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  1. The Best and the Rest: How Ideals Mislead and Distort -- Yet Sharpen -- Comparative Evaluation.David Wiens - manuscript
    Political philosophers sometimes defend the value of idealistic normative theories by arguing that they help specify principles for evaluating feasible solutions to real-world problems. I start by showing that this defense is ambiguous between three interpretations, one of which I show to be a nonstarter. The second interpretation says (roughly) that a description of a normatively ideal society provides a benchmark from which to measure deviations from the ideal; the third says (again, roughly) that a description of a normatively ideal (...)
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  • Dirty Hands and the Complicity of the Democratic Public.David Archard - 2013 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 16 (4):777-790.
    The alleged problem of the dirty hands of politicians has been much discussed since Michael Walzer’s original piece (Walzer 1974). The discussion has concerned the precise nature of the problem or sought to dissolve the apparent paradox. However there has been little discussion of the putative complicity, and thus also dirtying of hands, of a democratic public that authorizes politicians to act in its name. This article outlines the sense in which politicians do get dirty hands and the degree to (...)
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  • Does Regulating Hate Speech Undermine Democratic Legitimacy? A Cautious ‘No’.Andrew Reid - 2020 - Res Publica 26 (2):181-199.
    This paper critiques the version of the argument that the regulation of hateful speech by the state undermines its democratic legitimacy made by Ronald Dworkin and James Weinstein. It argues that in some cases the harmful effects of hateful speech on the democratic process outweigh those of restriction. It does not challenge the central premise of the Legitimacy Argument, that a wide-ranging right to freedom of expression is an essential political right in a liberal democracy. Instead, it uses ideal and (...)
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  • On the Theoretical Significance of G. A. Cohen’s Fact-Insensitivity Thesis.Kyle Johannsen - 2017 - Res Publica 23 (2):245-53.
    G. A. Cohen’s claim that fundamental principles are ‘fact-insensitive’ has not received an especially warm welcome from the philosophical community. While some philosophers have expressed doubts about the plausibility of his claim, others have complained that even if his thesis is true, it is also relatively insignificant. In my paper, I argue that the fact-insensitivity thesis, if true, provides considerable support for value pluralism, and is thus of interest for that reason. Though Cohen himself assumes a plurality of fundamental principles, (...)
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  • 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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  • The Aim of a Theory of Justice.Martijn Boot - 2012 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 15 (1):7-21.
    Amartya Sen argues that for the advancement of justice identification of ‘perfect’ justice is neither necessary nor sufficient. He replaces ‘perfect’ justice with comparative justice. Comparative justice limits itself to comparing social states with respect to degrees of justice. Sen’s central thesis is that identifying ‘perfect’ justice and comparing imperfect social states are ‘analytically disjoined’. This essay refutes Sen’s thesis by demonstrating that to be able to make adequate comparisons we need to identify and integrate criteria of comparison. This is (...)
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  • The General Theory of Second Best Is More General Than You Think.David Wiens - 2020 - Philosophers' Imprint 20 (5):1-26.
    Lipsey and Lancaster's "general theory of second best" is widely thought to have significant implications for applied theorizing about the institutions and policies that most effectively implement abstract normative principles. It is also widely thought to have little significance for theorizing about which abstract normative principles we ought to implement. Contrary to this conventional wisdom, I show how the second-best theorem can be extended to myriad domains beyond applied normative theorizing, and in particular to more abstract theorizing about the normative (...)
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  • Comparative Assessments of Justice, Political Feasibility, and Ideal Theory.Pablo Gilabert - 2012 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 15 (1):39-56.
    What should our theorizing about social justice aim at? Many political philosophers think that a crucial goal is to identify a perfectly just society. Amartya Sen disagrees. In The Idea of Justice, he argues that the proper goal of an inquiry about justice is to undertake comparative assessments of feasible social scenarios in order to identify reforms that involve justice-enhancement, or injustice-reduction, even if the results fall short of perfect justice. Sen calls this the “comparative approach” to the theory of (...)
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  • Can Political Realism Be Action-Guiding?Luke Ulaş - forthcoming - Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy:1-26.
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  • 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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  • The Struggle for Climate Justice in a Non‐Ideal World.Simon Caney - 2016 - Midwest Studies in Philosophy 40 (1):9-26.
    Many agents have failed to comply with their responsibilities to take the action needed to avoid dangerous anthropogenic climate change. This pervasive noncompliance raises two questions of nonideal political theory. First, it raises the question of what agents should do when others do not discharge their climate responsibilities. (the Responsibility Question) In this paper I put forward four principles that we need to employ to answer the Responsibility Question (Sections II-V). I then illustrate my account, by outlining four kinds of (...)
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  • Social Reform in a Complex World.Jacob Barrett - 2020 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 17 (2).
    Our world is complex—it is composed of many interacting parts—and this complexity poses a serious difficulty for theorists of social reform. On the one hand, we cannot merely work out ways of ameliorating immediate problems of injustice, because the solutions we generate may interact to set back the achievement of overall long-term justice. On the other, we cannot supplement such problem solving with theorizing about how to make progress towards a long-term goal of ideal justice, because the very interactions that (...)
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  • Fair Climate Policy in an Unequal World: Characterising Responsibilities and Designing Institutions for Mitigation and International Finance.Jonathan Pickering - 2013 - Dissertation, Australian National University
    The urgent need to address climate change poses a range of complex moral and practical concerns, not least because rising to the challenge will require cooperation among countries that differ greatly in their wealth, the extent of their contributions to the problem, and their vulnerability to environmental and economic shocks. This thesis by publication in the field of climate ethics aims to characterise a range of national responsibilities associated with acting on climate change (Part I), and to identify proposals for (...)
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  • Reasoning About Development: Essays on Amartya Sen's Capability Approach.Thomas R. Wells - 2013 - Dissertation, Erasmus University Rotterdam
    Over the last 30 years the Indian philosopher-economist Amartya Sen has developed an original normative approach to the evaluation of individual and social well-being. The foundational concern of this ‘capability approach’ is the real freedom of individuals to achieve the kind of lives they have reason to value. This freedom is analysed in terms of an individual’s ‘capability’ to achieve combinations of such intrinsically valuable ‘beings and doings’ (‘functionings’) as being sufficiently nourished and freely expressing one’s political views. In this (...)
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  • Feasibility as a Constraint on ‘Ought All-Things-Considered’, But Not on ‘Ought as a Matter of Justice’?Nicholas Southwood - 2019 - Philosophical Quarterly 69 (276):598-616.
    It is natural and relatively common to suppose that feasibility is a constraint on what we ought to do all-things-considered but not a constraint on what we ought to do as a matter of justice. I show that the combination of these claims entails an implausible picture of the relation between feasibility and desirability given an attractive understanding of the relation between what we ought to do as a matter of justice and what we ought to do all-things-considered.
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  • Between Critical and Normative Theory.Samuel Bagg - 2016 - Political Research Quarterly 69:1-12.
    Over the last decade, a call for greater “realism” in political theory has challenged the goals and methods that are implicit in much contemporary “normative” theory. However, realists have yet to produce a convincing alternative research program that is “constructive” rather than primarily “critical” in nature. I argue that given their common wariness of a devotion to abstract principles, realists should consider adopting John Dewey’s vision of theoretical expertise as an expansive kind of prediction that engages all of our historical, (...)
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  • Kantian Nonideal Theory and Nuclear Proliferation.Thomas E. Doyle, Ii - 2010 - International Theory 2 (1):87-112.
    Recent revelations of Iran’s hitherto undisclosed uranium enrichment programs have once again incited western fears that Tehran seeks nuclear weapons’ capability. Their fears seem motivated by more than the concern for compliance with the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT). Rather, they seem strongly connected to the western moral assumptions about what kind of government or people can be trusted with a nuclear arsenal. In this paper, I critically examine the western assumptions of the immorality of contemporary nuclear proliferation from an international (...)
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  • Because It is Normative, Stupid! On the Role of Political Theory in Political Science.Roland Pierik - 2011 - Res Publica (Misc) 53 (1):9-29.
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  • Idealizing Morality.Lisa Tessman - 2010 - Hypatia 25 (4):797 - 824.
    Implicit in feminist and other critiques of ideal theorizing is a particular view of what normative theory should be like. Although I agree with the rejection of ideal theorizing that oppression theorists (and other theorists of justice) have advocated, the proposed alternative of nonideal theorizing is also problematic. Nonideal theorizing permits one to address oppression by first describing (nonideal) oppressive conditions, and then prescribing the best action that is possible or feasible given the conditions. Borrowing an insight from the "moral (...)
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  • What Is the Point of Justice?Andrew Mason - 2012 - Utilitas 24 (4):525-547.
    Conflicting answers to the question of what principles of justice are for may generate very different ways of theorizing about justice. Indeed divergent answers to it are at the heart of G. A. Cohen's disagreement with John Rawls. Cohen thinks that the roots of this disagreement lie in the constructivist method that Rawls employs, which mistakenly treats the principles that emerge from a procedure that involves factual assumptions as ultimate principles of justice. But I argue that even if Rawls were (...)
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  • Parental Education and Expensive Consumption Habits.Danielle Zwarthoed - 2017 - Journal of Applied Philosophy (2).
    The aim of this article is to investigate the general and special obligations of parents with respect to the shaping of consumption habits, from a liberal egalitarian perspective. The article argues that, in virtue of them being well placed to shape the next generation's consumption habits, parents have a duty of justice to prevent their children from developing expensive consumption habits in order to enable them to leave their fair share to others. In virtue of the special relationship they have (...)
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  • What Second-Best Scenarios Reveal About Ideals of Global Justice.Christian Barry & David Wiens - 2020 - In Thom Brooks (ed.), Oxford Handbook to Global Justice. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    While there need be no conflict in theory between addressing global inequality (inequalities between people worldwide) and addressing domestic inequality (inequalities between people within a political community), there may be instances in which the feasible mechanism for reducing global inequality risks aggravating domestic inequality. The burgeoning literature on global justice has tended to overlook this type of scenario, and theorists espousing global egalitarianism have consequently not engaged with cases that are important for evaluating and clarifying the content of their theories. (...)
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  • Feasibility Constraints for Political Theories.Holly Lawford-Smith - 2010 - Dissertation, Australian National University
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  • 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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  • On the Conceptual Status of Justice.Kyle Johannsen - 2015 - Dissertation, Queen's University
    In contemporary debates about justice, political philosophers take themselves to be engaged with a subject that’s narrower than the whole of morality. Many contemporary liberals, notably John Rawls, understand this narrowness in terms of context specificity. On their view, justice is the part of morality that applies to the context of a society’s institutions, but only has indirect application to the context of citizens’ personal lives. In contrast, many value pluralists, notably G.A. Cohen, understand justice’s narrowness in terms of singularity (...)
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  • Assessing Ideal Theories: Lessons From the Theory of Second Best.David Wiens - 2016 - Politics, Philosophy, and Economics 15 (2):132-149.
    Numerous philosophers allege that the "general theory of second best" (Lipsey and Lancaster, 1956) poses a challenge to the Target View, which asserts that real world reform efforts should aim to establish arrangements that satisfy the constitutive features of ideal just states of affairs. I demonstrate two claims that are relevant in this context. First, I show that the theory of second best fails to present a compelling challenge to the Target View in general. But, second, the theory of second (...)
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  • Problema fezabilității în teoria dreptății sociale.Eugen Huzum - 2012 - Sfera Politicii 5 (171):124-135.
    G. A. Cohen and Andrew Mason have recently argued, against many contemporary philosophers, that feasibility is not a legitimate constraint in theorizing about social justice. Their main argument is that principles of justice are logically independent of issues of feasibility and, consequently, feasibility has no bearing on the correctness of these principles. This article is a critical examination of three attempts to show that Cohen and Mason’s argument is unsound. The examined attempts are those of Harry Brighouse, Collin Farrelly, and (...)
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  • The Feasibility Constraint on The Concept of Justice.Anca Gheaus - 2013 - Philosophical Quarterly 63 (252):445-464.
    There is a widespread belief that, conceptually, justice cannot require what we cannot achieve. This belief is sometimes used by defenders of so-called ‘non-ideal theories of justice’ to criticise so-called ‘ideal theories of justice’. I refer to this claim as ‘the feasibility constraint on the concept of justice’ and argue against it. I point to its various implausible implications and contend that a willingness to apply the label ‘unjust’ to some regrettable situations that we cannot fix is going to enhance (...)
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  • Should Political Philosophy Be More Realistic?: Bell, Duncan . 2009. Political Thought and International Relations: Variations on a Realist Theme. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 256 Pp Bourke, Richard, and Geuss, Raymond . 2009. Political Judgement: Essays for John Dunn. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 368 Pp.Jonathan Floyd - 2010 - Res Publica 16 (3):337-347.
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  • Institutional Perfection or Improvement of Imperfect Institutions? An Essay on the Methodological Status of Perfect but Unfeasible Institutional Regimes.Leandro Martins Zanitelli - 2016 - Revista Latinoamericana de Filosofía Política 5 (1).
    The paper deals with “perfect institutional regimes”, defined as regimes that optimally satisfy a given value. Assuming that a PIR is unfeasible in the short term to agents willing to achieve it, what reasons do we have to spend time on a PIR? One answer is that knowing about PIRs is interesting enough to warrant an inquiry into the subject, even if it is not likely to change the world. Another is that searching for a PIR helps to set up (...)
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  • Die Relevanz idealer Theorie bei der Beurteilung praktischer Probleme.Jürgen Sirsch - 2012 - Zeitschrift Für Politische Theorie 3 (1).
    The paper discusses the adequate role of ideal theory for the discussion of practical problems. Therefore, I will reconstruct the Rawlsian understanding of the ideal-theoretical method and confront it with the critiques of Raymond Geuss and Amartya Sen. While Geuss is sceptical, whether ideal theory provides an appropriately critical perspective, Sen doubts the practical usefulness of ideal-theoretical models. It will be shown, that Rawlsian ideal theory can deal with these criticisms and that it is a useful tool for solving practical (...)
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  • Democracy for the Future: A Conceptual Framework to Assess Institutional Reform.Wallimann-Helmer Ivo, Meyer Lukas & Burger Paul - 2016 - In .
    There seem to be good reasons that democratic institutions must be reformed in order to minimize the danger of unsustainable policy decisions infringing upon duties of intergenerational justice. This is why there exist a number of different proposals of how to reform democratic states in order to foster their duties towards the future. However, the debate lacks a systematic assessment of these suggested reforms within a coherent theoretical and norma-tive framework. This paper aims at developing such a framework. We suggest (...)
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  • Mahdollisuus, välttämättömyys ja luodut ikuiset totuudet Descartesin filosofiassa.Forsman Jan - 2016 - In Ilkka Niiniluoto, Tuomas Tahko & Teemu Toppinen (eds.), Mahdollisuus. Helsinki: Philosophical Society of Finland. pp. 120-129.
    Tässä artikkelissa käsittelen Descartesin ikuisten totuuksien välttämättömyyteen liittyvää ongelmaa. Teoksessa Mietiskelyjä ensimmäisestä filosofiasta (1641–1642) Descartes nostaa esiin käsitteen ikuisista totuuksista, käyttäen esimerkkinään kolmiota. Kolmion muuttumattomaan ja ikuiseen luontoon kuuluu esimerkiksi, että sen kolme kulmaa ovat yhteenlaskettuna 180°. Se on totta kolmiosta, vaikka yhtään yksittäistä kolmiota ei olisi koskaan ollutkaan olemassa. Eräät ajattelemieni asioiden piirteet ovat siis Descartesin mukaan ajattelustani riippumattomia. Ikuisia totuuksia ovat ainakin matemaattiset ja geometriset tosiseikat sekä ristiriidan laki. Samoin Descartesin kuuluisa lause “ajattelen, siis olen” lukeutuu ikuisten totuuksien (...)
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  • The Tyranny of a Metaphor.David Wiens - 2018 - Cosmos + Taxis 5 (2):13-28.
    Debates on the practical relevance of ideal theory revolve around Sen's metaphor of navigating a mountainous landscape. In *The Tyranny of the Ideal*, Gerald Gaus presents the most thorough articulation of this metaphor to date. His detailed exploration yields new insight on central issues in existing debates, as well as a fruitful medium for exploring important limitations on our ability to map the space of social possibilities. Yet Gaus's heavy reliance on the navigation metaphor obscures questions about the reasoning by (...)
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  • Political Resistance and the Constitution of Equality.Adam Benjamin Burgos - unknown
    In this dissertation I explore the conceptual relationship between equality and resistance in political philosophy. Through examination of the work of Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Karl Marx, John Dewey, and Jacques Rancière, I formulate a position called Fractured Social Holism. This is a problematic that attempts to articulate core issues at stake in the debates surrounding the purposes, meanings, and possibilities for politics. Through Fractured Social Holism I articulate a theory of equality that emphasizes the communities upon which societys institutions intend to (...)
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  • 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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  • Distributive Justice.Julian Lamont & Christi Favor - 2002 - In Edward Zalta (ed.), Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    Principles of distributive justice are normative principles designed to guide the allocation of the benefits and burdens of economic activity.
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  • Political Realism and Fact-Sensitivity.Edward Hall - 2013 - Res Publica 19 (2):173-181.
    Political realists complain that much contemporary political philosophy is insufficiently attentive to various facts about politics yet some political philosophers insist that any critique of normative claims on grounds of unrealism is misplaced. In this paper I focus on the methodological position G.A. Cohen champions in order assess the extent to which this retort succeeds in nullifying the realist critique of contemporary political philosophy. I argue that Cohen’s work does not succeed in doing so because the political principles that we (...)
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  • The Limits of Fair Equality of Opportunity.Benjamin Sachs - 2012 - Philosophical Studies 160 (2):323-343.
    The principle of fair equality of opportunity is regularly used to justify social policies, both in the philosophical literature and in public discourse. However, too often commentators fail to make explicit just what they take the principle to say. A principle of fair equality of opportunity does not say anything at all until certain variables are filled in. I want to draw attention to two variables, timing and currency. I argue that once we identify the few plausible ways we have (...)
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  • Real Politics and Metaethical Baggage.Sebastian Nye - 2015 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 18 (5):1083-1100.
    So-called 'realists' have argued that political philosophers should engage with real politics, but that mainstream 'non-realist' political philosophers fail to do so. Perhaps surprisingly, many of the discussions between realists and their critics have not drawn much on debates in metaethics. In this paper, I argue that this is an oversight. There are important connections between the realism/non-realism debate and certain controversies in metaethics. Both realism and non-realism come with metaethical baggage. By considering several arguments that could be made for (...)
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  • Choices Chance and Change: Luck Egalitarianism Over Time.Patrick Tomlin - 2013 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 16 (2):393-407.
    The family of theories dubbed ‘luck egalitarianism’ represent an attempt to infuse egalitarian thinking with a concern for personal responsibility, arguing that inequalities are just when they result from, or the extent to which they result from, choice, but are unjust when they result from, or the extent to which they result from, luck. In this essay I argue that luck egalitarians should sometimes seek to limit inequalities, even when they have a fully choice-based pedigree (i.e., result only from the (...)
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  • Justice, Holism and Principles.Andrew Mason - 2009 - Res Publica 15 (2):179-194.
    Some moral theorists defend a holistic account of practical reasons and deny that the possibility of moral thought depends upon the existence of moral principles. This article explores the implications of this position for theorising about justice, which has often aspired to provide us with an ordered list of principles to govern our institutions and practices.
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  • Teleology, Deontology, and the Priority of the Right: On Some Unappreciated Distinctions.Miriam Ronzoni - 2010 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 13 (4):453 - 472.
    The paper analyses Rawls's teleology/deontology distinction, and his concept of priority of the right. The first part of the paper aims both 1) to clarify what is distinctive about Rawls's deontology/teleology distinction (thus sorting out some existing confusion in the literature, especially regarding the conflation of such distinction with that between consequentialism and nonconsequentialism); and 2) to cash out the rich taxonomy of moral theories that such a distinction helpfully allows us to develop. The second part of the paper examines (...)
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  • How to Do Realistic Political Theory.Edward Hall - 2017 - European Journal of Political Theory 16 (3):283-303.
    In recent years, a number of realist thinkers have charged much contemporary political theory with being idealistic and moralistic. While the basic features of the realist counter-movement are reasonably well understood, realism is still considered a critical, primarily negative creed which fails to offer a positive, alternative way of thinking normatively about politics. Aiming to counteract this general perception, in this article I draw on Bernard Williams’s claims about how to construct a politically coherent conception of liberty from the non-political (...)
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  • Realism, Moralism, Models and Institutions.Christopher Bertram - 2016 - Journal of International Political Theory 12 (2):185-199.
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  • Addressing Poverty and Climate Change: The Varieties of Social Engagement.Simon Caney - 2012 - Ethics and International Affairs 26 (2):191-216.
    In this article I propose to explore two issues. The first concerns what kinds of contributions academics can make to reducing poverty. I argue that academics can contribute in a number of ways, and I seek to spell out the diversity of the options available. I concentrate on four ways in which these contributions might differ.My second aim is to outline some norms that should inform any academic involvement in activities that seek to reduce poverty. I set out six proposals. (...)
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  • Navigating by the North Star: The Role of the ‘Ideal’ in John Stuart Mill's View of ‘Utopian’ Schemes and the Possibilities of Social Transformation.Helen McCabe - 2019 - Utilitas 31 (3):291-309.
    The role of the ‘ideal’ in political philosophy is currently much discussed. These debates cast useful light on Mill's self-designation as ‘under the general designation of Socialist’. Considering Mill's assessment of potential property-relations on the grounds of their desirability, feasibility and ‘accessibility’ shows us not only how desirable and feasible he thought ‘utopian’ socialist schemes were, but which options we should implement. This, coupled with Mill's belief that a socialist ideal should guide social reforms, reveals much more clearly the extent (...)
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  • '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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  • Amartya Sen’s Nonideal Theory.Kristina Meshelski - 2019 - Ethics and Global Politics 12 (2):31-45.
    Amartya Sen argues that Rawls’s theory is not only unnecessary in the pursuit of justice, but it may even be an impediment to justice in so far as it has discouraged more useful work. Against what he considers the dominance of transcendental theory, Sen calls for a more realistic and practical ‘comparative’ theory of justice. Sen’s negative point has been widely discussed, but here I develop a reconstruction of Sen’s positive theory (a combination of Adam Smith’s Impartial Spectator, Social Choice (...)
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  • Promoting Distributive Justice in Education and the Challenge of Unpredictability.Tal Gilead - 2019 - Studies in Philosophy and Education 38 (4):439-451.
    This article examines how the existence of unpredictability should influence the quest to promote distributive justice in education. First, the article briefly discusses resource allocation in education finance policy and its relationships with existing philosophical theories of distributive justice. It then explains why unpredictability comes into play in education and how this endangers the achievements of distributive justice. It is argued that unpredictability poses a real challenge to enhancing educational justice. Second, the article examines the common policy conception that educational (...)
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