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N. P. Adams
University of Virginia
  1. Institutional Legitimacy.N. P. Adams - 2018 - Journal of Political Philosophy:84-102.
    Political legitimacy is best understood as one type of a broader notion, which I call institutional legitimacy. An institution is legitimate in my sense when it has the right to function. The right to function correlates to a duty of non-interference. Understanding legitimacy in this way favorably contrasts with legitimacy understood in the traditional way, as the right to rule correlating to a duty of obedience. It helps unify our discourses of legitimacy across a wider range of practices, especially including (...)
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  2. Uncivil Disobedience: Political Commitment and Violence.N. P. Adams - 2018 - Res Publica 24 (4):475-491.
    Standard accounts of civil disobedience include nonviolence as a necessary condition. Here I argue that such accounts are mistaken and that civil disobedience can include violence in many aspects, primarily excepting violence directed at other persons. I base this argument on a novel understanding of civil disobedience: the special character of the practice comes from its combination of condemnation of a political practice with an expressed commitment to the political. The commitment to the political is a commitment to engaging with (...)
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  3. Grounding Procedural Rights.N. P. Adams - 2019 - Legal Theory (1):3-25.
    Contrary to the widely accepted consensus, Christopher Heath Wellman argues that there are no pre-institutional judicial procedural rights. Thus commonly affirmed rights like the right to a fair trial cannot be assumed in the literature on punishment and legal philosophy as they usually are. Wellman canvasses and rejects a variety of grounds proposed for such rights. I answer his skepticism by proposing two novel grounds for procedural rights. First, a general right against unreasonable risk of punishment grounds rights to an (...)
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  4. In Defense of Exclusionary Reasons.N. P. Adams - forthcoming - Philosophical Studies:1-19.
    Exclusionary defeat is Joseph Raz’s proposal for understanding the more complex, layered structure of practical reasoning. Exclusionary reasons are widely appealed to in legal theory and consistently arise in many other areas of philosophy. They have also been subject to a variety of challenges. I propose a new account of exclusionary reasons based on their justificatory role, rejecting Raz’s motivational account and especially contrasting exclusion with undercutting defeat. I explain the appeal and coherence of exclusionary reasons by appeal to commonsense (...)
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  5. Legitimacy and Institutional Purpose.N. P. Adams - 2020 - Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy 23 (3):292-310.
    Institutions undertake a huge variety of constitutive purposes. One of the roles of legitimacy is to protect and promote an institution’s pursuit of its purpose; state legitimacy is generally understood as the right to rule, for example. When considering legitimacy beyond the state, we have to take account of how differences in purposes change legitimacy. I focus in particular on how differences in purpose matter for the stringency of the standards that an institution must meet in order to be legitimate. (...)
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  6. The Concept of Legitimacy.N. P. Adams - manuscript
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