Why Practices?

Raisons Politiques 51:43-62 (2013)

The practice-based method of justification requires sensitivity to social practices. This raises difficult questions: Must the practices in question be established or at least realistic? How “constructive” can we be in our interpretation of their form or aims? This paper suggests that our answers to these questions can vary with our explanatory purposes. Requirements of realism and sociological accuracy are relatively thin given purely intellectual aims of moral understanding, thicker given the aim of addressing humanity, and thicker still given the aim of justifying principles as normative for us , in our current world historical situation. I suggest that we have no reason to insist on one set of animating justice concerns to the exclusion of all the others, even as normative requirements rightly take center stage.
Keywords Practice-dependence  distributive justice  social interpretation
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