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Displaying: 1-20 of 1413 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.
9. Social Theory and Practice: Volume > 46 > Issue: 4
David V. Axelsen, Lasse Nielsen Harsh and Disrespectful: Rescuing Moral Agency from Luck and Choice
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Many policies hinge on determining whether someone’s situation is due to luck or choice. In political philosophy, this prevalence is mirrored by luck egalitarian theories. But overemphasizing the distinction between luck and choice will lead to tensions with the value of moral agency, on which the distinction is grounded. Here, we argue that the two most common contemporary critiques of luck egalitarianism, holding it to be harsh and disrespectful are best understood as illustrating exactly this tension. Elaborating on this conflict, we argue that it should lead us to modify how luck and choice are used in theories of justice.
10. Social Theory and Practice: Volume > 46 > Issue: 4
Thomas S. Carnes Unauthorized Immigrants, Reasonable Expectations, and the Right to Regularization
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This article brings an account of reasonable expectations to bear on the question of when unauthorized immigrants have a right to be regularized—that is, to be formally guaranteed freedom from the threat of deportation. Contrary to the current literature, which implicitly relies on a flawed understanding of reasonable expectations, this article argues that only those unauthorized immigrants who have both been tacitly permitted by the state despite lacking formal authorization and have remained long enough to develop deep social roots in the state have a right to regularization.
11. Social Theory and Practice: Volume > 46 > Issue: 4
Sue Donaldson Animal Agora: Animal Citizens and the Democratic Challenge
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Many theorists of the ‘political turn’ in animal rights theory emphasize the need for animals’ interests to be considered in political decision-making processes, but deny that this requires self-representation and participation by animals themselves. I argue that participation by domesticated animals in co-authoring our shared world is indeed required, and explore two ways to proceed: 1) by enabling animal voice within the existing geography of human-animal roles and relationships; and 2) by freeing animals into a revitalized public commons (‘animal agora’) where citizens encounter one another in spontaneous, unpredictable encounters in spaces that they can re-shape together.
12. Social Theory and Practice: Volume > 46 > Issue: 4
Matthew D. Kuchem Young, Gilbert, and Social Groups
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In this paper I critique the concept of social groups deployed by Iris Marion Young in her well-known theory of the five faces of oppression. I contend that Young’s approach to conceptualizing social groups creates arbitrary and inconsistent categories, essentializes certain groups, and fails to take seriously the complexity of pluralism. I propose that Margaret Gilbert’s work in social metaphysics provides a more philosophically robust account of social groups that serves as a helpful corrective to Young’s approach. Gilbert’s account of “we”-ness, as well as her theory of the nature of individuals and collectivities, provides a helpful vantage point for critiquing Young’s project and its emphasis on the social process of differentiation in the formation of social groups.
13. Social Theory and Practice: Volume > 46 > Issue: 4
Natasha McKeever Prostitution and the Good of Sex: A Reply to Sascha Settegast
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In Sascha Settegast’s recently published article, “Prostitution and the Good of Sex” in Social Theory and Practice, he argues that prostitution is intrinsically harmful. In this article, I object to his argument, making the following three responses to his account: 1) bad sex is not “detrimental to the good life”; 2) bad sex is not necessarily unvirtuous; 3) sex work is work as well as sex, and so must be evaluated as work in addition to as sex.
14. Social Theory and Practice: Volume > 46 > Issue: 4
Monica Mookherjee Axel Honneth’s Cosmopolitanism: The "Forgetfulness" of Global Poverty as a form of Reification
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Amid now extensive debates about cosmopolitanism in political theory, this article explores the implications of Axel Honneth’s recognition theory for issues in international justice, not least the dire situation of poverty in the world. In contrast with a purely resource-distributive approach, the essay turns particularly to Honneth’s recent revival of the Lukácsian concept of reification as a process of self-distancing from the elementary humanity of others. Specifically, Honneth re-formulates reification as a failure of an elementary or ‘antecedent’ form of recognition. From the perspective of his theory, reification connotes the forgetfulness of others’ fundamental humanity. While Honneth takes such forgetfulness to become most readily apparent in dramatic violations such as the Holocaust, the article interprets his theory to explain, and eventually to challenge, the passive acceptance by many of dire material injustices. The article develops the implications of this challenge by interpreting from Honneth’s framework a duty to question international policies which tend to reify and objectify the least well off in the world, whilst remaining cognizant of the limits of de-reification to the more extensive, meaningful alleviation of poverty globally.
15. Social Theory and Practice: Volume > 46 > Issue: 4
Patrick O'Donnell When Code Words Aren’t Coded
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According to the “standard framing” of racial appeals in political speech, politicians generally rely on coded language to communicate racial messages. Yet recent years have demonstrated that politicians often express quite explicit forms of racism in mainstream political discourse. The standard framing can explain neither why these appeals work politically nor how they work semantically. This paper moves beyond the standard framing, focusing on the politics and semantics of one type of explicit appeal, candid racial communication (CRC). The linguistic vehicles of CRC are neither true code words, nor slurs, but a conventionally defined class of “racialized terms.”
16. Social Theory and Practice: Volume > 46 > Issue: 4
Jonas Hultin Rosenberg The All-Affected Principle Reconsidered
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The all-affected principle, by which all those affected by the policies of the state ought to be included in the demos governing it, is often considered prima facie attractive but, upon closer examination, implausible. The main alternative, according to which all those and only those affected by possible consequences of possible decisions ought to be included in the demos, is equally implausible. I suggest a reformulated principle: the demos includes all those affected by foreseeable consequences of decisions that the state has legal authority and capacity to take. This avoids the problems of the standard version and the main alternative.
17. Social Theory and Practice: Volume > 46 > Issue: 4
Mark Silcox Stone Soup: Distributional Goods and Principles of Justice
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Certain sorts of disputes about principles of distributive justice that have occupied a great deal of attention in recent political philosophy turn out to be fundamentally unresolvable, when they are conducted in ignorance of whether an important subclass of basic social goods exists within any particular society. I employ the folktale ‘Stone Soup’ to illustrate how such distributional goods might come into existence. Using the debate about John Rawls’s Difference Principle as an example, I argue that a proper appreciation for the axiological status of these goods shows that disputes about principles (at least as these have been conducted within the Rawlsian tradition) should be relegated to a subsidiary status relative to other, more fundamental concerns about the ethics of economic distribution.
18. Social Theory and Practice: Volume > 46 > Issue: 4
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19. Social Theory and Practice: Volume > 46 > Issue: 3
Jeffrey Carroll In Defense of Strict Compliance as a Modeling Assumption
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Rawlsian ideal theory has as its foundational assumption strict compliance with the principles of justice. Whereas Rawls employed strict compliance for his particular positive purpose, I defend the more general methodological point that strict compliance can be a permissible modeling assumption. Strict compliance can be assumed in a model that determines the most just set of principles, but such a model, while informative, is not straightforwardly action-guiding. I construct such a model and defend it against influential contemporary criticisms of models that assume strict compliance.
20. Social Theory and Practice: Volume > 46 > Issue: 3
John Danaher A Defence of Sexual Inclusion
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This article argues that access to meaningful sexual experience should be included within the set of the goods that are subject to principles of distributive justice. It argues that some people are currently unjustly excluded from meaningful sexual experience and it is not implausible to suggest that they might thereby have certain claim rights to sexual inclusion. This does not entail that anyone has a right to sex with another person, but it does entail that duties may be imposed on society to foster greater sexual inclusion. This is a controversial thesis and this article addresses this controversy by engaging with four major objections to it: the misogyny objection; the impossibility objection; the stigmatisation objection; and the unjust social engineering objection.