Deliberation and democratic legitimacy -- Moral pluralism and political consensus -- Associations and democracy (with Joel Rogers) -- Freedom of expression -- Procedure and substance in deliberative democracy -- Directly-deliberative polyarchy (with Charles Sabel) -- Democracy and liberty -- Money, politics, political equality -- Privacy, pluralism, and democracy -- Reflections on deliberative democracy -- Truth and public reason.
There are two principal philosophical conceptions of socialism, corresponding to two interpretations of the notion of a rational society. The first conception corresponds to an instrumental view of social rationality. Captured by the image of socialism as “one big workshop,” the instrumental view holds that social ownership of the means of production is rational because it promotes the optimal development of the productive forces. Social ownership is optimal because it eliminates the costs of coordination imposed by the conduct of economic (...) activities in formally independent enterprises, and, more generally, overcomes fetters on development that result from the control of resources by individuals whose particular interests imperfectly correspond to a general interest in productive advance. (shrink)
Jiirgen Habermas is a radical democrat. The source of that self-designation is that his conception of democracy-what he calls "discursive democracy"-is founded on the ideal of "a self-organizing community of free and equal citizens," co- ordinating their collective affairs through their common reason. The author discusses three large challenges to this radical-democratic ideal of collective self-regulation: 1) What is the role of private autonomy in a radical-democratic view? 2) What role does reason play in collective self-regulation? 3) What relevance might (...) a radical- democratic outlook have for contemporary democracies? The author addresses these questions by considering Habermas' answers, and then presenting alternative responses to them. The alternatives are also radical-democratic in inspiration, but they draw on a richer set of normative-political ideas than Habermas wants to rely on, and are more ambitious in their hopes for democratic practice. (shrink)
Since the publication of John Rawls's A Theory of Justice , normative democratic theory has focused principally on three tasks: refining principles of justice, clarifying the nature of political justification, and exploring the public policies required to ensure a just distribution of education, health care, and other basic resources. Much less attention has been devoted to examining the political institutions and social arrangements that might plausibly implement reasonable political principles. Moreover, the amount of attention paid to issues of organizational and (...) institutional implementation has varied sharply across the different species of normative theory. Neoliberal theorists, concerned chiefly with protecting liberty by taming power, and essentially hostile to the affirmative state, have been far more sensitive to such issues than egalitarian-democratic theorists, who simultaneously embrace classically liberal concerns with choice, egalitarian concerns with the distribution of resources, and a republican emphasis on the values of citizen participation and public debate . Neglect of how such values might be implemented has deepened the vulnerability of egalitarian-democratic views to the charge of being unrealistic: “good in theory but not so good in practice.”. (shrink)
This paper explores the influence of operationalism and its corollary, descriptivism, on Paul Samuelson's revealed preference theory as it developed between 1937 and 1948. Samuelson urged the disencumbering of metaphysics from economic theory. As an illustration, he showed how utility could be operationally redefined as revealed preference, and, furthermore, how from hypotheses such as maximizing behavior, operationally meaningful theorems could be deduced, thereby satisfying his demand for a scientific, empirical approach toward consumer behavior theory. In this paper I discuss the (...) ensuing debate during the 1950s and 1960s on Samuelson's operationalism that raised doubts about its efficacy. In addition, I argue that certain concepts (revealed preference, equilibrium) and theorems (e.g., weak and strong axioms) that are supposedly operational in revealed preference theory, lack operational meaning, not withstanding their mathematical implications. Finally, I suggest that, although Samuelson's methodological rhetoric did not correspond with his implicit aprioristic theorizing, he possibly thought that his methodology and theorizing would converge in the long run. (shrink)
This volume addresses a wide variety of moral concerns regarding slavery as an institutionalized social practice. By considering the slave's critical appropriation of the natural rights doctrine, the ambiguous implications of various notions of consent and liberty are examined. The authors assume that, although slavery is undoubtedly an evil social practice, its moral assessment stands in need of a more nuanced treatment. They address the question of what is wrong with slavery by critically examining, and in some cases endorsing, certain (...) principles derived from communitarianism, paternalism, utilitarianism, and jurisprudence. (shrink)
The characteristic focus, intensity and hopefulness of Chomskyâ€™s political writings, however, reflect a set of more fundamental views about human nature, justice and social order that are not simple matters of fact. This article explores these more fundamental ideas, the central elements in Chomskyâ€™s social thought. We begin (section i) by sketching the relevant features of Chomskyâ€™s conception of human nature. We then examine his libertarian social ideals (section ii), and views on social stability and social evolution (section iii), both (...) of which are animated by this conception of our nature. (shrink)
In this paper, an attempt is made to give patient autonomy added conceptual clarity. A concept of patient autonomy grounded in both negative and positive freedoms is defended. Amartya Sen's capabilities approach is used as a conceptual framework in which patient autonomy and fairness are defined compatibly. It is argued that in a socially fair healthcare system, everyone should have at least the degree of patient autonomy that affords access to those healthcare services necessary for survival and a minimally adequate (...) level of quality of life, consistent with each person's naturally endowed health characteristics. (shrink)
Health care resource distribution is a subject of debate among health policy analysts, economists, and philosophers. In the United States, there is a widening gap between the more-and less-advantaged socioeconomic sub-populations in terms of both health care resource distribution and outcomes. Conventional wisdom suggests that there is a tradeoff, a zero-sum game, between efficiency and fairness in the distribution of health care resources. Promoting fairness in the distribution of health care resources and outcomes is not efficient in terms of maximization (...) of a health outcome production function. On the other side of the coin, improving efficiency comes at the expense of fairness. Such conventional wisdom is supported in part by standard static Paretian welfare analysis. However, in this paper it is shown that in a dynamic setting in which there are efficiency gains in the health production function, fairness in distribution of health care resources can improve simultaneously. (shrink)
This rich collection will introduce students of philosophy and politics to the contemporary critical literature on the classical social contract political thinkers Thomas Hobbes , John Locke , and Jean-Jacques Rousseau . A dozen essays and book excerpts have been selected to guide students through the texts and to introduce them to current scholarly controversies surrounding the contractarian political theories of these three thinkers.