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Philosophy

Philosophy: Faculty Publications and Other Works

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How Secular Should Democracy Be? A Cross-Disciplinary Study Of Catholicism And Islam In Promoting Public Reason, David Ingram, David Ingram Oct 2014

How Secular Should Democracy Be? A Cross-Disciplinary Study Of Catholicism And Islam In Promoting Public Reason, David Ingram, David Ingram

Philosophy: Faculty Publications and Other Works

I argue that the same factors (strategic and principled) that motivated Catholicism to champion liberal democracy are the same that motivate 21st Century Islam to do the same. I defend this claim by linking political liberalism to democratic secularism. Distinguishing institutional, political, and epistemic dimensions of democratic secularism, I show that moderate forms of political and epistemic secularism are most conducive to fostering the kind of public reasoning essential to democratic legitimacy. This demonstration draws upon the ambivalent impact of Indonesia’s Islamic parties in advancing universal social justice aims as against more sectarian policies.


The Structural Injustice Of Forced Migration And The Failings Of Normative Theory, David Ingram Jan 2012

The Structural Injustice Of Forced Migration And The Failings Of Normative Theory, David Ingram

Philosophy: Faculty Publications and Other Works

I propose to criticize two strands of argument - contractarian and utilitarian – that liberals have put forth in defense of economic coercion, based on the notion of justifiable paternalism. To illustrate my argument, I appeal to the example of forced labor migration, driven by the exigencies of market forces. In particular, I argue that the forced migration of a special subset of unemployed workers lacking other means of subsistence (economic refugees) cannot be redeemed paternalistically as freedom or welfare enhancing in the long run. I further argue that contractarian and utilitarian approaches are normatively incapable of appreciating this fact because the ...


Of Sweatshops And Human Subsistence: Habermas On Human Rights, David Ingram Jan 2009

Of Sweatshops And Human Subsistence: Habermas On Human Rights, David Ingram

Philosophy: Faculty Publications and Other Works

In this paper I argue that the discourse theoretic account of human rights defended by Jürgen Habermas contains a fruitful tension that is obscured by its dominant tendency to identify rights with legal claims. This weakness in Habermas’s account becomes manifest when we examine how sweatshops diminish the secure enjoyment of subsistence, which Habermas himself (in recognition of the UDHR) recognizes as a human right. Discourse theories of human rights are unique in tying the legitimacy of human rights to democratic deliberation and consensus. So construed, their specific meaning and force is the outcome of historical political struggle. However ...