William Perm summarized the Magna Carta thus: “First, It asserts Englishmen to be free; that's Liberty. Secondly, they that have free-holds, that's Property.” Since at least the seventeenth century, liberals have not only understood liberty and property to be fundamental, but to be somehow intimately related or interwoven. Here, however, consensus ends; liberals present an array of competing accounts of the relation between liberty and property. Many, for instance, defend an essentially instrumental view, typically seeing private property as justified because (...) it is necessary to maintain or protect other, more basic, liberty rights. Important to our constitutional tradition has been the idea that “[t]he right to property is the guardian of every other right, and to deprive a people of this, is in fact to deprive them of their liberty.” Along similar lines, it has been argued that only an economic system based on private property disperses power and resources, ensuring that private people in civil society have the resources to oppose the state and give effect to basic liberties. Alternatively, it is sometimes claimed that only those with property develop the independent characters that are necessary to preserve a regime of liberty. But not only have liberals insisted that, property is a means of preserving liberty, they have often conceived of it as an embodiment of liberty, or as a type of liberty, or indeed as identical to liberty. This latter view is popular among contemporary libertarians or classical liberals. Jan Narveson, for instance, bluntly asserts that “Liberty is Property,” while John Gray insists that “[t]he connection between property and the basic liberties is constitutive and not just instrumental.”. (shrink)
Liberal political theory is all too familiar with the divide between classical and welfare-state liberals. Classical liberals, as we all know, insist on the importance of small government, negative liberty, and private property. Welfare-state liberals, on the other hand, although they too stress civil rights, tend to be sympathetic to “positive liberty,” are for a much more expansive government, and are often ambivalent about private property. Although I do not go so far as to entirely deny the usefulness of this (...) familiar distinction, I think in many ways it is misleading. In an important sense, most free-market liberals are also “welfare-state” liberals. I say this because the overwhelming number of liberals, of both the pro-market and the pro-government variety, entertain a welfarist conception of political economy. On this dominant welfarist view, the ultimate justification of the politico-economic order is that it promotes human welfare. Traditional “welfare-state liberals” such as Robert E. Goodin manifestly adopt this welfarist conception. But it is certainly not only interventionists such as Goodin who insist that advancing welfare is the overriding goal of normative political economy. J. R. McCulloch, one of the great nineteenth-century laissez-faire political economists, was adamant that “freedom is not, as some appear to think, the end of government: the advancement of public prosperity and happiness is its end.” To be sure, McCulloch would have disagreed with Goodin about the optimal welfare-maximizing economic policy: the welfarist ideal, he and his fellow classical political economists believed, would best be advanced by provision of a legal and institutional framework — most importantly, the laws of property, contract, and the criminal code — that allows individuals to pursue their own interests in the market and, by so doing, promote public welfare. In general, what might be called the “classical-liberal welfare state” claims to advance welfare by providing the framework for individuals to seek wealth for themselves, while welfarists such as Goodin insist that a market order is seriously flawed as a mechanism for advancing human welfare and, in addition, that government has the competency to “correct market failures” in the provision of welfare. (shrink)
Part One of this essay considered familiar ways of characterizing deontology, which focus on the notions of the good and the right. Here we will take up alternative approaches, which stress the type of reasons for actions that are generated by deontological theories. Although some of these alternative conceptualizations of deontology also employ a distinction between the good and the right, all mark the basic contrast between deontology and teleology in terms of reasons to act.
This important new book takes as its points of departure two questions: What is the nature of valuing? and What morality can be justified in a society that deeply disagrees on what is truly valuable? In Part One, the author develops a theory of value that attempts to reconcile reason with passions. Part Two explores how this theory of value grounds our commitment to moral action. The author argues that rational moral action can neither be seen as a way of (...) simply maximising one's own values, nor derived from reason independent of one's values. Rather, our commitment to the moral point of view is presupposed by our value systems. The book concludes with a defense of liberal political morality. (shrink)
The discovery of Gramicidin S is considered to be the outcome of the intellectual transformation of Russian biologist G.F. Gause from simply a biologist to a researcher of antibiotics. Different historical conditions of this change as well as the development of experimental biology itself at this time are analysed in detail. The meaning of Gause's occupation of a new 'niche' in soviet science for the fate of Russian post-war genetics is defined as well.
Current moral philosophy is often seen as essentially a debate between the two great traditions of consequentialism and deontology. Although there has been considerable work clarifying consequentialism, deontology is more often attacked or defended than analyzed. Just how we are to understand the very idea of a deontological ethic? We shall see that competing conceptions of deontology have been advanced in recent ethical thinking, leading to differences in classifying ethical theories. If we do not focus on implausible versions, the idea (...) of a deontological ethic is far more attractive than most philosophers have thought. Indeed, I shall argue that in an important sense, only a deontological ethic can be plausible. (shrink)
Our concern in this essay are the roles of religious conviction in what we call a “publicly justified polity” — one in which the laws conform to the Principle of Public Justification, according to which (in a sense that will become clearer) each citizen must have conclusive reason to accept each law as binding. According to “justificatory liberalism,”1 this public justification requirement follows from the core liberal commitment of respect for the freedom and equality of all citizens.2 To respect each (...) as free and equal requires that no one simply be forced to submit to the judgments of others as to what she must do. Laws must be justified to those subject to them — each must accept grounds that justify the law. As Kant indicated, if such a condition is achieved, each is both subject and legislator: each is subject to the law, yet each legislates the law, and so all our free and equal under the law.3 Now it would appear that if we are to justify laws to each and every person, the reasons for these laws must be “accessible to all.”4 Religious reasons, however, are not shared by everyone, and may be inaccessible to some: they would thereby seem inappropriate in public justification. On the face of it, justificatory liberals seem committed to expunging religious-based reasoning from political justification. Not surprisingly, this apparent commitment of justificatory liberalism is adamantly rejected by many citizens of faith who consider themselves liberals. These citizens embrace the traditional liberal freedoms and rights and, moreover, reject any suggestion that a legitimate polity might seek to establish a religion, much less a theocracy. Yet they.. (shrink)
The Routledge Companion to Social and Political Philosophy is a comprehensive, definitive reference work, providing an up-to-date survey of the field, charting its history and key figures and movements, and addressing enduring questions as ...
Rex Martin has written the most important analysis and justification of political authority and obligation since T. H. Green’s Lectures on the Principles of Political Obligation [hereafter LPO]. Indeed, defying a good deal of contemporary philosophical orthodoxy, Martin resurrects some fundamental claims of Green’s political philosophy.
A. Two conceptions of moral legitimacy Socialism, understood as the rejection of markets based on private property in favor of comprehensive centralized economic planning, is no longer a serious political option. If the core of capitalism is the organization of the economy primarily through market competition based on private property, then capitalism has certainly defeated socialism. Markets have been accepted—and central planning abandoned—throughout most of the “third world” and the formerly Communist states. In the advanced industrial states of the West, (...) Labor and “democratic socialist” parties have rejected socialism, having deregulated markets and privatized industries, utilities, and transport. The United Kingdom Labour Party’s 1945 manifesto declared it to be a “Socialist Party, and proud of it. Its ultimate aim is the establishment of the Socialist Commonwealth of Great Britain.”1 Today it insists that markets are a given. (shrink)
Under free institutions the exercise of human reason leads to a plurality of reasonable, yet irreconcilable doctrines. Rawls's political liberalism is intended as a response to this fundamental feature of modern democratic life. Justifying coercive political power by appeal to any one (or sample) of these doctrines is, Rawls believes, oppressive and illiberal. If we are to achieve unity without oppression, he tells us, we must all affirm a public political conception that is supported by these diverse reasonable doctrines. The (...) first part of this essay argues that the free use of human reason leads to reasonable pluralism over most of what we call the political. Rawls's notion of the political does not avoid the problem of state oppression under conditions of reasonable pluralism. The second part tries to show how justificatory liberalism provides (1) a conception of the political that takes seriously the fact that the free use of human reason leads us to sharply disagree in the domain of the political while (2) articulating a conception of the political according to which the coercive intervention of the state must be justified by public reasons. (shrink)
`This volume combines remarkable coverage and distinguished contributors. The inclusion of thematic, conceptual, and historical chapters will make it a valuable resource for scholars as well as students' - Professor George Klosko, Department of Politics, University of Virginia This major new Handbook provides a definitive state-of-the-art review to political theory, past and present. It offers a complete guide to all the main areas and fields of political and philosophical inquiry today by the world's leading theorists. The Handbook is divided into (...) five parts which together serve to illustrate: - the diversity of political theorizing - the substantive theories that provide an over-aching analysis of the nature/or justification of the state and political life - the political theories that have been either formulated or resurgent in recent years - the current state of the central debates within contemporary political theory - the history of western political thought and its interpretations - traditions in political thought outside a western perspective. The Handbook of Political Theory marks a benchmark publication at the cutting edge of its field. It is essential reading for all students and academics of political theory and political philosophy around the world. (shrink)
In this essay I sketch a philosophical argument for classical liberalism based on the requirements of public reason. I argue that we can develop a philosophical liberalism that, unlike so much recent philosophy, takes existing social facts and mores seriously while, at the same time, retaining the critical edge characteristic of the liberal tradition. I argue that once we develop such an account, we are led toward a vindication of “old” (qua classical) liberal morality—what Benjamin Constant called the “liberties of (...) the moderns.” A core thesis of the paper is that a regime of individual rights is crucial to the project of public justification because it disperses moral authority to individuals thus mitigating what I call the “burdens of justification.” Footnotesa Earlier versions of this essay were presented at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, Philosophy Department workshop on the morality of capitalism, and at the conference on rights theory at the Murphy Institute, Tulane University. I am grateful for the comments of the participants; my special thanks to David Schmidtz, Julian Lamont, and Andrea Houchard for their useful written comments and suggestions. (shrink)
This essay analyses optimal voting rules for one form of deliberative democracy. Drawing on public choice analysis, it is argued that the voting rule that best institutionalises deliberative democracy is a type of a supermajority rule. Deliberative democracy is also committed to the standard neutrality condition according to which if x votes are enough to select alternative A, x votes must be enough to select not-A. Taken together, these imply that deliberative democracy will often be indeterminate. This result shows that (...) deliberative democracy is ill-equipped to provide guidance as to how actual political disputes are to be legitimately resolved. (shrink)
David lyons has recently argued that mill's ethics is an alternative to both act and rule utilitarianism. In the first part of this paper I argue that lyons makes mill out to be far too much of a rule utilitarian. The second part of the article then provides an account of mill's theory of moral rules based on an analysis of the four functions rules serve in his ethics. On this reading mill's theory is a hybrid of act and rule (...) utilitarianism: violation of a moral rule is a necessary but not a sufficient condition for wrongdoing. (shrink)
The essays that make up this volume, explore the idea of public reason. The task of identifying a distinctively public reason has become pressing in our deeply pluralistic society, just because doubt has arisen whether what is good reasoning for one must be good reasoning for all. Examining the theories of Hobbes and Kant, and also using more recent work such as the comments and theories of John Rawls and David Gauthier, this book explores aspects of the idea of public (...) reason. It explains public reason, and discusses areas such as pluralism, reasonable disagreement, moral conflict, political legitimacy, public justification and post-modernism. (shrink)
Das Problem der Asymmetrie des Protoplasmas bedarf einer kritischen Besprechung, die der Formulierung einer Reihe grundlegender Fragen, die in erster Linie einer weiteren experimentellen Bearbeitung bedürfen, förderlich sein kann. Vor allem muss hier mit der Terminologie begonnen werden. Man muss unterscheiden: die Dissymmetrie, als Eigenschaft des individuellen Moleküls ein sich mit dem Urbild nicht deckendes Spiegelbild zu besitzen, welche Eigenschaft bei einem bestimmten Niveau der Kompliziertheit der räumlichen Architektur des Moleküls eintritt, und, andererseits, die Asymmetrie als Eigenschaft der Gesamtheit der (...) Moleküle, die in der Abwesenheit der Gleichheit der rechten und linken dissymmetrischen Formen in diesen Gesamtheiten besteht. Für den Biologen bietet die Asymmetrie der molekulären Gesamtheiten insofern Interesse, als sie eine spezifische Eigenschaft des Protoplasmas ist und bei allen dissymmetrischen Stoffen fehlt, die in den irdischen Prozessen unabhängig von der Tätigkeit lebender Wesen entstehen. Hier können folgende grundlegende Fragen gestellt werden: 1. Welcher Art ist der deskriptive Aspekt der Asymmetrie des Protoplasmas? Für welche Komponenten des Protoplasmas ist die Asymmetrie der molekularen Gesamtheiten bei den verschiedenen Vertretern des Tier- und Pflanzenreiches obligatorisch und für welche nicht? 2. Welcher Art ist die physiologische Bedeutung der Asymmetrie des Protoplasmas, und auf welche Weise wird dieser spezifische Zustand aufrechterhalten? 3. Wie kann man sich im Lichte aller dieser Daten die Entstehung der Asymmetrie des Protoplasmas vorstellen?Die asymmetrische Architektur des Protoplasmas läuft im Grunde darauf hinaus, dass das Protoplasma aus Vertretern einer bestimmten Reihe „natürlicher” Antipoden aufgebaut ist. Hierdurch findet eine genaue Fixiertheit des die räumlichen Eigenschaften des Stoffes charakterisierenden Parameters statt. Diese Fixiertheit ist eine wichtige Bedingung für die Verwirklichung der feinen protoplasmatischen Koordinationen. Von allgemeinerem Standpunkt aus ist die Fixiertheit des räumlichen Parameters ein Spezialfall des bekanntenClaude Bernard'schen Gesetzes: „La fixité du milieu intérieur est la condition de la vie libre”.Im Artikel werden zahlreiche Angaben eingehend besprochen, die es gestatten zu behaupten, dass eine Reihe spezieller und tiefer Anpassungen in der physiologischen Organisation der Zelle die vom thermodynamischen Standpunkt unvermeidliche Razemisation des Protoplasmas verhindern, und den spezifischen Zustand der Asymmetrie des Protoplasmas aufrechterhalten. Im Lichte dieser Angaben kann die Entstehung der Asymmetrie des Protoplasmas mit Hilfe der Theorie der natürlichen Zuchtwahl erklärt werden. Der asymmetrische Zustand des Protoplasmasystems verleiht seinem Besitzer eine Reihe biologischer Vorzüge im Vergleich mit dem razemischen Zustand.Le problème de l'asymétrie du protoplasma mérite un examen critique. Cela pourrait aider à formuler une série de questions fondamentales exigeant en premier lieu une étude expérimentale ultérieure. À commencer par la terminologie, on doit distinguer d'une part la dissymétrie, propriété de la molécule individuelle de posséder une image non superposable, qui apparaît à un niveau déterminé de complexité dans l'architecture spatiale de la molécule, et d'autre part, l'asymétrie comme une propriété des ensembles de molécules, représentant le manque dans ces ensembles de l'égalité de forme dissymétriques de droite et de gauche. Pour le biologiste, l'asymétrie des ensembles moléculaires est d'un intérêt particulier, en ce qu'elle présente une propriété spécifique du protoplasma, et qu'elle manque dans toutes les substances dissymétriques, qui se forment au cours des processus terrestres, indépendamment de l'activité des êtres vivants. On peut poser ici trois questions principales: 1. Quel est l'aspect descriptif de l'asymétrie du protoplasma? Quels sont les composants protoplasmiques pour lesquels l'asymétrie des ensembles moléculaires est obligatoire, et ceux pour lesquels elle ne l'est point, chez les divers représentants du règne animal et du règne végétal? 2. Quelle est la valeur physiologique de l'asymétrie protoplasmique, et de quelle manière cet état spécifique se maintient-il? 3. Comment, à la lumière de ces données, peut on se figurer l'origine de l'asymétrie du protoplasma?Dans l'essentiel, l'architecture asymétrique du protoplasma se ramène au fait que celui-ci est construit avec les représentants d'une série déterminée d'antipodes „naturels”. Par cela même il y a là un état de fixité précise du paramètre, qui caractérise les propriétés spatiales de la matière. Cet état de fixité est une condition importante pour la réalisation des délicates coordinations protoplasmiques. Á un point de vue plus général, l'état de fixité du paramètre spatial constitue un cas particulier de la proposition bien connue deClaude Bernard: „La fixité du milieu intérieur est la condition de la vie libre”.Dans le présent article on discute en détail les faits nombreux qui permettent d'affirmer que dans l'organisation physiologique de la cellule, une série d'adaptations spéciales profondes empêchent la racémisation du protoplasma, inévitable au point de vue thermodynamique, et maintenant l'état asymétrique spécifique du protoplasma. Éclairée ainsi par les faits, l'origine du protoplasma asymétrique peut s'expliquer à l'aide de la théorie de la sélection naturelle. L'état asymétrique du système protoplasmique, par comparaison avec l'état racémique, accorde à son possesseur nombre d'avantages biologiques. (shrink)
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