Demands of Justice, Feasible Alternatives, and the Need for Causal Analysis

Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 16 (2):325-338 (2013)
Authors
David Wiens
University of California, San Diego
Abstract
Many political philosophers hold the Feasible Alternatives Principle (FAP): justice demands that we implement some reform of international institutions P only if P is feasible and P improves upon the status quo from the standpoint of justice. The FAP implies that any argument for a moral requirement to implement P must incorporate claims whose content pertains to the causal processes that explain the current state of affairs. Yet, philosophers routinely neglect the need to attend to actual causal processes. This undermines their arguments concerning moral requirements to reform international institutions. The upshot is that philosophers’ arguments must engage in causal analysis to a greater extent than is typical. -/- [Supplement: Handout available at http://db.tt/fyuVW3Xv].
Keywords Global justice  International institutions  Feasibility  Causal mechanisms  Methodology
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DOI 10.1007/s10677-012-9347-6
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References found in this work BETA

World Poverty and Human Rights.Thomas Pogge - 2005 - Ethics and International Affairs 19 (1):1–7.

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Citations of this work BETA

The Feasibility Issue.Nicholas Southwood - 2018 - Philosophy Compass 13 (8):e12509.
"Actual" Does Not Imply "Feasible".Nicholas Southwood & David Wiens - 2016 - Philosophical Studies 173 (11):3037-3060.
Political Ideals and the Feasibility Frontier.David Wiens - 2015 - Economics and Philosophy 31 (3):447-477.
Assessing Ideal Theories: Lessons From the Theory of Second Best.David Wiens - 2016 - Politics, Philosophy, and Economics 15 (2):132-149.

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