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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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  • 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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  • 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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  • Facts, Principles, and (Real) Politics.Enzo Rossi - 2016 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 19 (2):505-520.
    Should our factual understanding of the world influence our normative theorising about it? G.A. Cohen has argued that our ultimate normative principles should not be constrained by facts. Many others have defended or are committed to various versions or subsets of that claim. In this paper I dispute those positions by arguing that, in order to resist the conclusion that ultimate normative principles rest on facts about possibility or conceivability, one has to embrace an unsatisfactory account of how principles generate (...)
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  • Sen's Perfectionist 'Reason To Value'.Tulsa Jansson - 2015 - Public Reason 7 (1-2).
    Amartya Sen, the initiator of the Capability Approach, rejects perfectionism and the idea that theorists can, or ought to, predefine what capabilities we have reason to value. Instead he insists that the route to social justice stay true to the liberal ideal of value pluralism and human diversity and demands a content-neutral procedure of reflective scrutiny. This paper investigates the theoretical underpinnings assumed in such a procedural account. Can it avoid perfectionistic assumptions? I think it cannot for two reasons. First, (...)
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  • Teorii si ideologii politice.Eugen Huzum (ed.) - 2013 - Iasi: Institutul European.
    Nu cu foarte mult timp în urmă, grupul de teorie socială şi politică din cadrul proiectului POSDRU 89/1.5/S/56815 „Societatea bazată pe cunoaştere-cercetări, dezbateri, perspective”, a publicat, tot la editura Institutul European, lucrarea Concepte şi teorii social-politice. Volumul de faţă reprezintă un nou pas al grupului nostru de lucru în realizarea proiectului inaugurat prin publicarea acelei lucrări. Este vorba, reamintesc, despre proiectul elaborării unor volume care să-i ajute pe cei interesaţi în iniţierea (lor sau a altora) în teoria (şi în special (...)
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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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  • Egalitarianismul.Eugen Huzum - 2013 - In Teorii si ideologii politice. Iasi: Institutul European. pp. 49-88.
    În acest capitol îmi revine sarcina de a prezenta unul dintre cele mai influente și mai dinamice curente din filosofia politică actuală. Este vorba, desigur, despre curentul care dă titlul acestui capitol: egalitarianismul.
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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 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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