Philosophy and Social Criticism 42 (1):3-23 (2016)

Niklas Möller
Stockholm University
Eva Erman
Stockholm University
The practice-dependent approach to justice has received a lot of attention in post-millennium political philosophy. It has been developed in different directions and its normative implications have been criticized, but little attention has been directed to the very distinction between practice-dependence and practice-independence and the question of what theoretically differentiates a practice-dependent account from mainstream practice-independent accounts. The core premises of the practice-dependent approach, proponents argue, are meta-normative and methodological. A key feature is the presumption that a concept of justice is dependent on the function or aim of the social practices to which it is supposed to be applied. Closely related to this meta-normative thesis is an interpretive methodology for deriving principles of justice from facts about existing practices, in particular regarding their point and purpose. These two premises, practice-dependent theorists claim, differentiate their account since they are not accepted by practice-independent accounts and they justify different principles of justice than practice-independent accounts. Our aim in this article is to refute both and, demonstrating that practice-independent accounts may indeed accept the meta-normative and methodological premises of the practice-dependent accounts, and that we are given no theoretical reason to think that practice-dependent accounts justify other principles of justice for a practice than do practice-independent accounts. In other words, practice-dependent theorists have not substantiated their claim that practice-dependence is theoretically differentiated from mainstream accounts. When practice-dependent proponents argue for other principles of justice than mainstream theorists, it will be for the usual reason in normative theory: their first-order normative arguments differ
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DOI 10.1177/0191453715580475
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References found in this work BETA

Philosophical Investigations.Ludwig Josef Johann Wittgenstein - 1953 - New York, NY, USA: Wiley-Blackwell.
Political Liberalism.John Rawls - 1993 - Columbia University Press.
A Theory of Justice: Revised Edition.John Rawls - 1999 - Harvard University Press.

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Citations of this work BETA

Practice-Dependence and Epistemic Uncertainty.Eva Erman - 2017 - Journal of Global Ethics 13 (2):187-205.

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