social Philosophy and Policy 34 (1):209-231.
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  • Feasibility: Individual and Collective.Zofia Stemplowska - 2016 - Social Philosophy and Policy 33 (1-2):273-291.
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  • The Feasibility Issue.Nicholas Southwood - 2018 - Philosophy Compass 13 (8):e12509.
    It is commonly taken for granted that questions of feasibility are highly relevant to our normative thinking – and perhaps especially our normative thinking about politics. But what exactly does this preoccupation with feasibility amount to, and in what forms if any is it warranted? This article aims to provide a critical introduction to, and clearer characterization of, the feasibility issue. I begin by discussing the question of how feasibility is to be understood. I then turn to the question of (...)
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