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  1. On Actualist and Fundamental Public Justification in Political Liberalism.Thomas M. Besch - 2020 - Philosophia 48 (5):1777-1799.
    Public justification in political liberalism is often conceptualized in light of Rawls’s view of its role in a hypothetical well-ordered society as an ideal or idealizing form of justification that applies a putatively reasonable conception of political justice to political matters. But Rawls implicates a different idea of public justification in his doctrine of general reflective equilibrium. The paper engages this second, more fundamental idea. Public justification in this second sense is actualist and fundamental. It is actualist in that it (...)
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  • On the Right to Justification and Discursive Respect.Thomas M. Besch - 2015 - Dialogue 54 (4):703-726.
    Rainer Forst’s constructivism argues that a right to justification provides a reasonably non-rejectable foundation of justice. With an exemplary focus on his attempt to ground human rights, I argue that this right cannot provide such a foundation. To accord to others such a right is to include them in the scope of discursive respect. But it is reasonably contested whether we should accord to others equal discursive respect. It follows that Forst’s constructivism cannot ground human rights, or justice, categorically. At (...)
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  • On Justification, Idealization, and Discursive Purchase.Thomas Besch - 2019 - Philosophia 47 (3):601-623.
    Conceptions of acceptability-based moral or political justification take it that authoritative acceptability, widely conceived, constitutes, or contributes to, validity, or justification. There is no agreement as to what bar for authoritativeness such justification may employ. The paper engages the issue in relation to (i) the level of idealization that a bar for authoritativeness, ψ, imparts to a standard of acceptability-based justification, S, and (ii) the degree of discursive purchase of the discursive standing that S accords to people when it builds (...)
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  • Public Justification, Inclusion, and Discursive Equality.Thomas M. Besch - 2018 - Dialogue 57 (3):591-614.
    The paper challenges the view that public justification sits well with emancipatory and egalitarian intuitions. I distinguish between the depth, scope and the purchase of the discursive standing that such justification allocates, and situate within this matrix Rawls’s view of public justification. A standard objection to this view is that public justification should be more inclusive in scope. This is both plausible and problematic in emancipatory and egalitarian terms. If inclusive public justification allocates discursive standing that is rich in purchase, (...)
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  • On a Reflexive Case for Human Rights.Thomas M. Besch - 2013 - Journal of East-West Thought 3 (4):51-64.
    Can there be a "reflexive" or presuppositional, reasonably non-rejectable grounding of a Forst-type right to justification, or of a meaningful form of constitutive discursive standing? The paper argues that this is not so, and this for reasons that reflect more general limitations of presuppositional arguments for relevantly contested conclusions. To this end, the paper critically engages Forst's "reflexive" argument for human rights. It also considers O'Neill's presuppositional attempt to defend a form of cosmopolitanism, as well as the attempt to anchor (...)
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  • Humanity, Virtue, Justice: A Framework for a Capability Approach.Benjamin James Bessey - unknown
    This Thesis reconsiders the prospects for an approach to global justice centring on the proposal that every human being should possess a certain bundle of goods, which would include certain members of a distinctive category: the category of capabilities. My overall aim is to present a clarified and well-developed framework, within which such claims can be made. To do this, I visit a number of regions of normative and metanormative theorising. I begin by introducing the motivations for the capability approach, (...)
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