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  1. Political Irrationality, Utopianism, and Democratic Theory.Aaron Ancell - 2019 - Politics, Philosophy and Economics 19 (1):3-21.
    People tend to be biased and irrational about politics. Should this constrain what our normative theories of democracy can require? David Estlund argues that the answer is ‘no’. He contends that even if such facts show that the requirements of a normative theory are very unlikely to be met, this need not imply that the theory is unduly unrealistic. I argue that the application of Estlund’s argument to political irrationality depends on a false presupposition: mainly, that being rational about politics (...)
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  • The Two-Dimensional Analysis of Feasibility: A Restatement.Renan Silva - 2019 - Moral Philosophy and Politics 6 (2):357-378.
    Pablo Gilabert and Holly Lawford-Smith have, both in collaboration and individually, provided a compelling account of feasibility, which states that feasibility is both ‘binary’ and ‘scalar’, and both ‘synchronic’ and ‘diachronic’. This two-dimensional analysis, however, has been the subject of four major criticisms: it has been argued that it rests upon a false distinction between ‘hard’ and ‘soft’ constraints, that it ignores the importance of intentional action, and that diachronic feasibility is incoherent and insensitive to the existence of epistemic limitations. (...)
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  • "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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  • Ideal Theory and "Ought Implies Can".Amy Berg - 2018 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 99 (4):869-890.
    When we can’t live up to the ultimate standards of morality, how can moral theory give us guidance? We can distinguish between ideal and non-ideal theory to see that there are different versions of the voluntarist constraint, ‘ought implies can.’ Ideal moral theory identifies the best standard, so its demands are constrained by one version. Non-ideal theory tells us what to do given our psychological and motivational shortcomings and so is constrained by others. Moral theory can now both provide an (...)
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  • The Relevance of Human Nature.Nicholas Southwood - 2015 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 9 (3):1-9.
    The so-called "Human Nature Constraint" holds that if an agent is unable, due to features of human nature, to bring herself to act in a certain way, then this suffices to block or negate the claim that the agent is required to act in that way. David Estlund (2011) has recently mounted a forceful objection to the Human Nature Constraint. I argue that Estlund’s objection fails – but instructively, in a way that gives Estlund resources for a different way of (...)
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  • Rawls’s Ideal Theory: A Clarification and Defense.D. Matthew - 2019 - Res Publica 25 (4):553-570.
    In recent work in political philosophy there has been much discussion of two approaches to theorizing about justice that have come to be called ‘ideal theory’ and ‘non-ideal theory’. The distinction was originally articulated by Rawls, who defended his focus on ideal theory in terms of a supposed ‘priority’ of the latter over non-ideal theory. Many critics have rejected this claim of priority and in general have questioned the usefulness of ideal theory. In diagnosing the problem with ideal theory, they (...)
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  • Defining the Duty to Contribute: Against the Market Solution.Markus Furendal - 2017 - European Journal of Political Theory 18 (4):469-488.
    If there is a duty of justice to contribute to society, which asks individuals to produce a specific amount of goods and services that can be redistributed, we need a decision-procedure to know whe...
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  • 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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  • Feasibility Four Ways.Alan Hamlin - 2017 - Social Philosophy and Policy 34 (1):209-231.
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  • Three Feasibility Constraints on the Concept of Justice.Naima Chahboun - 2017 - Res Publica 23 (4):431-452.
    The feasibility constraint on the concept of justice roughly states that a necessary condition for something to qualify as a conception of justice is that it is possible to achieve and maintain given the conditions of the human world. In this paper, I propose three alternative interpretations of this constraint that could be derived from different understandings of the Kantian formula ‘ought implies can’: the ability constraint, the motivational constraint and the institutional constraint. I argue that the three constraints constitute (...)
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