In this paper, I examine an account of instrumental reasoning recently put forth by John Broome. His key suggestion is that anyone who engages in reasoning about his intentions also believes that he will do what he intends to do and that combined with a belief about necessary means this creates rational pressure towards believing that one will take the necessary means. I argue that Broomeâs model has three significant problems; his key premise is falseâthe sincere expression of an intention (...) does not entail the belief that one will successfully execute that intention; his account yields a model of instrumental reasoning that is uncomfortably reflective; he seems unable to explain the rational pressure towards taking necessary means that arises directly from having an end and an instrumental belief. All three problems, I argue, are a consequence of Broomeâs inadequate position on what it is to intend to do something. (shrink)
Wesley Wildman: Religious philosophy as multidisciplinary comparative inquiry: envisioning a future for the philosophy of religion Content Type Journal Article Category Book Review Pages 1-4 DOI 10.1007/s11153-012-9339-4 Authors Jeppe Sinding Jensen, Department of Culture and Society, Faculty of Arts, Aarhus University, Tasingegade 3, 8000 Aarhus C, Denmark Journal International Journal for Philosophy of Religion Online ISSN 1572-8684 Print ISSN 0020-7047.
In this essay I discuss a powerful challenge to high-liberalism: the challenge presented by neoclassical liberals that the high-liberal assumptions and values imply that the full range of economic liberties are basic rights. If the claim is true, then the high-liberal road from ideals of democracy and democratic citizenship to left-liberal institutions is blocked. Indeed, in that case the high-liberal is committed to an institutional scheme more along the lines of laissez-faire capitalism than property-owning democracy. To present and discuss this (...) challenge, I let John Rawls represent the high-liberal argument that only a narrow range of economic liberties are basic rights and John Tomasi represent the neoclassical liberal argument that the full range of economic liberties are basic rights. I show that Rawls’s argument is inadequate, but also that Tomasi’s argument fails. I thus conclude that high-liberalism is in a precarious situation, but is not yet undone by the neoclassical liberal challenge. (shrink)
In line with the tradition running from Ancients through Christian thought, Kant affirms the idea of moral freedom: that true freedom consists in moral self-determination. The idea of moral freedom raises the problem of moral freedom: if freedom is moral self-determination, it seems that the wicked are not free and therefore not responsible for their wrongdoings. In this essay I discuss Kant's solution to this problem. I argue that Kant distinguishes between four modalities of freedom as moral self-determination and that (...) the problem of moral freedom disappears when these distinctions are brought to light. (shrink)
In this essay I defend a variety of political perfectionism that I call negative perfectionism. Negative perfectionism is the position that if some design of the basic structure of society promotes objectively bad human living, then this should count as a reason against it. To give this hypothetical some bite, I draw on Rousseau’s diagnosis of the maladies of his society to defend two further claims: first, that some human lives are objectively bad, and, second, that some designs of the (...) basic structure promote objectively bad human living. It follows that we have should avoid such designs of the basic structure, which means that negative political perfectionism presents true requirements of justice. (shrink)
Driven by a sharp increase in claims for reparations, reparative justice has become a topic of academic debate. To some extent this debate has been marred by a failure to realize the complexity of reparative justice. In this essay we try to amend this shortcoming. We do this by developing a taxonomy of different kinds of wrongs that can underwrite claims to reparations. We identify four kinds of wrongs: entitlement violations, unjust exclusions from an otherwise acceptable system of entitlements, and (...) two kinds where a social practice systematically fails to embody an acceptable system of entitlements. In deliberation about what is required to repair a historical injustice the weight of backward- and forward-looking considerations is a function of the distinctive features of the injustice in question. Hence, the first step in adjudicating claims for reparation is to identify what kind of wrong the claim arises from. From the taxonomy of wrongs we are thus able to construct what we call the Field of Reparative Justice, which illustrates how the structure of deliberation for reparative justice tracks the distinctive features of different kinds of wrongs. (shrink)
Talbott grounds human rights in a moral epistemology that supports metaphysical immodesty but requires epistemic modesty. Metaphysical immodesty provides prescriptive confidence, while epistemic modesty prevents moral imperialism. I offer some reasons for doubting that Talbott’s moral epistemology yields the desired result. Insofar as Talbott aims for a determinate conception of human rights that could serve as the backbone of a system of international law, Talbott must deal with issues of reasonable disagreement, and for these issues, epistemic modesty provides no guarantee (...) against moral imperialism. In particular, I outline two sources of reasonable disagreement, that no social world is without loss and the complexity of the concept of autonomy, which illustrate how Talbott’s prescriptive confidence borders on moral imperialism. (shrink)
The topics of social ontology, culture, and institutions constitute a problem complex that involves a broad range of human social and cultural cognitive capacities. We-mode social cognition and shared intentionality appear to be crucial in the formation of social ontology and social institutions, which, in turn, provide the bases for the social manifestation of collective and shared psychological attitudes. Humans have ‘hybrid minds’ that inhabit cultural–cognitive ecosystems. Essentially, these consist of social institutions and distributed cognition that afford the common grounds (...) for the objectives of we-mode shared intentionality. As such, they stabilize social cognition normatively and offer predictive power in social interaction. Full-blown we-mode shared intentionality fundamentally depends on the functions of social institutions. (shrink)
The central idea of Rawls’s theory of justice is the idea of democratic society as a fair system of cooperation between free and equal citizens. The moral powers of democratic citizens are the capacities presupposed by this idea. Rawls identifies two such powers, the capacity for a conception of the good and the capacity for a sense of justice. I argue that the idea of democratic citizenship presupposes also a third moral power: the capacity for working. Since the basic rights (...) are the rights necessary for the development and exercise of the moral powers of citizenship; and since the capacity for working is such a moral power; and since access to work, education, and healthcare are necessary for the development and exercise of the capacity for working; access to work, education, and healthcare are basic rights. (shrink)
The recent process of deinstitutionalization of the psychiatric treatment system, in both Denmark and other European countries, has relied heavily on the involvement in treatment and recovery of cohabitant relatives of diagnosed people. However, political objectives regarding depression and involvement rely on a limited body of knowledge about people’s ways of managing illness-related problems in everyday life. Drawing on a discursive notion of gender laid out by Raewyn Connell, the aim of the article is to elucidate how the involvement of (...) relatives is guided by an extra- individual rationale about gender and caregiving, and how this gendered discourse might frame different challenges and burdens, depending on the gender of the diagnosed person and the cohabitant relative. Drawn from a larger, multisited field study on involvement processes in Danish psychiatry, t he article is based on field notes and 21 interviews with seven heterosexual couples. The analysis shows that gender works as a decisive premise for the division of caregiving labour among the couples, and clarifies how the couples’ gendered institution is disrupted after the onset of depression. The article argues that gender-blind involvement strategies could produce divergent treatment outcomes and varying social effects in relation to couples’ everyday family lives. (shrink)
Conflicts of interest affect recommendations in clinical guidelines and disclosure of such conflicts is important. However, not all conflicts of interest are disclosed. Using a public available disclosure list we determined the prevalence and underreporting of conflicts of interest among authors of clinical guidelines on drug treatments.
In the literature on European history, World War I and the interwar years are often portrayed as the end of the age of liberalism. The crisis of liberalism dates back to the nineteenth century, but a er the Great War, criticism of liberalism intensified. But the interwar period also saw a number of attempts to redefine the concept. This article focuses on the Danish case of this European phenomenon. It shows how a profound crisis of bourgeois liberalism in the late (...) nineteenth century le the concept of liberalism almost deserted in the first decades of the twentieth century, and how strong state regulation of the Danish economy during World War I was crucial for an ideologization of the rural population and their subsequent orientation toward the concept of liberalism. (shrink)
Libertarians often rely on arguments that subordinate the principle of liberty to the value of its economic consequences. This invites the question of what a pure libertarian theory of justice?one that takes liberty as its overriding concern?would look like. Grotius's political theory provides a template for such a libertarianism, but it also entails uncomfortable commitments that can be avoided only by compromising the principle of liberty. According to Grotius, each person should be free to decide how to act as long (...) as her actions do not violate the equal liberty of others. According to this principle, however, people are free to enter any contract and alienate any rights, permitting even contracts of slavery or the alienation of rights of bodily integrity. Libertarians can escape this commitment to absolute freedom of contract only by adopting ad-hoc amendments to the principle of liberty. (shrink)
The legend of Robin Hood exemplifies a distinct concern of justice neglected by theorists: the distributive results of systemic injustices. Robin Hood’s redistributive activities are justified by the principle that the distributive results of systemic injustices are unjust and should be corrected. This principle has relevance beyond the legend: since current inequalities in the US are results of systemic injustices, the US has good reason to take from the rich and give to the poor.
According to both common wisdom and long-standing tradition, the ideal of peace is central to the morality of war. I argue that this notion is mistaken, not because peace is unachievable and utopian, though it might be for many of today’s asymmetrical conflicts; nor because the pursuit of peace is counterproductive, though, again, it might be for many of today’s conflicts; the problem, rather, is that the pursuit of peace is not a proper objective of war.