Critics and defenders of Rawls' idea of public reason have tended to neglect the relationship between this idea and his conception of democratic legitimacy. I shall argue that Rawls' idea of public reason can be interpreted in two different ways, and that the two interpretations support two different conceptions of legitimacy. What I call the substantive interpretation of Rawls' idea of public reason demands that it applies not just to the process of democratic decision-making, but that it extends to the (...) substantive justification of democratic decisions. I shall argue against this interpretation and suggest a procedural interpretation instead. On this view, public reason is invoked when it comes to the political justification of the principles that should govern the process of democratic decision-making, but not – at least not directly – in relation to the content of public deliberation. (shrink)
In this paper I defend a pure proceduralist conception of legitimacy that applies to epistemic democracy. This conception, which I call pure epistemic proceduralism, does not depend on procedure-independent standards for good outcomes and relies on a proceduralist epistemology. It identifies a democratic decision as legitimate if it is the outcome of a process that satisfies certain conditions of political and epistemic fairness. My argument starts with a rejection of instrumentalism–the view that political equality is only instrumentally valuable. I reject (...) instrumentalism on two grounds: (i) because it fails to respect reasonable value pluralism and to recognize the constitutive role of democratic procedures for legitimacy in pluralist societies, and (ii) because it neglects the constructive function of democratic decision-making. I then consider two alternatives to pure epistemic proceduralism: David Estlund's version of epistemic proceduralism and a Deweyan account of epistemic democracy. I argue that only pure epistemic proceduralism can make good on both shortcomings of instrumentalism, whereas each of the other two approaches only makes good on one and neglects the other. (shrink)
This book offers a systematic treatment of the requirements of democratic legitimacy. It argues that democratic procedures are essential for political legitimacy because of the need to respect value pluralism and because of the learning process that democratic decision-making enables. It proposes a framework for distinguishing among the different ways in which the requirements of democratic legitimacy have been interpreted. Peter then uses this framework to identify and defend what appears as the most plausible conception of democratic legitimacy. According to (...) this conception, democratic legitimacy requires that the decision-making process satisfies certain conditions of political and epistemic fairness. (shrink)
A conception of legitimacy is at the core of normative theories of democracy. Many different conceptions of legitimacy have been put forward, either explicitly or implicitly. In this article, I shall first provide a taxonomy of conceptions of legitimacy that can be identified in contemporary democratic theory. The taxonomy covers both aggregative and deliberative democracy. I then argue for a conception of democratic legitimacy that takes the epistemic dimension of public deliberation seriously. In contrast to standard interpretations of epistemic democracy, (...) however, the conception I put forward avoids procedure-independent standards of correctness. Instead, it relies on a procedural social epistemology and defines legitimacy entirely in terms of the fairness of procedures. I call this conception of democratic legitimacy `Pure Epistemic Proceduralism'. I shall argue that it should be preferred over `Rational Epistemic Proceduralism', the conception of legitimacy that underlies the standard interpretation of epistemic democracy. Key Words: legitimacy • deliberative democracy • epistemic democracy • social epistemology. (shrink)
Moral distress has been written about extensively in nursing and other fields. Often, however, it has not been used with much theoretical depth. This paper focuses on theorizing moral distress using feminist ethics, particularly the work of Margaret Urban Walker and Hilde Lindemann. Incorporating empirical findings, we argue that moral distress is the response to constraints experienced by nurses to their moral identities, responsibilities, and relationships. We recommend that health professionals get assistance in accounting for and communicating their values and (...) responsibilities in situations of moral distress. We also discuss the importance of nurses creating “counterstories” of their work as knowledgeable and trustworthy professionals to repair their damaged moral identities, and, finally, we recommend that efforts toward shifting the goal of health care away from the prolongation of life at all costs to the relief of suffering to diminish the moral distress that is a common response to aggressive care at end-of-life. (shrink)
Collective deliberation is fuelled by disagreements and its epistemic value depends, inter alia, on how the participants respond to each other in disagreements. I use this accountability thesis to argue that deliberation may be valued not just instrumentally but also for its procedural features. The instrumental epistemic value of deliberation depends on whether it leads to more or less accurate beliefs among the participants. The procedural epistemic value of deliberation hinges on the relationships of mutual accountability that characterize appropriately conducted (...) deliberation. I will argue that it only comes into view from the second-person standpoint. I shall explain what the second-person standpoint in the epistemic context entails and how it compares to Stephen Darwall’s interpretation of the second-person standpoint in ethics. (shrink)
At the core of political liberalism is the claim that political institutions must be publicly justified or justifiable to be legitimate. What explains the significance of public justification? The main argument that defenders of political liberalism present is an argument from disagreement: the irreducible pluralism that is characteristic of democratic societies requires a mode of justification that lies in between a narrowly political solution based on actual acceptance and a traditional moral solution based on justification from the third-person perspective. But (...) why should we take disagreements seriously? This – epistemic question – has not received the attention it deserves so far. I argue that the significance of public justification can be explained through the possibility of reasonable disagreement. In a reasonable disagreement, the parties hold mutually incompatible beliefs, but each is justified to hold the belief they do. I shall use the notion of a reasonable disagreement to explain the possibility of an irreducible pluralism of moral and religious doctrines and, on that basis, why the justification of political institutions has to be public. (shrink)
The main aim of this paper is to identify a type of fact-given warrant for action that is distinct from reason-based justification for action and defend the view that there are two types of practical warrant. The idea that there are two types of warrant is familiar in epistemology, but has not received much attention in debates on practical normativity. On the view that I will defend, normative facts, qua facts, give rise to entitlement warrant for action. But they do (...) not, qua facts, give rise to reason-based warrant. Normative practical reasons, I will argue, are true propositions that represent fact-based favouring and that are made true by normative facts. (shrink)
According to an often repeated definition, economics is the science of individual choices and their consequences. The emphasis on choice is often used – implicitly or explicitly – to mark a contrast between markets and the state: While the price mechanism in well-functioning markets preserves freedom of choice and still efficiently coordinates individual actions, the state has to rely to some degree on coercion to coordinate individual actions. Since coercion should not be used arbitrarily, coordination by the state needs to (...) be legitimized by the consent of its citizens. The emphasis in economic theory on freedom of choice in the market sphere suggests that legitimization in the market sphere is “automatic” and that markets can thus avoid the typical legitimization problem of the state. In this paper, I shall question the alleged dichotomy between legitimization in the market and in the state. I shall argue that it is the result of a conflation of choice and consent in economics and show how an independent concept of consent makes the need for legitimization of market transactions visible. Footnotes1 For helpful comments and suggestions I am most grateful to Marc Fleurbaey, Alain Marciano, Herlinde Pauer-Studer, Thomas Pogge, Hans Bernhard Schmid, to seminar or conference participants in Aix-Marseille, Tutzing, Paris, and Amsterdam, and to two anonymous referees. (shrink)
In recent years there has been a revival of a theory of conscious emotions as analogous in important ways to perceptual experiences. In the standard versions of this view emotions are construed as, potentially, perceptual disclosures of values. The model has been widely debated and criticized. In this paper I reconstruct an early, qualified version of the perceptual model to be found in the classical phenomenological approaches of Scheler and Sartre. After outlining this version of the theory, I examine its (...) prospects against objections prominent in the current debate. (shrink)
In epistemology and in philosophy of language there is fierce debate about the role of context in knowledge, understanding, and meaning. Many contemporary epistemologists take seriously the thesis that epistemic vocabulary is context-sensitive. This thesis is of course a semantic claim, so it has brought epistemologists into contact with work on context in semantics by philosophers of language. This volume brings together the debates, in a set of twelve specially written essays representing the latest work by leading figures in the (...) two fields. All future work on contextualism will start here. Contributors: Kent Bach, Herman Cappelen, Andy Egan, Michael Glanzberg, John Hawthorne, Ernest Lepore, Peter Ludlow, Peter Pagin, Georg Peter, Paul M. Pietroski, Gerhard Preyer, Jonathan Schaffer, Jason Stanley, Brian Weatherson, Timothy Williamson. (shrink)
Does political decision-making require experts or can a democracy be trusted to make correct decisions? This question has a long-standing tradition in political philosophy, going back at least to Plato’s Republic. Critics of democracy tend to argue that democracy cannot be trusted in this way while advocates tend to argue that it can. Both camps agree that it is the epistemic quality of the outcomes of political decision-making processes that underpins the legitimacy of political institutions. In recent political philosophy, epistemic (...) democrats have embraced this instrumentalist way of thinking about democracy. In this chapter, I argue that the attempt to defend democracy on epistemic instrumentalist grounds is self-undermining. I also develop an alternative – procedural – epistemic defence of democracy. I show that there is a prima facie epistemic case for democracy when there is no procedure-independent epistemic authority on the issue to be decided. (shrink)
We review the status of bouncing cosmologies as alternatives to cosmological inflation for providing a description of the very early universe, and a source for the cosmological perturbations which are observed today. We focus on the motivation for considering bouncing cosmologies, the origin of fluctuations in these models, and the challenges which various implementations face.
Political legitimacy is a virtue of political institutions and of the decisions—about laws, policies, and candidates for political office—made within them. This entry will survey the main answers that have been given to the following questions. First, how should legitimacy be defined? Is it primarily a descriptive or a normative concept? If legitimacy is understood normatively, what does it entail? Some associate legitimacy with the justification of coercive power and with the creation of political authority. Others associate it with the (...) justification, or at least the sanctioning, of existing political authority. Authority stands for a right to rule—a right to issue commands and, possibly, to enforce these commands using coercive power. An additional question is whether legitimate political authority is understood to entail political obligations or not. Most people probably think it does. But some think that the moral obligation to obey political authority can be separated from an account of legitimate authority, or at least that such obligations arise only if further conditions hold. (shrink)
There is consistent and strong empirical evidence for social inequalities in health, as a vast and fast growing literature shows. In recent years, these findings have helped to move health equity high on international research and policy agendas. This paper examines how the empirical identification of social inequalities in health relates to a normative judgment about health inequities and puts forward an approach which embeds the pursuit of health equity within the general pursuit of social justice. It defends an indirect (...) approach to health equity, which views social inequalities in health as unjust in so far as they are the result of an unjust basic structure of society in Rawls’ sense. (shrink)
Excellence and frontier research have made inroads into European research policymaking and structure political agendas, funding programs and evaluation practices. The two concepts travelled a long way from the United States and have derived from contexts outside of science. Following their conceptual journey, we ask how excellence and frontier research have percolated into European science and higher education policies and how they have turned into lubricants of competition that buttress an ongoing reform process in Europe.
A new puzzle of modal recombination is presented which relies purely on resources of first-order modal logic. It shows that naive recombinatorial reasoning, which has previously been shown to be inconsistent with various assumptions concerning propositions, sets and classes, leads to inconsistency by itself. The context sensitivity of modal expressions is suggested as the source of the puzzle, and it is argued that it gives us reason to reconsider the assumption that the notion of metaphysical necessity is in good standing.
The Routledge Companion to Metaphysics is an outstanding, comprehensive and accessible guide to the major themes, thinkers, and issues in metaphysics. The Companion features over fifty specially commissioned chapters from international scholars which are organized into three clear parts: History of Metaphysics Ontology Metaphysics and Science. Each section features an introduction which places the range of essays in context, while an extensive glossary allows easy reference to key terms and definitions. The Routledge Companion to Metaphysics is essential reading for students (...) of philosophy and anyone interested in surveying the central topics and problems in metaphysics from causation to vagueness and from Plato and Aristotle to the present-day. (shrink)
A number of recent discussions have argued that George Price's equationfor representing evolutionary change is a powerful and illuminatingtool, especially in the context of debates about multiple levels ofselection. Our paper dissects Price's equation in detail, and comparesit to another statistical tool: the calculation and comparison ofaverage fitnesses. The relations between Price's equation and equationsfor evolutionary change using average fitness are closer than issometimes supposed. The two approaches achieve a similar kind ofstatistical summary of one generation of change, and they (...) achieve thisvia a similar loss of information about the underlying fitnessstructure. (shrink)
My aim in this paper is to provide an epistemological argument for why public reasons matter for political legitimacy. A key feature of the public reason conception of legitimacy is that political decisions must be justified to the citizens. Critics of the public reason conception, by contrast, argue that political legitimacy depends on justification simpliciter. Another way to put the point is that the critics of the public reason conception take the justification of political decisions to be based on reasons (...) that are agreement-independent. I call such reasons objective reasons. Public reasons are, however, agreement-dependent. The debate between defenders and critics of a public reason conception of political legitimacy focuses on whether objective reasons or public reasons are the right basis for the justification of political decisions. My defense of the public reason conception will grant to its critics that there are objective reasons and allow that such reasons can affect the legitimacy of political decisions. But I will show, focusing on epistemic constraints on the justification of political decisions, that it does not follow that the justification of those decisions is necessarily agreement-independent. In the epistemic circumstances that are typical of political life, public reasons will be required for the justification of political decisions. (shrink)
Spontaneously broken symmetries are often called hidden or secret symmetries. They are symmetries in the laws of nature that do not show up in observable phenomena. This raises the basic epistemological question: Is there reason to believe that these hidden symmetries are real features of nature rather than artifacts of theorizing. This paper clarifies the epistemic status of spontaneously broken symmetries. It presents the details of an argument by analogy that suggests the spontaneously broken gauge symmetry of electroweak interactions, and (...) the subsequent hypothetico-deductive testing of the hypothesis. It is a story of how dubious means can lead to a credible end. (shrink)
Social robots progressively enter children’s lives, but little is known about children’s acceptance of social robots and its antecedents. To fill this research gap, this narrative review surveyed 34 articles on child-robot interaction published between 2000 and 2017. We focused on robot, user, and interaction characteristics as potential antecedents of children’s intentional and behavioral social robot acceptance. In general, children readily accept robots. However, we found that social, adaptive robot behavior, children’s sex and age, as well as frequency of the (...) interaction seem to affect acceptance. Additionally, we found various theoretical and methodological shortcomings in the field. The review concludes with recommendations and directions for future research on children’s acceptance of social robots. (shrink)
The Protein Ontology (PRO; http://proconsortium.org) formally defines protein entities and explicitly represents their major forms and interrelations. Protein entities represented in PRO corresponding to single amino acid chains are categorized by level of specificity into family, gene, sequence and modification metaclasses, and there is a separate metaclass for protein complexes. All metaclasses also have organism-specific derivatives. PRO complements established sequence databases such as UniProtKB, and interoperates with other biomedical and biological ontologies such as the Gene Ontology (GO). PRO relates to (...) UniProtKB in that PRO’s organism-specific classes of proteins encoded by a specific gene correspond to entities documented in UniProtKB entries. PRO relates to the GO in that PRO’s representations of organism-specific protein complexes are subclasses of the organism-agnostic protein complex terms in the GO Cellular Component Ontology. The past few years have seen growth and changes to the PRO, as well as new points of access to the data and new applications of PRO in immunology and proteomics. Here we describe some of these developments. (shrink)
Seventeen specially written essays by eminent philosophers and linguists appear for the first time in this anthology, all with the central theme of logical form -- a fundamental issue in analytic philosophy and linguistic theory. Logical Form and Language brings together exciting new contributions from diverse points of view, which illuminate the lively current debate about this topic.
In recent developments in political and legal philosophy, there is a tendency to endorse minimalist lists of human rights which do not include a right to political participation. Against such tendencies, I shall argue that the right to political participation, understood as distinct from a right to democracy, should have a place even on minimalist lists. In addition, I shall defend the need to extend the right to political participation to include participation not just in national, but also in international (...) and global governance processes. The argument will be based on a cosmopolitan conception of political legitimacy and on a political conception of human rights that is normatively anchored in legitimacy. The central claim of my paper is that a right to political participation is necessary – but not sufficient – for political legitimacy in the global realm. (shrink)
-/- Background: Nurses who provide aggressive care often experience the ethical challenge of needing to preserve the hope of seriously ill patients and their families without providing false hope. -/- Research objectives: The purpose of this inquiry was to explore nurses’ moral competence related to fostering hope in patients and their families within the context of aggressive technological care. A secondary purpose was to understand how this competence is shaped by the social–moral space of nurses’ work in order to capture (...) how competencies may reflect an adaptation to a less than ideal work environment. -/- Research design: A critical qualitative approach was used. -/- Participants: Fifteen graduate nursing students from various practice areas participated. -/- Ethical considerations: After receiving ethics approval from the university, signed informed consent was obtained from participants before they were interviewed. -/- Findings: One overarching theme ‘Mediating the tension between providing false hope and destroying hope within biomedicine’ along with three subthemes, including ‘Reimagining hopeful possibilities’, ‘Exercising caution within the social–moral space of nursing’ and ‘Maintaining nurses’ own hope’, was identified, which represents specific aspects of this moral competency. -/- Discussion: This competency represents a complex, nuanced and multi-layered set of skills in which nurses must be well attuned to the needs and emotions of their patients and families, have the foresight to imagine possible future hopes, be able to acknowledge death, have advanced interpersonal skills, maintain their own hope and ideally have the capacity to challenge those around them when the provision of aggressive care is a form of providing false hope. -/- Conclusion: The articulation of moral competencies may support the development of nursing ethics curricula to prepare future nurses in a way that is sensitive to the characteristics of actual practice settings. (shrink)
Political egalitarianism is at the core of most normative conceptions of democratic legitimacy. It finds its minimal expression in the "one person one vote" formula. In the literature on deliberative democracy, political equality is typically interpreted in a more demanding sense, but different interpretations of what political equality requires can be identified. In this paper I shall argue that the attempt to specify political equality in deliberative democracy is affected by a dilemma. I shall illustrate the political egalitarian's dilemma by (...) a hypothetical choice between two informational bases for political equality: Rawlsian primary goods and Amartya Sen's capability approach. The political egalitarian's dilemma reveals a clash between the requirement of ensuring equal possibilities to participate in the democratic process and the requirement of subjecting substantive judgments to deliberative evaluation. As such, the dilemma is a variant of the procedure vs. substance dilemma that is well-known in democratic theory. While it has sometimes been argued that deliberative democracy solves the tension between procedure and substance, the political egalitarian's dilemma shows that this tension continues within deliberative democracy. (shrink)
Political theory has been described as an `enterprise of discovery' that carries within it the danger of utopianism. This article explores one aspect of that danger: the question of the paradoxical or circular nature of much political thinking. This seems to be both a necessary and an impossible feature of such theorizing. Political theory itself seems to require an idea of utopia that is, by definition, impossible to achieve.
The recent literature on the epistemology of disagreement focuses on the rational response question: how are you rationally required to respond to a doxastic disagreement with someone, especially with someone you take to be your epistemic peer? A doxastic disagreement with someone also confronts you with a slightly different question. This question, call it the epistemic trust question, is: how much should you trust our own epistemic faculties relative to the epistemic faculties of others? Answering the epistemic trust question is (...) important for the epistemology of disagreement because it sheds light on the rational response question. My main aim in this paper is to argue—against recent attempts to show otherwise—that epistemic self-trust does not provide a reason for remaining steadfast in doxastic disagreements with others. (shrink)