Rawls offers three arguments for the priority of liberty in Theory, two of which share a common error: the belief that once we have shown the instrumental value of the basic liberties for some essential purpose (e.g., securing self-respect), we have automatically shown the reason for their lexical priority. The third argument, however, does not share this error and can be reconstructed along Kantian lines: beginning with the Kantian conception of autonomy endorsed by Rawls in section 40 (...) of Theory, we can explain our highest-order interest in rationality, justify the lexical priority of all basic liberties, and reinterpret Rawls’ threshold condition for the application of the priority of liberty. Perhaps unsurprisingly, this Kantian reconstruction will not work within the radically different framework of Political Liberalism. (shrink)
Are government restrictions on hate speech consistent with the priority of liberty? This relatively narrow policy question will serve as the starting point for a wider discussion of the use and abuse of nonideal theory in contemporary political philosophy, especially as practiced on the academic left. I begin by showing that hate speech (understood as group libel) can undermine fair equality of opportunity for historically-oppressed groups but that the priority of liberty seems to forbid its restriction. (...) This tension between free speech and equal opportunity creates a dilemma for liberal egalitarians. Nonideal theory apparently offers an escape from this dilemma, but after examining three versions of such an escape strategy, I conclude that none is possible: liberal egalitarians are indeed forced to choose between liberty and equality in this case and others. I finish the paper by examining its implications for other policy arenas, including markets in transplantable human organs and women’s reproductive services. (shrink)
Thomas Pogge argues that John Rawls’s priority of liberty rule is not constraining enough: it permits morally unacceptable restrictions of basic liberties. Because of this, Pogge claims that Rawls fails in his two central ambitions: to construct a moral conception that (1) opposes utilitarianism and (2) matches his judgments in reflective equilibrium. Pogge attributes this error to Rawls’s “purely recipient-oriented theorizing”—assessing a society’s basic structure based on how its citizens fair. I argue that Rawls’s theory does not allow (...) restrictions of liberty that are offensive to moral considerations. I then explain how my arguments against Pogge show that Rawls’s idea of reflective equilibrium is crucial for assessing a society’s basic structure and how it follows from this that Rawls’s theorizing is not purely recipient-oriented. (shrink)
Libertarian views on rights tend to rule out coercive redistribution for purposes of public health care guarantees, whereas liberal conceptions support coercive funding of potentially unlimited access to medical services in the name of medical needs. Taking the “priority of liberty” seriously as supreme political value, a plausible prudential argument can avoid these extremes by providing systematic reasons for both delivering and limiting publicly financed guarantees. Given impending demographic change and rapid technical progress in medicine, only a two-tier (...) system with explicitly limited public guarantees and optional privately financed health services seems acceptable. (shrink)
This article challenges the idea that the priority of liberty poses a threat to individual and population health. While acknowledging there are cases in which liberty does indeed pose a threat to the health of individuals and populations, I argue that the tension between liberty and health is overstated and that much can be done to relieve this tension. Indeed, liberty and health can and should be viewed as co-equal values in our broader conception of (...) health justice. My thesis is moderate to the extent it acknowledges limits to the coequal status of these twin values; robust to the extent it conceives legitimate health interventions as the outcome of complex and multiperspectival processes of deliberative testing. (shrink)
An important feature of some recent jurisprudential writings is the tendency to reject the precept of liberal individualism which affirms the priority of the principles of the "right conduct" over the substantive conceptions of "the good". This rejection, explicit in a recent book by Rogers M. Smith, and implicit in a recent work by Guido Calabresi, leads to strikingly illiberal consequences; hence, this provides indirect confirmation that the priority of the right over the good constitutes the most reliable (...) defense of individual liberty against majoritarian oppression. In Smith, an attempt to replace this priority with the principle of "rational liberty" leads to the disappearance of the guarantees of minority rights against orthodox majorities; in Calabresi, the doctrine of weighing and balancing competing moral principles of "the good" fails to provide an explanation for the strongly held moral intuition that some external preferences have to be disqualified at the outset, before they enter the forum of moral bargaining. (shrink)
Aggregation-friendly moral theories such as classical utilitarianism are forced to invest a great deal of ingenuity in damping out and modulating the effects of welfare aggregation. In Mill's treatment, the problem famously appears as the puzzle of how the Principle of Liberty is meant to be compatible with the Principle of Utility, and there have been a great many attempted interpretations of his solution, all, in my view, unsatisfactory. I will first reconstruct Mill's generally unnoticed account of the psychological (...) implementation of higher pleasures; this will allow me to explain what the distinction between higher and lower pleasures was, and how Mill was introduced lexical preference orderings into his theory. Then I will show how the underlying psychological theory permits Mill to argue for the lexical priority of liberty over the goods which liberty allows us to obtain. Finally, I will turn to the Millian considerations omitted from the argument I will have reconstructed. By way of explaining why they are so difficult to accommodate, I will consider why Mill might have abandoned his projected sciences of character. I will take my leave by asking what Mill's failure to turn his implementation analysis of the higher pleasures into an argument expressing the importance of individuality and originality means for us. (shrink)
With the publication of A Theory of Justice in 1971, John Rawls not only rejuvenated contemporary political philosophy but also defended a Kantian form of Enlightenment liberalism called “justice as fairness.” Enlightenment liberalism stresses the development and exercise of our capacity for autonomy, while Reformation liberalism emphasizes diversity and the toleration that encourages it. These two strands of liberalism are often mutually supporting, but they conflict in a surprising number of cases, whether over the accommodation of group difference, the design (...) of civic education, or the promotion of liberal values internationally. During the 1980’s, however, Rawls began to jettison key Kantian characteristics of his theory, a process culminating in the 1993 release of Political Liberalism and completing the transformation of justice as fairness into a Reformation liberalism. -/- Reconstructing Rawls argues that this transformation was a tragic mistake because it jeopardized the most important features of his theory, viz. the lexical priorities of right, liberty, and fair equality of opportunity as well as the difference principle. Controversially, this book contends that Rawls’s so-called “political turn,” motivated by a newfound interest in diversity and the accommodation of difference, has been unhealthy for autonomy-based liberalism and has pushed liberalism more broadly towards cultural relativism, be it in the guise of liberal multiculturalism or critiques of cosmopolitan distributive-justice theories. The book then demonstrates that the central elements of justice as fairness can only be defended within the context of a Kantian Enlightenment liberalism and that Rawls’s hope for a more pluralistic grounding for his theory, endorsed by a wide variety of belief systems present in modern democratic societies, is illusory. -/- Reconstructing Rawls is the first book to systematically compare Rawls’s and Kant’s theories and the first to offer an internal critique and reconstruction of justice as fairness, reconceiving it as a comprehensive, universalistic Kantian liberalism. By doing so, it gives us both the vision of a liberal world order—“a republicanism of all states, together and separately,” as Kant put it—and a mode of justification addressed to all men and women, not as members of particular nations, races, and faiths, but as human beings, as citizens of the world. In short, it reclaims Rawls for the Enlightenment. (shrink)
My purpose in this paper is to argue that we are not vulnerableto inescapable wrongdoing occasioned by tragic dilemmas. I directmy argument to those who are most inclined to accept tragicdilemmas: those of broadly Nietzschean inclination who reject``modern moral philosophy'''' in favor of the ethical ideas of theclassical Greeks. Two important features of their project are todeny the usefulness of the ``moral/nonmoral distinction,'''' and todeny that what are usually classified as moral reasons always oreven characteristically ``trump'''' nonmoral reasons in anadmirable (...) agent''s deliberations.I show critics of modern moral philosophy such as BernardWilliams that their acceptance of tragic dilemmas underminestheir project of denying the moral/nonmoral distinction and thepriority of moral reasons. The possibility of tragic dilemmasrequires an account of practical deliberation in which moralreasons appear as already in-force obligations, with blame andguilt ready to be invoked, while nonmoral reasons appear as merereasons. This makes moral reasons importantly different fromnonmoral reasons in how they achieve their deliberative weight,and also makes them characteristically weightier. Thus,accommodating tragic dilemmas reinforces the moral/nonmoraldistinction and the priority of moral reasons, the very thingsthese critics want to deny. By accepting the possibility oftragic dilemmas, these critics are undermining their own project.The standard normative theories are dead set against tragicdilemmas, and the critics of modern moral philosophy shouldreject tragic dilemmas for the good of their project. Thus we allshould reject tragic dilemmas. (shrink)
This paper considers a guardianship model for the legal representation of future generations. According to this model, national and international courts should be given the competence to appoint guardians for future generations, if agents who care about the welfare of posterity apply for the creation of a guardianship in relation to a dispute that can be resolved by the application of law. This reform would grant guardians of future people legal standing or locus standi before courts, that is, the right (...) to bring an action before a court of law for adjudication. Although the guardianship model faces several difficult theoretical and practical problems pertaining to the representation of different near and distant future generations, it is argued that this model – and certain other legal norms intended to protect future basic needs – can be justified on the basis of the principle of liberty. (shrink)
Two aspects of the fine Flecha-Cruz paper can be usefully elaborated. The Mondragon cooperatives differ not only from capitalist firms but also from most other cooperatives in the doctrine of the 'priority of labor over capital' which means that the people working in any sort of cooperative will be members and will not be rented as employees. Also the Mondragon system of internal capital accounts solves the equity-structure problem that has plagued many modern cooperatives structured as non-profits or traditional (...) worker cooperatives with 'membership shares'. (shrink)
Frederick 2013 (F13) offers criticisms of the Lester 2012 (L12) theory of libertarian liberty and of its compatibility with preference-utilitarian welfare and private-property anarchy. This reply to F13 first explains the underlying philosophical problem with libertarian liberty and L12’s solution. It then goes through F13 in detail showing that it does not grasp the problem or the solution and offers only misrepresentations and unsound criticisms.
The concept of positive liberty includes both the regulative autonomy to do what we will and the constitutive autonomy to become what we will. However, the latter represents the full meaning of the idea. Liberty in this meaning is a creative power: we are most free in the positive sense when we give our defining constitutive rules to ourselves. The original conceptual model for liberty as creativity did not belong to classical Greek tradition but came to us (...) from Judaism. The religious idea of spontane- ous, supra-natural, existential self-sufficiency provided the template for the idea of positive liberty, often described explicitly as a god-like power, by writers including Rousseau, Kant, Hegel and Marx. The value of creativity became secularized in modernity as a core belief in politics, morality and the arts. (shrink)
This provocative book outlines a powerful and original theory of liberty structured by the liberal conception of justice and the rule of law. Drawing on insights from philosophy, political theory, economics, and law, he shows how this new conception of liberty can confront, and solve, the central societal problems of knowledge, interest, and power.
This provocative book outlines a powerful and original theory of liberty structured by the liberal conception of justice and the rule of law. Drawing on insights from philosophy, political theory, economics, and law, he shows how this new conception of liberty can confront, and solve, the central societal problems of knowledge, interest, and power.
In this provocative and engaging new book, Randy Barnett outlines a powerful and original theory of liberty structured by the liberal conception of justice and the rule of law. Drawing on insights from philosophy, political theory, economics, and law, he shows how this new conception of liberty can confront, and solve, the central societal problems of knowledge, interest, and power.
This paper argues for a non-moral interpretation of the libertarian conception of interpersonal liberty as ‘the absence of imposed cost.’ In the event of a clash of imposed costs, observing such liberty entails ‘minimising imposed costs’. Three fundamental criticisms are examined: strictly interpreted, this would logically imply genocide in practice; it is impractically unclear and moralised; it could entail mob rule of some kind. Self-ownership and private property are then non-morally derived merely from applying this formula in a (...) state of nature. Various subsidiary issues arise throughout. (shrink)
Advancement of modern agricultural biotechnology has brought various potential benefits to humankind, but at the same time ethical concerns regarding some applications such as genetically modified foods have been raised among the public. Several questions are being posed; should they utilize such applications to improve quality of their life, or should they refrain in order to save themselves from any associated risk? What are the ethical principles that can be applied to assess these applications? By using GMF as a case (...) study, this paper discusses possible answers to these questions from Islamic perspective. Such answers are based on the understanding of the Islamic concept of maslahah and mafsadah as well as the Islamic principles of priority. There is no specific GMF that has been declared as unlawful by Muslim scholars thus far. Nevertheless, they generally state that any GMF that contains unlawful substance is prohibited in Islam. Such statement can be understood since Islam puts highest priority to preserve shari’ah which prescribes the lawful and unlawful things in human life. Priorities have also been given to preserve human health and environment therefore any GMF that may inflict harm on both entities is also considered as unlawful. (shrink)
In this paper I argue that, contrary to both H. L. A Hart and Patrick Devlin, and in sympathy with D. G. Brown, it is possible to read Mill as arguing in On Liberty that morality should be enforced, by public moral disapprobation by society, and by fines, imprisonment, execution, etc., by the state, when it will promote the general welfare. The difference between Mill and his predecessors is that they had no standard for morality other than the subjective (...) standard of what society liked and disliked, whereas Mill has an objective standard: it is immoral to harm others (without their consent). Harm to oneself can never be immoral: "A person who shows rashness, obstinacy, self-conceit—who cannot live within moderate means—who cannot restrain himself from hurtful indulgences—who pursues animal pleasures at the expense of those of feeling and intellect… [these] self-regarding faults previously mentioned, which are not properly immoralities, and to whatever pitch they may be carried, do not constitute wickedness." Harm to others (without their consent) is immoral and is prima facie publicly criticizable and criminalizable: "When, by conduct of this sort, a person is led to violate a distinct and assignable obligation to any other person or persons, the case is taken out of the self-regarding class and becomes amenable to moral disapprobation in the proper sense of the term.". (shrink)
The recent confirmation of the constitutionality of the Obama administration’s Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) by the US Supreme Court has brought to the fore long-standing debates over individual liberty and religious freedom. Advocates of personal liberty are often critical, particularly in the USA, of public health measures which they deem to be overly restrictive of personal choice. In addition to the alleged restrictions of individual freedom of choice when it comes to the question of whether (...) or not to purchase health insurance, opponents to the PPACA also argue that certain requirements of the Act violate the right to freedom of conscience by mandating support for services deemed immoral by religious groups. These issues continue the long running debate surrounding the demands of religious groups for special consideration in the realm of health care provision. In this paper I examine the requirements of the PPACA, and the impacts that religious, and other ideological, exemptions can have on public health, and argue that the exemptions provided for by the PPACA do not in fact impose unreasonable restrictions on religious freedom, but rather concede too much and in so doing endanger public health and some important individual liberties. (shrink)
Most recent discussions of John Stuart Mill’s System of Logic (1843) neglect the fifth book concerned with logical fallacies. Mill not only follows the revival of interest in the traditional Aristotelian doctrine of fallacies in Richard Whately and Augustus De Morgan, but he also develops new categories and an original analysis which enhance the study of fallacies within the context of what he calls ‘the philosophy of error’. After an exploration of this approach, the essay relates the philosophy of error (...) to the discussion of truth and error in chapter two of On Liberty (1859) concerned with freedom of thought and discussion. Drawing on Socratic and Baconian perspectives, Mill defends both the traditional study of logic against Jevons, Boole, De Morgan, and others, as well as the study of fallacies as the key to maintaining truth and its dissemination in numerous fields, such as science, morality, politics, and religion. In Mill’s view the study of fallacies also liberates ordinary people to explore the truth and falsity of ideas and, as such, to participate in society and politics and develop themselves as progressive beings. (shrink)
The study examined the question of who should make decisions for a National Health Scheme about the allocation of health resources when the health states of beneficiaries could change because of adaptation. Eight semi-structured small group discussions were conducted. Following focus group theory, interviews commenced with general questions followed by transition questions and ended with a ‘focus’ or ‘key’ question. Participants were presented with several scenarios in which patients adapted to their health states. They were then asked their views about (...) the appropriate role of the public, patients and health professionals in making social judgements of quality of life. After discussion and debate, all groups were asked the key question: ‘In light of adaptation, who should evaluate quality of life for the purpose of setting priorities in the allocation of health care?’ In all groups participants presented strong arguments for and against decision making by patients, the public and health professionals. However, most groups thought a representative body which included a range of perspectives should make the relevant judgements. This is at odds with the recommendations in most national pharmaceutical guidelines. The main conclusion of the paper is that health economists and other researchers should explore the possibility of adopting a deliberative, consensus-based approach to evaluating health-related quality of life when such judgements are to be used to inform priority setting in a public system. (shrink)
What is liberty, and can it be measured? In this paper I argue that the only way to have a liberty metric is to adopt an account of liberty with specific and controversial features. In particular, I argue that we can make sense of the idea of a quantity of liberty only if we are willing to count certain purely agential constraints, such as ignorance and physical incompetence, as obstacles to liberty in general. This spells (...) trouble for traditional ‘negative’ accounts, against which I argue directly. My aim is to establish the following somewhat surprising claim: that if a political theory is to contain a principle regarding the protection, maximisation, or equalisation of some liberty, it must concern itself⎯on pain of conceptual incoherence⎯with the positive preconditions (in addition to the negative preconditions) of that liberty’s effective exercise. (shrink)
One of the issues that deeply interested the philosophers of late antiquity, the Ancient Greek Commentators, concerns the priority of substances. While questions concerning ontological priority have recently attracted attention in Aristotelian scholarship and contemporary metaphysics, the Commentators’ discussions have not yet received the attention they deserve. My aim is to start to fill in this gap, by focusing on John Philoponus’s account of the priority of substances in his commentary on Aristotle’s "Categories". In particular, I aim (...) to show how Philoponus develops and defends the view that, while particular substances enjoy priority over accidents and concepts (“universals after the many”), they do not enjoy priority over all other things. Rather, a certain type of universal substance (“universals prior to the many”) enjoys priority over particulars. (shrink)
This paper motivates and develops a new theory of time: priority presentism. Priority presentism is the view according to which (i) only present entities exist fundamentally and (ii) past and future entities exist, but they are grounded in the present. The articulation of priority presentism is an exercise in applied grounding: it draws on concepts from the recent literature on ontological dependence and applies those concepts in a new way, to the philosophy of time. The result, as (...) I will argue, is an attractive position that can do much of the same work in satisfying our intuitions about time as presentism, but without the ontological cost. (shrink)
This article locates Lonergan’s call for a new political economy within a larger project, the “education of liberty,” one aim of which is to have large numbers of producers and consumers voluntarily and intelligently adapting their economic decisions to the rhythms of the economy. Part I of the article describes several basic obstacles to such adaptations, including a type of economic realism that assumes “rational agency” in the marketplace is equivalent to the pursuit of perceived self-interest. How are any (...) of these obstacles to be overcome? The promise of functional specialization is to take what is best in the past and to apply it in future efforts to improve the human condition. Thus, Part II of the article summarizes this author’s understanding of the eight functional specialties, and Part III singles out an underdeveloped understanding of rational agency as the focus of an experiment in applying the functional specialties to one obstacle to the education of liberty. The experiment is no more than an invitation to others who may wish to exploit the promise of functional specialization. Leading questions under the eight headings identify parts of possible collaborative projects. [The second article by the same author in this issue of the journal provides an exercise in the fourth specialty of dialectic in response to this invitation.]. (shrink)
Consider a circle and a pair of its semicircles. Which is prior, the whole or its parts? Are the semicircles dependent abstractions from their whole, or is the circle a derivative construction from its parts? Now in place of the circle consider the entire cosmos (the ultimate concrete whole), and in place of the pair of semicircles consider the myriad particles (the ultimate concrete parts). Which if either is ultimately prior, the one ultimate whole or its many ultimate parts?
Taking the title of his book from Isaiah Berlin's famous essay distinguishing a negative concept of liberty connoting lack of interference by others from a positive concept involving participation in the political realm, Samuel Fleischacker explores a third definition of liberty that lies between the first two. In Fleischacker's view, Kant and Adam Smith think of liberty as a matter of acting on our capacity for judgment, thereby differing both from those who tie it to the satisfaction (...) of our desires and those who translate it as action in accordance with reason or "will." Integrating the thought of Kant and Smith, and developing his own stand through readings of the Critique of Judgment and The Wealth of Nations, Fleischacker shows how different acting on one's best judgment is from acting on one's desires--how, in particular, good judgment, as opposed to mere desire, can flourish only in favorable social and political conditions. At the same time, exercising judgment is something every individual must do for him- or herself, hence not something that philosophers and politicians who reason better than the rest of us can do in our stead. For this reason advocates of a liberty based on judgment are likely to be more concerned than are libertarians to make sure that government provides people with conditions for the use of their liberty--for example, excellent standards of education, health care, and unemployment insurance--while at the same time promoting a less paternalistic view of government than most of the movements associated for the past thirty years with the political left. (shrink)
In this paper, I consider the basis for Kant's praise of Wolff's general logic as "the best we have." I argue that Wolff's logic was highly esteemed by Kant on account of its novel analysis of the three operations of the mind (tres operationes mentis), in the course of which Wolff formulates an argument for the priority of the understanding's activity of judging.
This paper argues against the priority of pure, virtue-based accounts of argumentative norms [VA]. Such accounts are agent-based and committed to the priority thesis: good arguments and arguing well are explained in terms of some prior notion of the virtuous arguer arguing virtuously. Two problems with the priority thesis are identified. First, the definitional problem: virtuous arguers arguing virtuously are neither sufficient nor necessary for good arguments. Second, the priority problem: the goodness of arguments is not (...) explained virtuistically. Instead, being excellences, virtues are instrumental in relation to other, non-aretaic goods—in this case, reason and rationality. Virtues neither constitute reasons nor explain their goodness. Two options remain for VA: either provide some account of reason and rationality in virtuistic terms, or accept them as given but non-aretaic goods. The latter option, though more viable, demands the concession that VA cannot provide the core norms of argumentation theory. (shrink)
The lexical priority of fair equality of opportunity in John Rawls’s justice as fairness, which has been sharply criticized by Larry Alexander and Richard Arneson among others, is left almost entirely undefended in Rawls’s works. I argue here that this priority rule can be successfully defended against its critics despite Rawls’s own doubts about it. Using the few textual clues he provides, I speculatively reconstruct his defense of this rule, showing that it can be grounded on our interest (...) in self-realization through work. This reconstructed defense makes liberal use of concepts already present in A Theory of Justice , including the Aristotelian Principle (which motivates the achievement of increasing virtuosity) and the Humboldtian concept of social union (which provides the context for the development of such virtuosity). I also show that this commitment to self-realization, far from violating the priority of right in Rawls’s theory, stems directly from his underlying commitment to autonomy, which is the very foundation of the moral law in his doctrine of right. The reconstituted defense of this priority rule not only strengthens the case for justice as fairness but also has important and controversial implications for public policy. (shrink)
In various texts, Aristotle assigns priority to form, in its role as a principle and cause, over matter and the matter-form compound. Given the central role played by this claim in Aristotle's search for primary substance in the Metaphysics, it is important to understand what motivates him in locating the primary causal responsibility for a thing's being what it is with the form, rather than the matter. According to Met. Theta.8, actuality [ energeia / entelecheia ] in general is (...) prior to potentiality [ dunamis ] in three ways, viz., in definition, time and substance. I propose an explicitly causal reading of this general priority claim, as it pertains to the matter-form relationship. The priority of form over matter in definition, time and substance, in my view, is best explained by appeal to the role of form as the formal, efficient and final cause of the matter-form compound, respectively, while the posteriority of matter to form according to all three notions of priority is most plausibly accounted for by the fact that the causal contribution of matter is limited to its role as material cause. When approached from this angle, the work of Met. Theta.8 can be seen to lend direct support to the more specific and explicitly causal priority claim we encounter in Met. Z.17, viz., that form is prior to matter in its role as the principle and primary cause of a matter-form compound's being what it is. (shrink)
In recent years, ‘nudge’ theory has gained increasing attention for the design of population-wide health interventions. The concept of nudge puts a label on efficacious influences that preserve freedom of choice without engaging the influencees’ deliberative capacities. Given disagreements over what it takes genuinely to preserve freedom of choice, the question is whether health influences relying on automatic cognitive processes may preserve freedom of choice in a sufficiently robust sense to be serviceable for the moral evaluation of actions and policies. (...) In this article, I offer an argument to this effect, explicating preservation of freedom of choice in terms of choice-set preservation and noncontrol. I also briefly explore the healthcare contexts in which nudges may have priority over more controlling influences. (shrink)
According to Pettit and Skinner the rising of utilitarianism would have decisively contributed to the eclipse of the modern republican tradition. The Utilitarians would have been responsible for a radical critique of the concept of republican liberty, which would have resulted in the predominance of the Hobbesian conception of freedom. The sharpness and strength of the utilitarian attack to the conception of republican liberty would have be summarized in a set of objections formulated, in the late eighteenth century, (...) by the English theological utilitarian William Paley. An examination of Paley's thought shows that his conception of liberty, contrary to what suggest Skinner and Pettit, is quite distinct from the Hobbesian concept. (shrink)
In this essay, we notice that the priority of persons, the unbridgeable political gap between persons and mere things, corresponds to a special sort of moral and legal treatment for persons, namely, as irreplaceable individuals. Normative language that conflates the category of person with fungible kinds of being can thus appear to justify destroying and replacing human beings, just as we do with things. Lethal consequences may result, for example, from a common but improper extension of the word “value” (...) to persons. Theattitude and act called “respect” brings forth much more adequately than “value” the distinctively individual priority of persons, allowing our common humanity to be a reason for each person’s separate significance. Unless we focus on the respect-worthiness of humanlife rather than on its value, we will not be able to argue coherently against those who think its destruction permissible. (shrink)
The paper examines Amartya Sen’s seminal work Development and Freedom (1999) in relation to his underlying conception of justice and particularly in relation to the tension that arises in the correlation between basic freedom and basic goods. The idea is to address the question as to which of the two elements (basic goods or basic freedoms) takes precedence to the enactment of global justice. The paper advances a particular distinction between a foundational approach and a functional approach when addressing the (...) question of the priority and primacy of any of the two elements and sheds light on a contentious answer, namely, that basic goods are foundationally primary in relation to basic freedoms and that such a primacy does not rule out the functional priority of basic freedoms. (shrink)
Franciscus Suarez de additione Unitatis ad Ens et prioritate Unitatis respectu MultitudinisSolutio quaestionis de natura additionis conceptuali Unius ad Ens, quam Suarez proponit, traditionem Aristotelico-Averroisticam (per Aquinatum mediatam) primo sequitur. Secundum hanc traditionem, Unum non superaddit Enti nisi determinationem negativam. Suárez similiter negat Unum dicere perfectionem positivam ab Ente ut sic distinctam, sive ex natura rei, sive ratione tantum. Sententiam suam exponens, Suarez multas alias conceptiones critice pertractat, praecipue autem doctrinam auctorum quorundam (plerumque Franciscanorum) impugnat, qui docent Unum superaddere ad (...) Ens perfectionem quandam positivam, quae tamen ratione tantum ab Ente ut sic distinguitur. Argumentum principale pro ista sententia assumit, indivisionem ut negationem negationis intelligendam esse, quae dicit affirmationem. Secundum Suarezium istam notionem indivisionis etiam D. Thomas defendit, qui negationem, quam Unum dicit, divisionem unius entis ab altero negare tenet. Istam solutionem Suarez reicit, sententiam propriam proponens, secundum quam Unum non negativam divisionem unius entis ab alio, sed intrinsecam et essentialem divisionem unius entis in semetipso negat, quae est divisio realis et positiva. Hac explicatione innitens Suarez consequenter doctrinam Aquinatis et Thomistarum de prioritate concpetuali Unius prae Multitudine, quem ut solutionem difficultatis in doctrina Aristotelis de oppositione privativa Unius ad Multum repertae confecerunt, reicit. Suárez prioritatem realem indivisionis prae divisione, itemque et realem et conceptualem prioritatem Unius prae Multo defendit. Haec Suarezii sententia cum doctrina eius de additione mere negativa Unius ad Ens bene consona esse videtur. Translatio: L. NovákFrancisco Suárez on the Addition of the One to Being and the Priority of the One over the ManySuárez’s solution to the problem of the conceptual Addition of the One to being follows firstly the Aristotelian-Averroistic tradition mediated by Aquinas. According to this tradition, the One adds to being only a negative determination. Suárez claims that the One does not signify any positive perfection either really or conceptually distinct from being as such. Suárez’s own solution to the problem is presented in a critical discussion with many different conceptions, but Suárez pays most attention to the theory of certain, mainly Franciscan, authors who hold that the One adds to being a positive perfection which is only conceptually distinct from being as such. The main argument for this thesis is based on the assumption that indivision is to be taken as a double negation, by which an affirmation is expressed. This concept of indivision was, according to Suárez, also defended by Aquinas, who holds that the negation which is expressed by the One negates the division of one being from another. Suárez rejects this solution and proposes his own conception, according to which the One does not negate the negative moment of the division of one being from another, but the positive moment of an essential division of a being in itself. The One thus negates a real positive division of being in itself. On the basis of this theory, Suárez further rejected Aquinas’s (and the Thomistic) conception of a conceptual priority of the One over the Many, which was put forth as an answer to the old Aristotelian problem of a privative opposition between the One and the Many. Suárez defends the real priority of an indivision over a division as well as a real and conceptual priority of the One over the Many. Suárez’s conception seems to us to be compatible with his concept of a negative Addition of the One to being. (shrink)
What kind of freedom, and what kind of individual, has the French Revolutionary tradition sought to propagate? Paul Cohen finds a distinctly French articulation of freedom in the texts and lives of eight renowned cultural critics who lived between the eighteenth century and the present day. Arranged not according to the lives and times of its protagonists but to the narrative themes and structures they held in common, Cohen’s study discerns a single master narrative of liberty in modern France. (...) He captures these radicals, whose tradition bids them to resist the authority of power structures and public opinion. They denounce bourgeois and utilitarian values, the power of Church and State, and the corrupting influence of everyday politics, and they dream of a revolutionary rupture, a fleeting instant of sometimes violent but always meaningful transgression. An eloquent and insightful work on French political culture, _Freedom's Moment_ also helps explain how France, even as it has oscillated between political stagnation and crisis, has held onto its faith that liberty, equality, and fraternity remain within its grasp. Examines the ideas of Rousseau, Robespierre, Stendahl, Michelet, Bergson, Peguy, Sartre, and Foucault. (shrink)