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What, if anything, is the import of Hayek to epistemic democracy? Although Hayek is revered by epistemic democrats for his insights into the epistemic aspects of the market sphere, it is generally believed that his theory is moot with respect to democratic reason. This paper aims to challenge this verdict. I argue that a Hayekian analysis of inclusive public deliberation contributes at least three valuable lessons: (1) Hayek makes the case that under certain conditions even unbiased deliberators are permanently unable to converge on the best available policy option. Call this the problem of ‘persistent hidden policy champions’. (2) He demonstrates that to unlock hidden policy champions, reasonable minority factions need the opportunity to act on their own evidential standards. (3) He challenges epistemic democrats to think more carefully about how to design the “epistemic basic structure” (Kurtulmus and Irzik 2017) of society in order to account for persistent hidden policy champions.
The introduction to this volume captures virtue's dizzying variety by explaining its roots in classical ethics, transformation through theological appropriation, and engagement with global wisdom traditions. We propose that the work of Shakespeare patches together virtue's many realizations, active both on the horizontal axis of Aristotelian capacity and dynamism and the vertical axis of Judeo-Christian valuation. Threading together exemplary passages from Shakespeare and previews of the volume's contributions, the introduction proposes that Shakespeare creates virtue ecologies -- worlds that allow for person-affirming capacities to be tested and flourish. Alive to virtue's textual and performative dimensions, we establish a vocabulary and background for the essays that follow.
If Aristotle understood virtue (aretē) to refer to the realization of a potential capacity or telos, then how might we understand the world to reach its virtuous potential? What might it mean to view our own global present as not an apex but as a passing stage within a broader process of worlding? Understanding the world as a live entity that perpetually worlds its way into new actualizations -- manifesting the dynamic capacities, potential, and striving of “virtue” -- this chapter turns to Shakespeare as a source for alternative models of world that awaken us to its inherent potentiality. For example, in As You Like It, the condition of exile unlocks a paradigm of seeing otherwise -- and often optimistically -- that runs throughout the play, enabling characters to form new bonds that serve as the basis for individual and communal flourishing. I examine the extent to which the play’s new community of relationships makes a place for nonhuman animals as well as for the pessimism and self-exile of Jaques. Such models enable us to not only see around and beyond the realities of our globalized world but also to perceive alternative formulations of world as already present and alive in the world we live in.
John Rawls has held up as a model of public reason the U.S. Supreme Court. I argue that the Dobbs Court is justifiably criticized for failing to respect public reason. First, the entire opinion is governed by an originalist ideological logic almost entirely incongruent with public reason in a liberal, pluralistic, democratic society. Second, Alito’s emphasis on “ordered liberty” seems completely at odds with the “disordered liberty” regarding abortion already evident among the states. Third, describing the embryo/fetus from conception until birth as an “unborn human being” begs the question of the legal status of the embryo/fetus, as if an obiter dictum settled the matter. Fourth, Alito accuses the Roe court of failing to exercise judicial restraint, although Alito argued to overturn Roe in its entirety. In brief, the Dobbs opinion is an illiberal, disingenuous, ideological swamp that swallows up public reason and the reproductive rights of women.
There are two discursive frameworks concerning ideology in Australian industrial relations. In many disciplines concerned with aspects of industrial relations, including political science, law and history, it is the traditional political ideologies of the industrial era which take centre stage: liberalism (classical, social and neoliberalism), socialism (Marxism, social democracy and labourism) and conservatism. By contrast, ideological issues in the discipline of employment relations are chiefly addressed in terms of Fox’s three analytical perspectives: unitarism, pluralism and radicalism. The disjunction between these parallel discourses goes largely unnoted in the literature of the relevant disciplines, which all tend to proceed using their own preferred approach without making reference to the other. This article critically explores the relationship between these two discourses and investigates the broader implications that the existence of the two different discursive traditions has for the analysis of industrial relations phenomena in Australia.
Political theorists argue that justice requires treating people's time as having equal worth. In this article, I contend that justice sometimes requires making exceptions to uniform time rules. The article focuses on New York State's regulations for nonpublic schools and how they affect Haredi (ultra-Orthodox) Jewish day schools, or yeshivas. Dissatisfied yeshiva graduates, the state education department, and several liberal political theorists assert that the state should pressure yeshivas to dedicate more time to secular studies. Reconstructing Horace Kallen's argument against the melting pot conception of citizenship and for cultural pluralism, I maintain that liberal states should be generous toward non-liberal ways of life on condition that they do not systematically abuse children or pose a danger to public safety. A liberal education landscape may sustain many kinds of schooling, including ones that outsiders think waste time.
This chapter examines jeopardy objections, according to which intervention in nature should be prevented insofar as it will threaten other, more important values. Depending on the theory endorsed, these values vary, including the preservation of ecosystems or species (holism), living entities such as plants and other non-sentient organisms (biocentrism), or the “natural” and “the wilderness.” It argues that both holistic and biocentric views either rely on an irrational preference for the status quo or they build their case on implausible axiological assumptions that lead to unacceptable consequences for human interests. Finally, the so-called “natural,” understood as the result of evolution or as the natural wilderness, is revealed, at most, as possessing a kind of value that can be easily outweighed by that of nonhuman well-being. Appeals to the natural cannot in any case ground an opposition to helping wild animals across the board.
Federation was promoted as an ideal before and between the two world wars, in both colonial independence movements and internationalist thought. It also became a term for promoting reforms to imperial governance, referring sometimes to greater political and economic integration and at other times to devolution or self-rule. Writers around the world responded to these developments directly, in specific political and constitutional discussions, and through indirect engagement with federalism’s rhetorical, conceptual, historical, and affective structures. Modernists such as Gertrude Stein, W. H. Auden, Virginia Woolf, and William Faulkner exemplify the range of white metropolitan writers’ playful, earnest, and creative engagements with federal themes during the interwar period. Paradigmatic of a so-called ‘federal moment’ amidst global decolonisation movements during the post-war period, Salman Rushdie’s Midnight’s Children illustrates federalism’s contested status as both a legacy of colonial rule and a potential mechanism for imagining postcolonial futures.
Several concerns stand to lead policing away from its mandate to protect the full range of citizens in a pluralist democracy. Among them are special interests, coarse majoritarian rule, and populism. Given that policing involves the discretionary allocation of power and resources in a strategic sense, and that the enforcement of a wide range of laws is subject to police discretion in individual encounters, each of these concerns can turn policing toward illiberal ends when they exert undue influence. In this sense, the discretionary nature of police power is most typically turned toward injustice in the pursuit of sectarian or populist goals that may have a veneer of democratic process, but are insufficient to justify the ensuing disparities of privilege, protection, or access to public space. The duty of the police to resist this impulse and only act upon reasons that treat citizens as substantive equals (i.e., by employing Rawlsian public reason) is a critical way to mitigate this hazard. The chapter closes by recounting the failed but valiant struggle of police to prevent populist rioters from seizing the US Capitol on January 6, 2021 as an example of the duty of the police to safeguard democracy from virulent populist interests.
This chapter argues that policing can be justified at its various levels (e.g., strategic, transactional) utilizing the requirement of Rawlsian public reason, wherein the reasons supplied for coercive government decisions that take up basic matters of justice must be ones that all citizens can access and evaluate from positions of equality. It uses the highly publicized arrest of two Black men for trespassing at a café in Philadelphia to illustrate the concern that procedural justice without public reason can yield troubling outcomes, especially when our intuitions tell us the reasons motivating the procedural transaction do not apply equally to all citizens (e.g., concerns of trespass in a café in a wealthy neighborhood would not apply equally to all citizens based on race, no matter how scrupulously the police employed Tyler’s procedural justice in response to the trespass allegations). While a public reason approach to police justification is a process that would not rule out the subjective judgments police make in complex and evolving situations, it would provide an adequate basis for evaluating overall resource allocations, and more importantly set a high expectation of reason giving grounded in equality as police make lower-level discretionary judgments.
The policeman was beset by the same profound questions of moral philosophy as any other member of mankind.
– William K. Muir, Police: Streetcorner Politicians, 1977
Moral Issues in Police Work, published in 1985, opens with this observation:
The police are among the most powerful agents of the state. They can disrupt the daily routines of citizens more than any other public official by deciding who shall be stopped, who shall be detained, who shall be arrested, and who shall go free. Not even the President of the United States has their immediate and direct power over life and death. Yet despite their awesome capacities, until recently they have been studied little by social scientists or philosophers.
(Elliston & Feldberg, 1985, p. 1)
There has since been much progress, at least where social science is concerned. There have been many systematic studies of police behavior and its effects. Criminal justice and criminology have grown into popular, although often vocational, fields of inquiry. Legal scholarship on the intersection between policing and the American justice system thrives. The ethics of policing has also seen considerable growth as a result of fruitful research by John Kleinig, Seamus Miller, and John Blackler, among others. John Kleinig’s (1996) work consists of sustained and nuanced thought about issues such as discretion, deception, coercion, and the institutional culture of policing’s ethical challenges. Seamus Miller (2016) takes up the police use of deadly force at length, and along with former police officer John Blackler (2017) has examined the role of the police and its practical implications as an exercise in applied philosophy. At present, the cutting edge of the philosophical tradition is represented by Luke Hunt’s 2018 book, The Retrieval of Liberalism in Policing. It looks at policing through the lenses of dignity and a liberal conception of personhood, seeking to ground the issues that concern Kleinig and Miller in the concepts of political philosophy. Hunt offered his work in response to what he perceives as a receding of liberalism in policing, and perhaps society at large, over the last several decades (2018, pp. 1–2).
As we wrestle with the role and limits of policing, a political philosopher who spent over two decades as a New York City police officer and Vermont chief of police presents a normative account of what it means to police a pluralist democracy. Invoking his vast experience, Brandon del Pozo argues that we all have the prerogative to use force to protect others, but police embody the government's unique duty to do so effectively and with restraint. He recasts order maintenance as brokering and enforcing the fair terms of social cooperation in our public spaces, for the protection of minority interests, and for a society where diverse conceptions of the good can flourish. The reasons why we police, he says, must be ones that all citizens can evaluate as equals. His book explains the democratic commitments of policing, and lays the groundwork for meaningful police innovation and reform.
According to A. John Simmons's anarchist scepticism, there is no duty to obey the law as things stand, as legal obligations have legitimacy only when voluntarily incurred by most or many citizens. However, an alternative, pluralist position is suggested by Simmons's sensitivity to the diversity of reasons and to the possibility of unresolved conflict. It shows that the grounds of legitimate authority are plural, and include distributive justice. Also, even voluntarily incurred obligations can be defeated by conflicting reasons, as when we are duty bound to an unjust regime.
This chapter explores the place of compromise in transitional justice. While all-pervasive in politics, compromise is a neglected topic, almost a non-topic, within the current transitional justice literature. The chapter is an attempt to reverse this tendency and rehabilitate the notion of compromise. If, as pluralists hold, we are often faced with cases of hard moral choices where, whatever we do, something of value is irreparably lost, then the best we can hope for is some kind of acceptable compromise between clashing goods. The question about the limits of compromise thus features centrally in this chapter. How far should transitional societies go in their willingness to compromise? When is a compromise acceptable, fair, guided by principle, and when is it rotten to the core, simply illegitimate? To what extent is it acceptable to compromise deeply held values such as justice and truth for the sake of other equally important values such as, say, civil peace and democracy? While doubtful that we can settle such issues once and for all, the chapter identifies a range of questions that should be part of the collective conversation about when a political compromise is acceptable and when it is not. The discussion begins, however, with a concrete historical figure, the communist leader Joe Slovo, who played a critical role in South Africa’s negotiated transition from apartheid to democracy. Slovo’s reflections on the nature and limits of compromise in the South African context serve as a central reference point for my discussion throughout this chapter.
The modern human rights movement arose during a moment of unprecedented encounter between global religions in the mid-twentieth century. Yet attempts to parse the historical relationship between human rights and religious thought have almost exclusively taken the form of case studies of individual religious traditions. This focus on intellectual genealogies obscures the fact that much of human rights doctrine emerged from interreligious contacts and conflicts between Judaism and Christianity, particularly in the context of the decolonizing Middle East. This article retraces this interreligious encounter through the writings of Amnesty International founder Peter Benenson, diplomat and theologian Charles Malik, and rabbi and activist Maurice Perlzweig. Together they represent three different theopolitical responses to the problem of religious pluralism after global empire: minoritarian human rights, majoritarian human rights, and cosmopolitan human rights. Recovering these interrelated human rights conceptions exposes the frames of religious difference embedded in the modern Western human rights imagination.
This introductory chapter identifies the key questions, themes and debates addressed within the Handbook on Natural Law and Human Rights, and provides a conceptual overview of and integrated perspective on its contents. In particular, it argues that there is a perennial relationship between human rights and the phenomenon of natural law, which is revealed when we consider how human rights claims can justify the moral demands made on other agents and on the political community. Without prior moral duties – a natural law – human rights claims are impugned by the ‘individualist fallacy’, whereby the potential value of the right to the claimant is presumed sufficient to impose overriding duties, without due consideration being paid to the constitutive social commitments necessary to make that value a matter of common concern and action. The failure to come to grips with this problem, we argue, has led to certain blindspots in contemporary human rights theory and practice. This chapter draws to a close by identifying the key benefits we see accruing from a natural law theory of human rights.
What do we mean when we say that something is real? What ought we to mean? I offer the following definition, in the interest of making an operational notion of reality: an entity is real to the extent that there are operationally coherent activities that can be performed by relying significantly on its existence and its properties. Reality (in the sense of real-ness) conceived in this way is a matter of degrees, and it is domain-dependent. Real entities (or, realities) are mind-framed, and crafting better realities is an achievement of conceptual engineering. When we take ontology in the context of practices, ontological pluralism no longer appears absurd: there are different sets of realities operative in different systems of practice. I illustrate these points with a range of examples drawn from the history of the physical sciences. The traditional picture of physical objects constituted as mereological sums of immutable building-blocks is unwarranted and creates undue hindrance to practice-based ontology.
Scientific realism is usually taken as a thesis that science states the truth about the world. In contrast, I conceive realism in and about science as a commitment to maximize our learning about realities. This is an operational and realistic ideal because realities are mind-framed entities, and we can learn empirical truths about them by devising operationally coherent activities involving them. My brand of realism is akin to Putnam’s internal realism, and perspectival realism. The mode of inquiry motivated by realism as I see it is iterative, because inquiry must start from some inherited basis. And it is pluralist in the sense of recommending that inquiry should explore multiple directions with no in-principle restrictions. While my conception of realism is modest in some clear ways, it is also ambitious, in that it follows an imperative of progress: always seek to increase and improve knowledge maximally. For this reason I designate my position as ‘activist realism’.
There are many different things we mean when we say that something is true. What is the relevant sense of truth operative in actual practices, and in the actual judgements that we make concerning the epistemic quality of propositions? It is helpful to start with a distinction between secondary truth (which is grounded in the truth of other propositions), and primary truth (which is not). Concerning the meaning of primary truth in empirical domains, I propose the following definition: a proposition is true to the extent that there are operationally coherent activities that can be performed by relying on it. This ‘truth-by-operational-coherence’ is not a matter of binary yes-or-no, but a quality with many dimensions. It also provides secure underpinnings for epistemic pluralism: mutually incommensurable systems of practice can each contain a set of propositions that are true-by-operational-coherence. Through this notion of truth we can also rehabilitate James’s pragmatist theory of truth.
This article explores the theoretical challenges for normatively progressive foreign policy following the rise of populist nationalism during the 2010s, using analytical concepts from the English School. It argues that populist nationalism exposes a problem of internal dissensus on the future trajectories of solidarist international society, within the Western states that have traditionally been its principal supporters. The ‘populist moment’ reveals problems of disconnection between domestic publics, the practices, and institutions of contemporary international society, and state actions that are premised in part on ethical regard for non-citizens. The article contends that, as an interface point between rooted communities and global ethical concerns, progressive foreign policy approaches have an important role to play in ameliorating these disconnections. However, these approaches must look beyond a simple ‘re-booting’ of liberal internationalism, focussing instead on building a path towards solidarist international society that is rooted in everyday-lived experiences, communities, and identities within the state. Building upon theorizations of good international citizenship, the article advances an alternative framework of good global statehood, which draws upon a coproduction methodology as a means of creating progressive foreign policies that are better attuned to pluralism and diversity across, but also within state borders.