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Displaying: 201-220 of 502 documents

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201. Social Philosophy Today: Volume > 24
Johann A. Klaassen, Mari-Gretta G. Klaassen Humiliation and Discrimination: The Role of Shame in the Politics of Difference among the Sneetches of Dr Seuss
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In this essay, we examine one of our perennial favorites, the story of “The Sneetches” (the first of four stories in Seuss 1961) as an exposition and condemnation of the role of shame and humiliation in maintaining oppressive social systems. We argue that Seuss’s Sneetches vividly demonstrate how we contribute to the unjustified oppression of a disadvantaged group when we allow our shaming behaviors to be guided by stereotypical presumptions about aperson’s moral character based on non-voluntary personal characteristics, rather than by evaluations of character based on the evidence of voluntary behavior.
202. Social Philosophy Today: Volume > 24
Kevin M. Graham The Chinese Must Go: The Racial Oppression of Chinese Americans, 1840–1965
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Some labor historians and social historians of race are tempted to try to explain Chinese American racial oppression in the US purely by appeal to economic factors, especially the role that Chinese American men played in the US labor market. In this essay, I argue that such reduction is not possible. I briefly describe the history of Chinese immigration to the US, focusing on key changes in US law governing immigration and citizenship as they affected the Chinese. I then refute two economic reductionist views of Chinese American racial oppression. I conclude by suggesting a third, alternative understanding of this oppression that appeals to economic factors among others.
203. Social Philosophy Today: Volume > 24
Jennifer Faust The Ethics of Scientific Research Utilizing Race as a Variable
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Many philosophers have called for elimination of racial taxonomies in biomedical contexts, basing their arguments on one of two claims: that the use of racial terminology is unjust, and that the use of racial terminology in scientific contexts is inappropriate because race is scientifically meaningless. I argue that each of these claims is flawed, because justice sometimes demands the use of racial terminology, and because the utility of race in biomedical contexts makes it scientifically meaningful. I suggest a third argument that eliminativists might utilize: in spite of its usefulness, we should forego racialized medicine because given our long history of racism, any use of race will tend to crowd out other relevant factors. So, instead of continuing to use race as a convenient proxy for unknown “x-factors,” we ought to forego race and insist that researchers name the x-factors. The result will be better science, both morally and epistemically.
204. Social Philosophy Today: Volume > 24
William McBride Comments on W. Creighton Peden: A Good Life in a World Made Good
205. Social Philosophy Today: Volume > 24
Bernard G. Prusak After Rawls?: Lucas Swaine’s The Liberal Conscience
206. Social Philosophy Today: Volume > 24
Anna Moltchanova Group Membership and Morally Risky Epistemic Conditions
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Johann Gottlieb Fichte argues that one semantic presupposition of claims about our entitlements is the idea that others are capable of autonomy. Individuals cannot demand anything from others, even submission, unless they also presuppose—although perhaps without acknowledging this to themselves—that others are free agents. Thus, the autonomy of others is a pre-condition of our exercise of autonomy. Why do individuals and groups often try to justify their own entitlement to rights at the expense of the freedom of others, thereby simultaneously assuming and denying their freedom? This paper investigates what constitution of group agency gives individual members of the group the best chance to develop and sustain a moral character consistent with the ideal of equal autonomy. I argue that liberalism fosters the sort of group agency that improves individuals’ chances to acquire epistemically reliable beliefs about the moral status of others. I apply my findings to the discussion of court decisions in Gaines, Brown, and the race nuisance cases.
207. Social Philosophy Today: Volume > 24
Matthew Silliman A Good Mind in a Fickle Intellectual World: Comment on Peden’s A Good Life in a World Made Good
208. Social Philosophy Today: Volume > 24
Mark Navin Fair Equality of Opportunity in Global Justice
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Many political philosophers argue that a principle of ‘fair equality of opportunity’ (FEO) ought to extend beyond national borders. I agree that there is a place for FEO in a theory of global justice. However, I think that the idea of cross-border FEO is indeterminate between three different principles. Part of my work in this paper is methodological: I identify three different principles of cross-border fair equality of opportunity and I distinguish them from each other. The other part of my work in this paper is normative: I argue that we should endorse only two of the three principles of cross-border fair equality of opportunity and that we shouldreject the third. Importantly, I think that we should reject the one version of transnational fair equality of opportunity that most advocates of such a principle appear to endorse.
209. Social Philosophy Today: Volume > 24
Lucas Swaine Politics, Philosophy, and Liberty of Conscience: A Reply to Three Critics
210. Social Philosophy Today: Volume > 24
Joan Woolfrey Group Moral Agency as Environmental Accountability
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If there is such a thing as a virtuous community, as Aristotle would have it, and if members of communities need to understand themselves in relation to community, then we have a large space from within which to grapple with the issues of social responsibility. Iris Marion Young developed a “social connection model” of justice which requires individuals to think outside of the borders of any one society when considering their responsibility to others. Donald Beggs advocates for a “group moral virtue,” seeing the possibility of the development of virtuous characteristics of groups separate from their individual members.Combining these two ideas, I argue that it is possible to conceive of a society’s responsibility as one of developing such group virtues as will respond to the structural injustices of our interconnected world.
211. Social Philosophy Today: Volume > 24
Jason Mallory A Politics of Carceral Difference
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This paper argues that the difference model provided by Iris Marion Young is useful for clarifying and defending the contemporary radical movement for US former prisoners. First, I examine how ignoring the group difference of ex-prisoners produces oppressive consequences, and second, I show how embracing some group differences can empower ex-prisoners to overcome the obstacles posed by their sociopolitical, economic, and legal marginalization. Lastly, I briefly consider how rejecting sameness, despite the problems associated with “identity politics,” can help former prisoners know and express their needs, thus creating the foundations necessary for building authentic global coalitions against structural oppression.
212. Social Philosophy Today: Volume > 26
Will Kymlicka In Memory of G. A “Jerry” Cohen (1941–2009)
213. Social Philosophy Today: Volume > 26
Jari Niemi Do Arguments Against Self-Ownership Imply Anything Regarding the Equalisandum Debate?
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In this paper I pursue a possibility that some versions of arguments addressed against the libertarian notion of self-ownership have some definitive implications regarding the equalisandum debate carried out by egalitarians. I have in mind specifically the kind of approach that challenges self-ownership as a morally fundamental value through some inventive counterexamples. So, while I shall argue that the negative arguments against self-ownership are conclusive, my primary attempt is to demonstrate that such arguments can be employed to say something interesting about the equalisandum debate itself; namely, that resources cannot function as the desirable equalisandum, and that there are some reasons for preferring capabilities over welfare as the desired currency for egalitarianism.
214. Social Philosophy Today: Volume > 26
Jordy Rocheleau Combatant Responsibility for Fighting in Unjust Wars: A Defense of a Limited Moral Equality of Soldiers
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Just war theory has traditionally presupposed what Michael Walzer calls the moral equality of soldiers: that combatants on all sides have an equal right to kill, such that the soldier is not blameworthy for fighting for an unjust cause. The theory of moral equality has come under increasing attack by Jeff McMahan and others who argue that soldiers are responsible for killing for an unjust cause. I agree with McMahan that soldiers cannot be justified in serving injustice, such that there is no full moral equality. Moreover, the common excuses of ignorance and duress cannot exculpate many soldiers. However, I argue that when one considers the force of legal authority and the bonds of patriotism, combined with ignorance and duress, most soldiers are excused. Because of the rarity of exceptions and the consequences of holding soldiers accountable, I conclude that we should presuppose the equal blamelessness of combatants.
215. Social Philosophy Today: Volume > 26
John Rowan Introduction
216. Social Philosophy Today: Volume > 26
Brook J. Sadler Public or Private Good? The Contested Meaning of Marriage
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Addressing controversy over same-sex marriage, I defend the privatization response: disestablish civil marriage, leaving the question of same-sex marriage to private organizations; detach civil rights from erotic affiliation; and grant legal equality through the mechanism of civil unions. However, the privatization response does not fully address one key conservative argument to the effect that (heterosexual) marriage constitutes a public good of such importance that civil society has a sustaining interest in it. I acknowledge the legitimate, even profound, values or goods that marriage promotes, but contend that they are compatible withhomosexuality. Further, I argue that marriage is neither necessary nor sufficient for sustaining the goods that inhere in modern marriage. Thus, it is not clear that marriage is the best way for the state to promote these goods. Finally, I suggest that the core goods of marital commitment are moral and are not the proper subject of state regulation.
217. Social Philosophy Today: Volume > 26
Jean Harvey Authentic Social Justice and the Far Reaches of “The Private Sphere”
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The one sphere of life where a claimed right to privacy is most sympathetically received is in the inner realm of the mind. I will look briefly at Joseph Tussman’s claim that a government is not only entitled but morally required to be concerned with and involved in the minds of the nation’s citizens. I then further explore reasons why the realm of the mind matters not only morally but politically. There are consequentialist reasons, but more interestingly there are non-consequentialist reasons on the basis of which I introduce the concept of “authentic social justice.” In particular, there are relevant insights to be gainedby reflecting on forms of oppression that are subtle but serious in nature, forms that involve neither violence nor the use of law.
218. Social Philosophy Today: Volume > 26
Joseph A. Stramondo How an Ideology of Pity Is a Social Harm to People with Disabilities
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In academic philosophy and popular culture alike, pity is often framed as a virtue or the emotional underpinnings of virtue. Yet, people who are the most marginalized and, hence, most often on the receiving end of pity, assert that it is anything but an altruism. How can we explain this disconnect between an understanding of pity as a virtuous emotion versus a social harm? My paper answers this question by showing how pity is not only an emotion, but also a power relation. Using the ideas of Sartre’s Anti-Semite and Jew, I explain how pity is understood as harmful by the one pitied because he is acutely aware of how it obscures his unequal power relation to the pitier and denies the pitier’s role in creating this domination. This is all done with an eye toward what I see as the quintessential class of people who are harmed by pity: people with disabilities.
219. Social Philosophy Today: Volume > 26
Helga Varden Rescuing Justice and Equality—A Critical Engagement
220. Social Philosophy Today: Volume > 26
Matthew Silliman Ethispheres and the Shifting Locus of Moral Concern
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This dialogue explores several paradoxes of moral philosophy as applied to environmental ethics. Specifically, it argues that apparently competing approaches to moral theory are less adversaries than complementary perspectives arising in response to varying historical challenges, and that the relatively recent development (at least in European thought) of an ethisphere is an appropriate and necessary response to current moral problems, in principle compatible with moral concerns arising from earlier perspectives. The conversants explore the idea of an ethisphere as a set of moral relations emerging naturally from geo-historical developments in the interdependency of life on earth, made poignant by imminent threats to ecosystemic health. In the process, they defend the idea of ecosystemic health itself as a meaningful and chartable moral fact, against a charge of errant anthropocentric projection.