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The feasibility issue

Philosophy Compass 13 (8):e12509 (2018)

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  1. On the People’s Terms.Philip Pettit - 2012 - Political Theory 44 (5):697-706.
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  • Oughts, Options, and Actualism.Frank Jackson & Robert Pargetter - 1986 - Philosophical Review 95 (2):233-255.
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  • Freedom Within Reason.Gary Watson - 1992 - Philosophical Review 101 (4):890.
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  • Ability and Volitional Incapacity.Nicholas Southwood & Pablo Gilabert - 2016 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 10 (3):1-8.
    The conditional analysis of ability faces familiar counterexamples involving cases of volitional incapacity. An interesting response to the problem of volitional incapacity is to try to explain away the responses elicited by such counterexamples by distinguishing between what we are able to do and what we are able to bring ourselves to do. We argue that this error-theoretic response fails. Either it succeeds in solving the problem of volitional incapacity at the cost of making the conditional analysis vulnerable to obvious (...)
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  • Cans Without Ifs.Keith Lehrer - 1968 - Analysis 29 (1):29 - 32.
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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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  • A Theory of Justice.John Rawls - unknown
    Though the revised edition of A Theory of Justice, published in 1999, is the definitive statement of Rawls's view, so much of the extensive literature on Rawls's theory refers to the first edition.
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  • Feasibility in Action and Attitude.Geoffrey Brennan & Nicholas Southwood - 2007 - In J. Josefsson D. Egonsson (ed.), Hommage à Wlodek. Philosophical Papers Dedicated to Wlodek Rabinowicz.
    The object of this paper is to explore the intersection of two issues. The first concerns the role that feasibility considerations play in constraining normative claims – claims, say, about what we (individually and collectively) ought to do and to be. The second concerns whether normative claims are to be understood as applying only to actions in their own right or also non-derivatively to attitudes. In particular, we argue that actions and attitudes may be subject to different feasibility constraints – (...)
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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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  • Political Liberalism by John Rawls. [REVIEW]Philip Pettit - 1994 - Journal of Philosophy 91 (4):215-220.
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  • The Value of Philosophy in Nonideal Circumstances.Adam Swift - 2008 - Social Theory and Practice 34 (3):363-387.
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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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  • Rescuing Justice and Equality.G. A. Cohen (ed.) - 2008 - Harvard University Press.
    In this stimulating work of political philosophy, acclaimed philosopher G. A. Cohen sets out to rescue the egalitarian thesis that in a society in which distributive justice prevails, peopleâes material prospects are roughly equal. Arguing against the Rawlsian version of a just society, Cohen demonstrates that distributive justice does not tolerate deep inequality. In the course of providing a deep and sophisticated critique of Rawlsâes theory of justice, Cohen demonstrates that questions of distributive justice arise not only for the state (...)
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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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  • Utopophobia.David Estlund - 2014 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 42 (2):113-134.
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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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  • Democratic Authority: A Philosophical Framework.David Estlund - 2008 - Critica 42 (124):118-125.
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  • Collectives' Duties and Collectivisation Duties.Stephanie Collins - 2013 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 91 (2):231-248.
    Plausibly, only moral agents can bear action-demanding duties. This places constraints on which groups can bear action-demanding duties: only groups with sufficient structure—call them ‘collectives’—have the necessary agency. Moreover, if duties imply ability then moral agents (of both the individual and collectives varieties) can bear duties only over actions they are able to perform. It is thus doubtful that individual agents can bear duties to perform actions that only a collective could perform. This appears to leave us at a loss (...)
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  • 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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  • Non-Ideal Accessibility.Holly Lawford-Smith - 2013 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 16 (3):653-669.
    What should we do when we won't do as we ought? Suppose it ought to be that the procrastinating professor accept the task of reviewing a book, and actually review the book. It seems clear that given he won't review it, he ought not to accept the task. That is a genuine moral obligation in light of less than perfect circumstances. I want to entertain the possibility that a set of such obligations form something like a 'practical morality'; that which (...)
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  • Realism in Normative Political Theory.Enzo Rossi & Matt Sleat - 2014 - Philosophy Compass 9 (10):689-701.
    This paper provides a critical overview of the realist current in contemporary political philosophy. We define political realism on the basis of its attempt to give varying degrees of autonomy to politics as a sphere of human activity, in large part through its exploration of the sources of normativity appropriate for the political and so distinguish sharply between political realism and non-ideal theory. We then identify and discuss four key arguments advanced by political realists: from ideology, from the relationship of (...)
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  • 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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  • '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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  • 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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  • 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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  • Understanding Political Feasibility.Holly Lawford-Smith - 2013 - Journal of Political Philosophy 21 (3):243-259.
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  • Human Nature and the Limits (If Any) of Political Philosophy.David Estlund - 2011 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 39 (3):207-237.
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  • Feasibility: Individual and Collective.Zofia Stemplowska - 2016 - Social Philosophy and Policy 33 (1-2):273-291.
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  • The Feasibility Condition in Political Theory.J. Raikka - 1998 - Journal of Political Philosophy 6 (1):27-40.
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  • Feasibility and Socialism.Pablo Gilabert - 2011 - Journal of Political Philosophy 19 (1):52-63.
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  • “The Thing To Do” Implies “Can”.Nicholas Southwood - 2016 - Noûs 50 (1):61-72.
    A familiar complaint against the principle that “ought” implies “can” is that it seems that agents can intentionally make it the case that they cannot perform acts that they nonetheless ought to perform. I propose a related principle that I call the principle that “the thing to do” implies “can.” I argue that the principle that “the thing to do” implies “can” is implied by important but underappreciated truths about practical reason, and that it is not vulnerable to the familiar (...)
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  • The Feasibility Issue.Geoffrey Brennan & Philip Pettit - 2005 - In Frank Jackson & Michael Smith (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Contemporary Philosophy. Oxford University Press. pp. 258--279.
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  • Political Feasibility. A Conceptual Exploration.Pablo Gilabert & Holly Lawford-Smith - 2012 - Political Studies 60 (4):809-825.
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  • The Feasibility of Basic Socioeconomic Human Rights: A Conceptual Exploration.Pablo Gilabert - 2009 - Philosophical Quarterly 59 (237):659-681.
    To be justifiable, the demands of a conception of human rights and global justice must be such that (a) they focus on the protection of important human interests, and (b) their fulfilment is feasible. I discuss the feasibility condition. I present a general account of the relation between moral desirability, feasibility and obligation within a conception of justice. I analyse feasibility, a complex idea including different types, domains and degrees. It is possible to respond in various ways if the fulfilment (...)
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