Cover of Social Theory and Practice
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Displaying: 1-8 of 8 documents


1. Social Theory and Practice: Volume > 47 > Issue: 1
Guy Aitchison, Saladin Meckled-Garcia Against Online Public Shaming: Ethical Problems with Mass Social Media
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Online Public Shaming (OPS) is a form of norm enforcement that involves collectively imposing reputational costs on a person for having a certain kind of moral character. OPS actions aim to disqualify her from public discussion and certain normal human relations. We argue that this constitutes an informal collective punishment that it is presumptively wrong to impose (or seek to impose) on others. OPS functions as a form of ostracism that fails to show equal basic respect to its targets. Additionally, in seeking to mobilise unconstrained collective power with potentially serious punitive consequences, OPS is incompatible with due process values.
2. Social Theory and Practice: Volume > 47 > Issue: 1
Erin Beeghly What’s Wrong with Stereotypes?: The Falsity Hypothesis
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Stereotypes are commonly alleged to be false or inaccurate views of groups. For shorthand, I call this the falsity hypothesis. The falsity hypothesis is widespread and is often one of the first reasons people cite when they explain why we shouldn’t use stereotypic views in cognition, reasoning, or speech. In this essay, I argue against the falsity hypothesis on both empirical and ameliorative grounds. In its place, I sketch a more promising view of stereotypes—which avoids the falsity hypothesis—that joins my earlier work on stereotypes in individual psychology (2015) with the work of Patricia Hill Collins on cultural stereotypes (2000). According to this two-part hybrid theory, stereotypes are controlling images or ideas that enjoy both a psychological and cultural existence, which serve a regulative social function.
3. Social Theory and Practice: Volume > 47 > Issue: 1
Michael Da Silva The Traces Left Behind: On Appropriate Responses to Right Acts with Wrong Features
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Fulfilling one’s all-things-considered duty sometimes requires violating pro tanto duties. According to W. D. Ross and Robert Nozick, the pro tanto-duty-violating, wrong-making features of acts in these cases can leave ‘traces’ of wrongfulness that require specific responses: feeling compunction for the wrongfulness and/or providing compensation to the negatively affected person. Failure to respond in the appropriate way to lingering wrong-making features can itself be wrongful. Unfortunately, criteria for determining when traces remain are largely lacking. In this piece, I argue for three necessary conditions for the existence of a trace: ‘The Non-Consequentialist Duty Condition,’ ‘The Identity Condition,’ and ‘The Ratio Condition.’
4. Social Theory and Practice: Volume > 47 > Issue: 1
Sam Kiss Political Realism and Political Reasons
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Some people, we may call them realists, endorse the priority thesis. This thesis says political reasons (distinct from moral, prudential, aesthetic, economic, and other kinds of reason) have normative priority whenever we assess political situations. Any putative political reasons, I argue, must satisfy an autonomy condition and an identity condition. I argue that no realist account of political reasons shows such reasons are distinct and autonomous as of yet. One account, the practice-based account, may have the wherewithal to show political reasons are distinct. I also say some things about the relations between identity, autonomy, and priority.
5. Social Theory and Practice: Volume > 47 > Issue: 1
Danielle Limbaugh Still Thin but Thicker than Thin: A Solution for Adjudicating Disputes in Polycentrism
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Political institutions in a diverse social landscape struggle with what I call the ‘initial problem’ of securing universal agreement across a domain. This has led to interest in polycentric models, which devolve a polity’s governmental authority into smaller jurisdictions, eliminating the need for agreement across the polity. The three most developed polycentric models in political philosophy mistakenly assume that there will not be disagreement between jurisdictions. When such disagreement does occur—a natural byproduct of diversity—the initial problem returns when adjudicating the dispute. I propose a solution to adjudicating disputes that avoids the continual return to the initial problem.
6. Social Theory and Practice: Volume > 47 > Issue: 1
Sigurd Lindstad Beneficiary Pays and Respect for Autonomy
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This paper proposes that the “beneficiary pays principle” may be grounded in a brand of respect for autonomy. I first argue that on one understanding, such respect implies that as far as we are not morally required to make some sacrifice in service of some purpose, we each have (pro-tanto) legitimate authority to ourselves decide the purposes for which we should make sacrifices. I then argue that the problem with retaining benefits realized by imposed sacrifices, which the victim was not required to make in order to realize the benefits in question, is that doing so is disrespectful of the victim’s autonomy.
7. Social Theory and Practice: Volume > 47 > Issue: 1
Adam Lovett Must Egalitarians Condemn Representative Democracy?
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Many contemporary democratic theorists are democratic egalitarians. They think that the distinctive value of democracy lies in equality. Yet this position faces a serious problem. All contemporary democracies are representative democracies. Such democracies are highly unequal: representatives have much more power than do ordinary citizens. So, it seems that democratic egalitarians must condemn representative democracies. In this paper, I present a solution to this problem. My solution invokes popular control. If representatives are under popular control, then their extra power is not objectionable. Unfortunately, so I argue, in the United States representatives are under loose popular control.
8. Social Theory and Practice: Volume > 47 > Issue: 1
Joseph A. Stramondo Bioethics, Adaptive Preferences, and Judging the Quality of a Life with Disability
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Both mainstream and disability bioethics sometimes contend that the self-assessment of disabled people about their own well-being is distorted by adaptive preferences that are only held because other, better options are unavailable. I will argue that both of the most common ways of understanding adaptive preferences—the autonomy-based account and the well-being account—would reject blanket claims that disabled people’s QOL self-assessment has been distorted, whether those claims come from mainstream bioethicists or from disability bioethicists. However, rejecting these generalizations for a more nuanced view still has dramatic implications for the status quo in both health policy and clinical ethics.