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  1. Realism in the Ethics of Immigration.James S. Pearson - forthcoming - Philosophy and Social Criticism:019145372210796.
    The ethics of immigration is currently marked by a division between realists and idealists. The idealists generally focus on formulating morally ideal immigration policies. The realists, however, tend to dismiss these ideals as far-fetched and infeasible. In contrast to the idealists, the realists seek to resolve pressing practical issues relating to immigration, principally by advancing what they consider to be actionable policy recommendations. In this article, I take issue with this conception of realism. I begin by surveying the way in (...)
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  2. Markets Within the Limit of Feasibility.Kenneth Silver - forthcoming - Journal of Business Ethics:1-15.
    The ‘limits of markets’ debate broadly concerns the question of when it is (im)permissible to have a market in some good. Markets can be of tremendous benefit to society, but many have felt that certain goods should not be for sale (e.g., sex, kidneys, bombs). Their sale is argued to be corrupting, exploitative, or to express a form of disrespect. In Markets without Limits, Jason Brennan and Peter Jaworski have recently argued to the contrary: For any good, as long as (...)
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  3. Realism Against Legitimacy.Samuel Bagg - 2022 - Social Theory and Practice 48 (1):29-60.
    This article challenges the association between realist methodology and ideals of legitimacy. Many who seek a more “realistic” or “political” approach to political theory replace the familiar orientation towards a state of justice with a structurally similar orientation towards a state of legitimacy. As a result, they fail to provide more reliable practical guidance, and wrongly displace radical demands. Rather than orienting action towards any state of affairs, I suggest that a more practically useful approach to political theory would directly (...)
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  4. Apocalypse Without God: Apocalyptic Thought, Ideal Politics, and the Limits of Utopian Hope.Ben Jones - 2022 - New York: Cambridge University Press.
    Apocalypse, it seems, is everywhere. Preachers with vast followings proclaim the world's end and apocalyptic fears grip even the non-religious amid climate change, pandemics, and threats of nuclear war. But as these ideas pervade popular discourse, grasping their logic remains elusive. Ben Jones argues that we can gain insight into apocalyptic thought through secular thinkers. He starts with a puzzle: Why would secular thinkers draw on Christian apocalyptic beliefs--often dismissed as bizarre--to interpret politics? The apocalyptic tradition proves appealing in part (...)
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  5. Feasibility as Deliberation‐Worthiness.Nicholas Southwood - 2022 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 50 (1):121-162.
    I present and argue for a novel function-based account of feasibility - what I call the "Fitting Deliberation Account" - according to which whether an (individual or collective) action counts as feasible is a matter of whether it possesses those features that are required to make it a fitting object of practical reason or deliberation about what to do.
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  6. Devoting Ourselves to the Manifestly Unattainable.Nicholas Southwood & David Wiens - 2022 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 104 (3):696-716.
    It is tempting to think (1) that we may sometimes have hopelessly utopian duties and yet (2) that “ought” implies “can.” How might we square these apparently conflicting claims? A simple solution is to interpret hopelessly utopian duties as duties to "pursue" the achievement of manifestly unattainable outcomes (as opposed to duties to "achieve" the outcomes), thereby promising to vindicate the possibility of such duties in a way that is compatible with “ought” implies “can.” The main challenge for this simple (...)
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  7. Infeasibility as a Normative Argument‐Stopper: The Case of Open Borders.Nicholas Southwood & Robert E. Goodin - 2021 - European Journal of Philosophy 29 (4):965-987.
    The open borders view is frequently dismissed for making infeasible demands. This is a potent strategy. Unlike normative arguments regarding open borders, which tend to be relatively intractable, the charge of infeasibility is supposed to operate as what we call a "normative argument-stopper." Nonetheless, we argue that the strategy fails. Bringing about open borders is perfectly feasible on the most plausible account of feasibility. We consider and reject what we take to be the only three credible ways to save the (...)
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  8. The Choice of Efficiencies and the Necessity of Politics.Michael Bennett - 2020 - Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy:1-20.
    Efficiency requires legislative political institutions. There are many ways efficiency can be promoted, and so an ongoing legislative institution is necessary to resolve this choice in a politically sustainable and economically flexible way. This poses serious problems for classical liberal proposals to constitutionally protect markets from government intervention, as seen in the work of Ilya Somin, Guido Pincione & Fernando Tesón and others. The argument for the political nature of efficiency is set out in terms of both Pareto optimality and (...)
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  9. The UN Security Council, Normative Legitimacy and the Challenge of Specificity.Antoinette Scherz & Alain Zysset - 2020 - Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy:371-391.
    This paper discusses how the general and abstract concept of legitimacy applies to international institutions, using the United Nations Security Council as an example. We argue that the evaluation of the Security Council’s legitimacy requires considering three significant and interrelated aspects: its purpose, competences, and procedural standards. We consider two possible interpretations of the Security Council’s purpose: on the one hand, maintaining peace and security, and, on the other, ensuring broader respect for human rights. Both of these purposes are minimally (...)
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  10. Tra cielo e terra. Nota critica su Utopophobia_, di David Estlund, e _What is Political Philosophy?, di Charles Larmore.Francesco Testini - 2020 - Biblioteca Della Libertà 55 (229):153-168.
    L’anno appena trascorso è stato dimenticabile (per ovvie ragioni) e i filosofi politici hanno una ragione in più per dimenticarlo data la prematura scomparsa di Gerald Gaus. Tuttavia, essi potrebbero forse trovare una qualche consolazione nel fatto che il 2020 ha visto la pubblicazione di due notevoli opere dedicate alla loro disciplina. Non mi riferisco a due notevoli opere di filosofia politica – quelle spesso non mancano – ma a due opere sulla filosofia politica: Utopohobia: On the Limits (if any) (...)
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  11. Non-Ideal Climate Justice.Eric Brandstedt - 2019 - Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy 22 (2):221-234.
    Based on three recently published books on climate justice, this article reviews the field of climate ethics in light of developments of international climate politics. The central problem addressed is how idealised normative theories can be relevant to the political process of negotiating a just distribution of the costs and benefits of mitigating climate change. I distinguish three possible responses, that is, three kinds of non-ideal theories of climate justice: focused on (1) the injustice of some agents not doing their (...)
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  12. On the View That People and Not Institutions Bear Primary Credit for Success in Governance: Confucian Arguments.Justin Tiwald - 2019 - Journal of Confucian Philosophy and Culture 32:65-97.
    This paper explicates the influential Confucian view that “people” and not “institutional rules” are the proper sources of good governance and social order, as well as some notable Confucian objections to this position. It takes Xunzi 荀子, Hu Hong 胡宏, and Zhu Xi 朱熹 as the primary representatives of the “virtue-centered” position, which holds that people’s good character and not institutional rules bear primary credit for successful governance. And it takes Huang Zongxi 黃宗羲 as a major advocate for the “institutionalist” (...)
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  13. Justice and Feasibility: A Dynamic Approach.Pablo Gilabert - 2017 - In K. Vallier & M. Weber (eds.), Political Utopias: Contemporary Debates. Oxford University Press. pp. 95-126.
    It is common in political theory and practice to challenge normatively ambitious proposals by saying that their fulfillment is not feasible. But there has been insufficient conceptual exploration of what feasibility is, and very little substantive inquiry into why and how it matters for thinking about social justice. This paper provides one of the first systematic treatments of these issues, and proposes a dynamic approach to the relation between justice and feasibility that illuminates the importance of political imagination and dynamic (...)
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  14. Why Public Reasoning Involves Ideal Theorizing.Blain Neufeld - 2017 - In Political Utopias: Contemporary Debates. New York, USA: pp. 73-93.
    Some theorists—including Elizabeth Anderson, Gerald Gaus, and Amartya Sen—endorse versions of 'public reason' as the appropriate way to justify political decisions while rejecting 'ideal theory'. This chapter proposes that these ideas are not easily separated. The idea of public reason expresses a form of mutual 'civic' respect for citizens. Public reason justifications for political proposals are addressed to citizens who would find acceptable those justifications, and consequently would comply freely with those proposals should they become law. Hence public reasoning involves (...)
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  15. Will the Real Principles of Justice Please Stand Up?David Wiens - 2017 - In Kevin Vallier & Michael Weber (eds.), Political Utopias: Contemporary Debates. Oxford University Press.
    This chapter develops a ``nesting'' model of deontic normative principles (i.e., principles that specify moral constraints upon action) as a means to understanding the notion of a ``fundamental normative principle''. I show that an apparently promising attempt to make sense of this notion such that the ``real'' or ``fundamental'' demands of justice upon action are not constrained by social facts is either self-defeating or relatively unappealing. We should treat fundamental normative principles not as specifying fundamental constraints upon action, but as (...)
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  16. Un monde sans passeports serait-il utopique?Speranta Dumitru - 2016 - In Hélène Thiollet (ed.), Migrants, migrations. Armand Collin. pp. 59-91.
    « Utopique » se dit d’un projet irréalisable, qui ne saurait exister. Or, un monde où les passeports n’étaient pas obligatoires pour traverser une frontière a bel et bien existé : c’est celui d’avant la Première Guerre Mondiale. Cet article résume l'histoire des efforts pour abolir le régime des passeports obligatoires après la Première Guerre Mondiale.
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  17. Norms, Evaluations and Ideal and Nonideal Theory.Robert Jubb - 2016 - Social Philosophy and Policy 33 (1-2):393-412.
    -/- This essay discusses the relation between ideal theory and two forms of political moralism identified by Bernard Williams, structural and enactment views. It argues that ideal theory, at least in the sense Rawls used that term, only makes sense for structural forms of moralism. These theories see their task as describing the constraints that properly apply to political agents and institutions. As a result, they are primarily concerned with norms that govern action. In contrast, many critiques of ideal theory (...)
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  18. Does “Ought” Imply “Feasible”?Nicholas Southwood - 2016 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 44 (1):7-45.
    Many of us feel internally conflicted in the face of certain normative claims that make infeasible demands: say, normative claims that demand that agents do what, given deeply entrenched objectionable character traits, they cannot bring themselves to do. On the one hand, such claims may seem false on account of demanding the infeasible, and insisting otherwise may seem to amount to objectionable unworldliness – to chasing “pies in the sky.” On the other hand, such claims may seem true in spite (...)
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  19. "Actual" Does Not Imply "Feasible".Nicholas Southwood & David Wiens - 2016 - Philosophical Studies 173 (11):3037-3060.
    The familiar complaint that some ambitious proposal is infeasible naturally invites the following response: Once upon a time, the abolition of slavery and the enfranchisement of women seemed infeasible, yet these things were actually achieved. Presumably, then, many of those things that seem infeasible in our own time may well be achieved too and, thus, turn out to have been perfectly feasible after all. The Appeal to History, as we call it, is a bad argument. It is not true that (...)
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  20. Motivational Limitations on the Demands of Justice.David Wiens - 2016 - European Journal of Political Theory 15 (3):333-352.
    Do motivational limitations due to human nature constrain the demands of justice? Among those who say no, David Estlund offers perhaps the most compelling argument. Taking Estlund’s analysis of “ability” as a starting point, I show that motivational deficiencies can constrain the demands of justice under at least one common circumstance — that the motivationally-deficient agent makes a good faith effort to overcome her deficiency. In fact, my argument implies something stronger; namely, that the demands of justice are constrained by (...)
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  21. The Socialist Principle “From Each According To Their Abilities, To Each According To Their Needs”.Pablo Gilabert - 2015 - Journal of Social Philosophy 46 (2):197-225.
    This paper offers an exploration of the socialist principle “From each according to their abilities, to each according to their needs.” The Abilities/Needs Principle is arguably the ethical heart of socialism but, surprisingly, has received almost no attention by political philosophers. I propose an interpretation of the principle and argue that it involves appealing ideas of solidarity, fair reciprocity, recognition of individual differences, and meaningful work. The paper proceeds as follows. First, I analyze Marx’s formulation of the Abilities/Needs Principle. Second, (...)
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  22. Institutional Morality and the Principle of National Self-Determination.Hsin-wen Lee - 2015 - Philosophical Studies 172 (1):207-226.
    Allen Buchanan proposes a methodological framework with which theorists may evaluate different theories of secession, including the National Self-Determination theory. An important claim he makes is, because the right to secede is inherently institutional, any adequate theory of secession must include, as an integral part, an analysis of institutional morality. Because the National Self-Determination theory blatantly lacks such an analysis, Buchanan concludes that this theory is inherently flawed. In this paper, I consider Buchanan’s framework and the responses from supporters of (...)
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  23. Political Ideals and the Feasibility Frontier.David Wiens - 2015 - Economics and Philosophy 31 (3):447-477.
    Recent methodological debates regarding the place of feasibility considerations in normative political theory are hindered for want of a rigorous model of the feasibility frontier. To address this shortfall, I present an analysis of feasibility that generalizes the economic concept of a production possibility frontier and then develop a rigorous model of the feasibility frontier using the familiar possible worlds technology. I then show that this model has significant methodological implications for political philosophy. On the Target View, a political ideal (...)
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  24. Achieving Global Justice: Why Failures Matter More Than Ideals.David Wiens - 2015 - In Kate Brennan (ed.), Making Global Institutions Work: Power, Accountability and Change. Routledge.
    My aim in this paper is twofold. First, I challenge the view that ideal normative principles offer appropriate guidelines for our efforts to identify morally progressive institutional reform strategies. I shall call this view the "ideal guidance approach." Second, I develop an alternative methodological approach to specifying nonideal normative principles, which I call the "failure analysis approach." I contrast these alternatives using examples from the global justice literature.
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  25. Against Ideal Guidance.David Wiens - 2015 - Journal of Politics 77 (2):433-446.
    Political philosophers frequently claim that political ideals can provide normative guidance for unjust and otherwise nonideal circumstances. This is mistaken. This paper demonstrates that political ideals contribute nothing to our understanding of the normative principles we should satisfy amidst unjust or otherwise nonideal circumstances.
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  26. Failing International Climate Politics and the Fairness of Going First.Aaron Maltais - 2014 - Political Studies 62 (3):618-633.
    There appear to be few ways available to improve the prospects for international cooperation to address the threat of global warming within the very short timeframe for action. I argue that the most effective and plausible way to break the ongoing pattern of delay in the international climate regime is for economically powerful states to take the lead domestically and demonstrate that economic welfare is compatible with rapidly decreasing GHG emissions. However, the costs and risks of acting first can be (...)
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  27. 'Going Evaluative' to Save Justice From Feasibility -- A Pyrrhic Victory.David Wiens - 2014 - Philosophical Quarterly 64 (255):301-307.
    I discuss Gheaus's (2013) argument against the claim that the requirements of justice are not constrained by feasibility concerns. I show that the general strategy exemplified by this argument is not only dialectically puzzling, but also imposes a heavy cost on theories of justice -- puzzling because it simply sidesteps a presupposition of any plausible formulation of the so-called "feasibility requirement"; costly because it it deprives justice of its normative implications for action. I also show that Gheaus's attempt to recover (...)
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  28. Understanding Political Feasibility.Holly Lawford-Smith - 2013 - Journal of Political Philosophy 21 (3):243-259.
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  29. Demands of Justice, Feasible Alternatives, and the Need for Causal Analysis.David Wiens - 2013 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 16 (2):325-338.
    Many political philosophers hold the Feasible Alternatives Principle (FAP): justice demands that we implement some reform of international institutions P only if P is feasible and P improves upon the status quo from the standpoint of justice. The FAP implies that any argument for a moral requirement to implement P must incorporate claims whose content pertains to the causal processes that explain the current state of affairs. Yet, philosophers routinely neglect the need to attend to actual causal processes. This undermines (...)
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  30. The Feasibility of Collectives' Actions.Holly Lawford-Smith - 2012 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 90 (3):453-467.
    Does ?ought? imply ?can? for collectives' obligations? In this paper I want to establish two things. The first, what a collective obligation means for members of the collective. The second, how collective ability can be ascertained. I argue that there are four general kinds of obligation, which devolve from collectives to members in different ways, and I give an account of the distribution of obligation from collectives to members for each of these kinds. One implication of understanding collective obligation and (...)
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  31. Ideal Vs. Non‐Ideal Theory: A Conceptual Map.Laura Valentini - 2012 - Philosophy Compass 7 (9):654-664.
    This article provides a conceptual map of the debate on ideal and non‐ideal theory. It argues that this debate encompasses a number of different questions, which have not been kept sufficiently separate in the literature. In particular, the article distinguishes between the following three interpretations of the ‘ideal vs. non‐ideal theory’ contrast: full compliance vs. partial compliance theory; utopian vs. realistic theory; end‐state vs. transitional theory. The article advances critical reflections on each of these sub‐debates, and highlights areas for future (...)
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  32. Prescribing Institutions Without Ideal Theory.David Wiens - 2012 - Journal of Political Philosophy 20 (1):45-70.
    It is conventional wisdom among political philosophers that ideal principles of justice must guide our attempts to design institutions to avert actual injustice. Call this the ideal guidance approach. I argue that this view is misguided— ideal principles of justice are not appropriate "guiding principles" that actual institutions must aim to realize, even if only approximately. Fortunately, the conventional wisdom is also avoidable. In this paper, I develop an alternative approach to institutional design, which I call institutional failure analysis. The (...)
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  33. Cosmopolitan Global Justice: Brock Vs. The Feasibility Sceptic.Holly Lawford-Smith - 2011 - Global Justice: Theory Practice Rhetoric (4).
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  34. Feasibility Constraints for Political Theories.Holly Lawford-Smith - 2010 - Dissertation, Australian National University
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  35. Global Justice and Poverty Relief in Nonideal Circumstances.Pablo Gilabert - 2008 - Social Theory and Practice 34 (3):411-438.
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  36. Psychology for Cooperators.Adam Morton - 2001 - In Christopher W. Morris & Arthur Ripstein (eds.), Practical Rationality and Preference: Essays for David Gauthier. Cambridge University Press. pp. 153.
    I discuss what learned and innate routines of self and other attribution agents need to possess if they are to enter into cooperative arrangements as described game theoretically. I conclude that these are not so different from belief desire psychology as described by philosophers of mind.
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  37. Irony in Kant's 'Zum Ewigen Frieden'.Karel Mom - manuscript
    In an introduction to a French edition of Kant´s Zum ewigen Frieden, Charles Lemonnier, who was involved in the international peace movement, wonders why Kant had not touched the ´social question´ in this essay. In this paper, I take Lemonnier´s explanation of Kant´s silence concerning that issue, combined with his appreciation of the ironic format of the text as a starting point to analyse the irony in the essay. This analysis, in which, for heuristic purposes, Kant is compared with Plato, (...)
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  38. Rejoinder to Estlund.David Wiens - manuscript
    Estlund has replied to my "Motivational Demands on the Limits of Justice". This short note is my rejoinder.
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