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Full-Text Articles in Philosophy

Exit, Voice, And Public Reason, Kevin Vallier Aug 2018

Exit, Voice, And Public Reason, Kevin Vallier

Philosophy Faculty Publications

Public reason liberals appeal to public deliberation to ensure that a legal order can be publicly justified to its citizens. I argue that this voice mechanism should be supplemented by exit mechanisms. By allowing citizens to exit legal orders they believe cannot be publicly justified, citizens can pressure states to change their laws. This exit pressure is sometimes more effective than deliberation. I explore federalism as an exit mechanism that can help public deliberation establish a publicly justified polity.


From Justice To Fairness: Does Kant's Doctrine Of Right Imply A Theory Of Distributive Justice?, Michael Nance, Jeppe Von Platz Jan 2018

From Justice To Fairness: Does Kant's Doctrine Of Right Imply A Theory Of Distributive Justice?, Michael Nance, Jeppe Von Platz

Philosophy Faculty Publications

The fact that Kant does not articulate a theory of distributive justice has not kept political philosophers from citing Kant as inspiration and support for whatever theory of distributive justice they favor - including those who argue that the notion of distributive justice is itself mistaken. This widespread reliance on Kant invites the question, "Does the Doctrine of Right imply a theory of distributive justice?"

To address this question, we discuss Paul Guyer's argument that Kant's Doctrine of Right implies, roughly, the principles of distributive justice as found in Rawls's justice as fairness. Guyer's argument is that ...


American Populism Shouldn’T Have To Embrace Ignorance, Daniel R. Denicola Nov 2017

American Populism Shouldn’T Have To Embrace Ignorance, Daniel R. Denicola

Philosophy Faculty Publications

Public ignorance is an inherent threat to democracy. It breeds superstition, prejudice, and error; and it prevents both a clear-eyed understanding of the world and the formulation of wise policies to adapt to that world.

Plato believed it was more than a threat: He thought it characterized democracies, and would lead them inevitably into anarchy and ultimately tyranny. But the liberal democracies of the modern era, grudgingly extending suffrage, have extended public education in parallel, in the hope of cultivating an informed citizenry. Yet today, given the persistence and severity of public ignorance, the ideal of an enlightened electorate seems ...


The Republic Of Ignorance, Daniel R. Denicola Feb 2016

The Republic Of Ignorance, Daniel R. Denicola

Philosophy Faculty Publications

Ignorance is trending. Despite universal compulsory education; despite new tools for learning and great advances in knowledge; despite breathtaking increases in our ability to store, access, and share a superabundance of information - ignorance flourishes. [excerpt]


The Republic Of Ignorance, Daniel R. Denicola Jan 2016

The Republic Of Ignorance, Daniel R. Denicola

Philosophy Faculty Publications

“When did ignorance become a point of view?” the cartoon character Dilbert once asked. It’s a question that has become increasingly resonant these days—especially in our public life, and especially in our political campaigns in which elected officials and those who seek election seem to assume a startling level of public ignorance. Perhaps that’s smart. [excerpt]


Digital Peacekeepers, Drone Surveillance And Information Fusion: A Philosophical Analysis Of New Peacekeeping, Lisa Portmess, Bassam Romaya Dec 2015

Digital Peacekeepers, Drone Surveillance And Information Fusion: A Philosophical Analysis Of New Peacekeeping, Lisa Portmess, Bassam Romaya

Philosophy Faculty Publications

In June 2014 an Expert Panel on Technology and Innovation in UN Peacekeeping was commissioned to examine how technology and innovation could strengthen peacekeeping missions. The panel's report argues for wider deployment of advanced technologies, including greater use of ground and airborne sensors and other technical sources of data, advanced data analytics and information fusion to assist in data integration. This article explores the emerging intelligence-led, informationist conception of UN peacekeeping against the backdrop of increasingly complex peacekeeping mandates and precarious security conditions. New peacekeeping with its heightened commitment to information as a political resource and the endorsement of ...


The Principle Of Fairness And States’ Duty To Obey International Law, David Lefkowitz Jul 2011

The Principle Of Fairness And States’ Duty To Obey International Law, David Lefkowitz

Philosophy Faculty Publications

Philosophers and political theorists have developed a number of different justifications for the duty to obey domestic law. The possibility of using one (or more) of these justifications to demonstrate that states have a duty to obey international law seems a natural starting point for an analysis of international political obligation. Amongst the accounts of the duty to obey domestic law, one that appears to have a great deal of intuitive appeal, and that has attracted a significant number of philosophical defenders, is the principle of fairness (or fair play). In this paper, I examine the possibility of using the ...


The Sources Of International Law: Some Philosophical Reflections, David Lefkowitz Jan 2010

The Sources Of International Law: Some Philosophical Reflections, David Lefkowitz

Philosophy Faculty Publications

It seems only natural to begin the study of international law with a description of its sources. After all, whether as practitioner or scholar a person cannot begin to ask or answer questions about international law until he or she has some sense of what the law is. This requires in turn a basic grasp of the processes whereby international legal norms and regimes come to exist. Thus students of international law must engage immediately with some of the most basic questions in the philosophy of law: what is law, and what is a legal order or system.

These questions ...


(Dis)Solving The Chronological Paradox In Customary International Law: A Hartian Approach, David Lefkowitz Jan 2008

(Dis)Solving The Chronological Paradox In Customary International Law: A Hartian Approach, David Lefkowitz

Philosophy Faculty Publications

As traditionally conceived, the creation of a new rule of customary international law requires that states believe the law to already require the conduct specified in the rule. Distinguishing the process whereby a customary rule comes to exist from the process whereby that customary rule becomes law dissolves this chronological paradox. Creation of a customary rule requires only that states come to believe that there exists a normative standard to which they ought to adhere, not that this standard is law. What makes the customary rule law is adherence by officials in the international legal system to a rule of ...


On The Foundation Of Rights To Political Self-Determination: Secession, Non-Intervention, And Democratic Governance, David Lefkowitz Jan 2008

On The Foundation Of Rights To Political Self-Determination: Secession, Non-Intervention, And Democratic Governance, David Lefkowitz

Philosophy Faculty Publications

From a justificatory standpoint, perhaps the most basic question with respect to secession is what, if anything, provides the moral foundation for a group’s right to secede. My aim here is to make a start to answering this question. I do so, however, by considering a different, albeit closely related, question, namely what is the nature of the wrong done to members of a qualified group denied secession by the state that currently rules them? A compelling answer to this latter question, I suggest, will contribute significantly to a satisfactory answer of the former one.


Simmons’ Critique Of Natural Duty Approaches To The Duty To Obey The Law, David Lefkowitz Oct 2007

Simmons’ Critique Of Natural Duty Approaches To The Duty To Obey The Law, David Lefkowitz

Philosophy Faculty Publications

In his most recent book on the moral duty to obey the law, A. John Simmons considers and rejects a number of natural duty approaches to justifying political authority. Among the targets of Simmons’ criticism is the account defended by the book’s co-author, Christopher Heath Wellman. In this essay, I evaluate the force of Simmons’ objections to Wellman’s account of political obligation. As will become clear below, I think Wellman’s defense of the duty to obey the law defective in certain ways—but not in all of the ways that Simmons argues it is. By rebutting some ...


A Theory Of Political Obligation: Membership, Commitment, And The Bonds Of Society By Margaret Gilbert (Book Review), David Lefkowitz Jun 2007

A Theory Of Political Obligation: Membership, Commitment, And The Bonds Of Society By Margaret Gilbert (Book Review), David Lefkowitz

Philosophy Faculty Publications

Does membership in a political society, in and of itself, involve obligations to uphold that society’s political institutions? Margaret Gilbert offers a novel argument in defense of an affirmative answer to this question, which she labels the membership problem. Given a plausible construal of the concepts obligation, political society, and membership in a political society, Gilbert argues that it follows analytically that to be a member of a political society just is to have an obligation to uphold and support that society’s political institutions. The key to Gilbert’s argument is the idea of a joint commitment; those ...


The Duty To Obey The Law, David Lefkowitz Nov 2006

The Duty To Obey The Law, David Lefkowitz

Philosophy Faculty Publications

Under what conditions, if any, do those the law addresses have a moral duty or obligation to obey it simply because it is the law? In this essay, I identify five general approaches to carrying out this task, and offer a somewhat detailed discussion of one or two examples of each approach. The approaches studied are: relational-role approaches that appeal to the fact that an agent occupies the role of member in the political community; attempts to ground the duty to obey the law in individual consent or fair play; natural duty approaches; instrumental approaches; and philosophical anarchism, an approach ...


On Moral Arguments Against A Legal Right To Unilateral Humanitarian Intervention, David Lefkowitz Apr 2006

On Moral Arguments Against A Legal Right To Unilateral Humanitarian Intervention, David Lefkowitz

Philosophy Faculty Publications

As the international response to recent events in Darfur demonstrates, the restriction of authority to intervene to the United Nations poses the greater legal barrier to intervention. From a practical perspective, then, the more pressing question may be whether international law ought to be modified to permit states, or multi-state organizations, to carry out unilateral humanitarian interventions; that is, interventions that are not authorized by the United Nations. The issue here is essentially a moral one: would the incorporation of a right to unilateral humanitarian intervention entail a moral improvement to international law – for example, a decrease in the number ...


Ethics And Sovereignty, William L. Blizek, Rory J. Conces Jan 1996

Ethics And Sovereignty, William L. Blizek, Rory J. Conces

Philosophy Faculty Publications

In the political arena, every nation is considered to be sovereign. That is, what happens within the legitimate borders of a nation, what docs not affect other nations, is to be decided by the people of that nation or the government of' that nation and no one else. If a nation wants to centralize economic decisions, that is its business. If a nation wants a free market economy, no other nation can interfere. If a nation wants to be represented by a new form of government, it has the right to change governments. And so on.

Outside or the political ...