Already a subscriber? - Login here
Not yet a subscriber? - Subscribe here

Browse by:



Displaying: 1-20 of 45 documents


1. Social Theory and Practice: Volume > 41 > Issue: 4
Kalle Grill, Danny Scoccia Introduction
view |  rights & permissions | cited by
2. Social Theory and Practice: Volume > 41 > Issue: 4
Robert Sugden Looking for a Psychology for the Inner Rational Agent
abstract | view |  rights & permissions | cited by
Research in psychology and behavioral economics shows that individuals’ choices often depend on “irrelevant” contextual factors. This presents problems for normative economics, which has traditionally used preference-satisfaction as its criterion. A common response is to claim that individuals have context-independent latent preferences which are “distorted” by psychological factors, and that latent preferences should be respected. This response implicitly uses a model of human action in which each human being has an “inner rational agent.” I argue that this model is psychologically ungrounded. Although references to latent preferences appear in psychologically based explanations of context-dependent choice, latent preferences serve no explanatory purpose.
3. Social Theory and Practice: Volume > 41 > Issue: 4
William Glod How Nudges Often Fail to Treat People According to Their Own Preferences
abstract | view |  rights & permissions | cited by
I focus on “prima facie problematic” (PFP) nudges to argue that libertarian paternalism often fails in its promise to track target agents’ own normative standards. I argue that PFP nudges are unjustified to significant numbers of people by virtue of autonomy-based defeaters—what I call “self-determination” and “discretion.” I then argue that in many cases, we face informational constraints on what a person’s good really is. In such cases, these nudges may not even benefit a significant number of agents and so fail even to be paternalistic—where “paternalistic” is a success term—for those they fail to benefit.
4. Social Theory and Practice: Volume > 41 > Issue: 4
Jason Hanna Libertarian Paternalism, Manipulation, and the Shaping of Preferences
abstract | view |  rights & permissions | cited by
“Libertarian paternalism” aims to harness cognitive biases in order to improve prudential decision-making. Some critics have objected that libertarian paternalism is wrongly manipulative. I argue that this objection is mostly unsuccessful. First, I point out that some strategies endorsed by libertarian paternalists can help people to better appreciate reasons. Second, I develop an account of manipulation according to which an agent manipulates her target by worsening the target’s deliberative position. The means of influence defended by libertarian paternalists—for instance, the judicious use of default rules—are not manipulative in this way.
5. Social Theory and Practice: Volume > 41 > Issue: 4
Andrés Moles Nudging for Liberals
abstract | view |  rights & permissions | cited by
In this article I argue that anti-perfectionist liberals can accept nudging in certain areas: in particular, they can accept nudges aimed at helping people to discharge their nonenforceable duties, and to secure personal autonomy. I claim that nudging is not disrespectful since it does not involve a comparative negative judgment on people’s ability to pursue their plans, and that the judgments that motivate nudging are compatible with treating citizens as free and equal. I also claim that despite being sometimes manipulative, nudging is easy to resist and so it can be employed to pursue legitimate goals.
6. Social Theory and Practice: Volume > 41 > Issue: 4
Richard J. Arneson Nudge and Shove
abstract | view |  rights & permissions | cited by
This essay reexamines the idea of paternalism and the basis for finding it objectionable in light of recent writings on “libertarian paternalism.” Suggestion: to qualify as paternalistic, an interference that restricts someone’s liberty or interferes with her choice-making with the aim of helping the individual must be contrary to that very individual’s will. A framework for determining the justifiability of paternalistic action is proposed, under the assumption that the individual has a personal prerogative, up to a point, to engage in less than maximally beneficial action. Beyond that point, the content of the will of the individual disposed against interference can extinguish the presumptive wrongness of paternalism.
7. Social Theory and Practice: Volume > 41 > Issue: 4
Kalle Grill Respect for What?: Choices, Actual Preferences, and True Preferences
abstract | view |  rights & permissions | cited by
As liberals, we would like each person to direct her own life in accordance with her will. However, because of the complexities of the human mind, it is very often not clear what a person wills. She may choose one thing though she prefers another, while having false beliefs the correction of which would cause her to prefer some third thing. I propose, against this background, that to respect a person’s will or self-direction is to respect both her choices and her preferences, with some priority given to those preferences that are informed and coherent. This is a pluralist answer to the neglected question, “respect for what?”
8. Social Theory and Practice: Volume > 41 > Issue: 4
Torbjörn Tännsjö Context-Dependent Preferences and the Right to Forgo Life-Saving Treatments
abstract | view |  rights & permissions | cited by
A member of Jehovah’s Witnesses agreed to receive blood when alone, but rejected it once the elders were present. She insisted that the elders should stay, they were allowed to do so, and she bled to death. Was it all right to allow her to have the elders present when she made her final decision? Was it all right to allow her to bleed to death? It was, according to an anti-paternalist principle, which I have earlier defended on purely utilitarian grounds. The thrust of the present argument is that the principle stands even in cases with context-sensitive preferences. However, my utilitarian argument to this effect must now rely on something other than J.S. Mill’s standard presumption that in most cases the individual makes the right choices for herself. A reference to the general trust in the system of healthcare is essential to the utilitarian defense of the anti-paternalistic principle.
9. Social Theory and Practice: Volume > 41 > Issue: 4
Sven Ove Hansson Mill’s Circle(s) of Liberty
abstract | view |  rights & permissions | cited by
J.S. Mill’s advocacy of liberty was based only in part on his harm principle. He also endorsed two other principles that considerably extend the scope of liberty: first, a principle of individual liberty that is based on the value of positive freedom and of developing individuality, and second, a principle of free trade or economic freedom that is based on the value of economic efficiency. An analysis is offered of how these three principles are combined in Mill’s account of liberty and how they connect with his antipaternalism. It is proposed that his appeal in On Liberty to positive freedom and the development of individuality provides a uniting principle that makes his view on liberty cohere with his utilitarianism.
book reviews
10. Social Theory and Practice: Volume > 41 > Issue: 4
Daniel A. Dombrowski Tom Bailey and Valentina Gentile (eds.), Rawls and Religion
view |  rights & permissions | cited by
11. Social Theory and Practice: Volume > 41 > Issue: 4
Whitley Kaufman Peter Olsthoorn, Honor in Political and Moral Philosophy
view |  rights & permissions | cited by
12. Social Theory and Practice: Volume > 41 > Issue: 4
Patrick Hassan Gwen Bradford, Achievement
view |  rights & permissions | cited by
13. Social Theory and Practice: Volume > 41 > Issue: 4
Marcus Hedahl Darrel Moellendorf, The Moral Challenge of Dangerous Climate Change: Values, Poverty, and Policy
view |  rights & permissions | cited by
14. Social Theory and Practice: Volume > 41 > Issue: 4
Books Received
view |  rights & permissions | cited by
15. Social Theory and Practice: Volume > 41 > Issue: 4
Index to Volume 41
view |  rights & permissions | cited by
16. Social Theory and Practice: Volume > 41 > Issue: 3
Eric Entrican Wilson Kant and the Selfish Hypothesis
abstract | view |  rights & permissions | cited by
One of the major debates of early modern philosophy concerned what David Hume called “the selfish hypothesis.” According to this view, all human conduct is motivated by self-love. Influential versions can be found in the writings of Hobbes, Mandeville, the Jansenists, and La Rochefoucauld. Important critics of this view included Butler, Shaftesbury, Hutcheson, Rousseau, Hume, and Smith. My essay argues that we should add Kant to this list of critics. I propose that Kant knew about this important debate and responded to it. More specifically, I propose that he responded at two different levels. At one level, Kant sided with the critics, arguing for the reality of genuine fellow feeling. At another level, he concluded that everyone was arguing about the wrong thing. All the critics of the selfish hypothesis seek to vindicate common morality, but Kant thought this required establishing the possibility of human freedom. He believed that instead of arguing about whether we are capable of responding in a genuinely compassionate or sympathetic way to other people, we should be arguing about whether we are capable of responding in a nonmechanical way to the demands of morality. Looking at Kant’s practical philosophy from this underexplored perspective sheds new light on his doctrines of respect and moral worth. It renders both more interesting and intelligible, and it illuminates the direct connection between these doctrines and the fundamental concerns of his entire critical project.
17. Social Theory and Practice: Volume > 41 > Issue: 3
Anthony R. Reeves Standard Threats: How to Violate Basic Human Rights
abstract | view |  rights & permissions | cited by
The paper addresses the nature of duties grounded in human rights. I contend that rather than being protections against harm, per se, human rights largely shield against risk impositions to protected interests. “Risk imposition” is a normative idea requiring explication, but understanding dutiful action in its terms enables human rights to provide prospective policy guidance, hold institutions accountable, operate in nonideal circumstances, embody impartiality among persons, and define the moral status of agencies in international relations. Slightly differently, I indicate a general understanding of dutiful action that permits human rights to see to the tasks of an institutional morality.
18. Social Theory and Practice: Volume > 41 > Issue: 3
Andrew J. Pierce Authentic Identities
abstract | view |  rights & permissions | cited by
Authenticity has played a central role in modern philosophical discourse, where it has often been interpreted individualistically. But concerns about authenticity also arise in relation to questions of group membership, and become especially pressing in the case of minority and disadvantaged groups. In this essay, I develop an alternative conception of authenticity based upon the intersubjective relation of trust. This relational conception is better equipped to make sense of both individual and collective authenticity, which, I ultimately argue, are two sides of the same coin.
19. Social Theory and Practice: Volume > 41 > Issue: 3
Thomas Mulligan On the Compatibility of Epistocracy and Public Reason
abstract | view |  rights & permissions | cited by
In “epistocratic” forms of government, political power is wielded by those who possess the knowledge relevant to good policymaking. Some democrats—notably, David Estlund—concede that epistocracy might produce better political outcomes than democracy but argue that epistocracy cannot be justified under public reason. These objections to epistocracy are unsound because they violate a viability constraint: they are also fatal to democracy and all other plausible political arrangements. Moreover, there is a problem with the public reason framework itself—a problem that can only be solved by providing a better definition for what makes an objection to a political arrangement a “reasonable” one.
20. Social Theory and Practice: Volume > 41 > Issue: 3
Rafeeq Hasan Rawls on Meaningful Work and Freedom
abstract | view |  rights & permissions | cited by
In this article, I criticize Rawls’s well-ordered society for failing to secure a right to meaningful work. I critically discuss five technical Rawlsian ideas: self-respect, social union, the difference principle, the powers and prerogatives of office, and fair equality of opportunity. I then claim that radical restructuring of the workplace conflicts with Rawls’s individualistic understanding of freedom. Briefly drawing on Hegel, an under-recognized historical influence on Rawls, I then correct Rawls by arguing for a conception of freedom that is internally related to broader solidaristic values associated with meaningful work.