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Full-Text Articles in Political Science

The Purpose Of America’S Public Lands, Kearstyn Cook Dec 2018

The Purpose Of America’S Public Lands, Kearstyn Cook

Honors Theses (PPE)

What is the purpose of America’s public lands? By first reviewing the rise of different conceptions of public lands over the course of American history, then discussing more modern controversies involving the Bears Ears National Monument and the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, it becomes clear that there are ultimately three possible solutions: commodification, transcendentalism / preservation, or conservationism. Ultimately, taking a philosophical approach by way of Plato’s definition of “the good life,” this thesis concludes that conservationism is the best conception of the purpose of public lands, because it accommodates for both consumptiveand non-consumptive uses. Accordingly, federal land managers ...


Rights And Retrenchment In The Trump Era, Stephen B. Burbank, Sean Farhang Oct 2018

Rights And Retrenchment In The Trump Era, Stephen B. Burbank, Sean Farhang

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Our aim in this essay is to leverage archival research, data and theoretical perspectives presented in our book, Rights and Retrenchment: The Counterrevolution against Federal Litigation, as a means to illuminate the prospects for retrenchment in the current political landscape. We follow the scheme of the book by separately considering the prospects for federal litigation retrenchment in three lawmaking sites: Congress, federal court rulemaking under the Rules Enabling Act, and the Supreme Court. Although pertinent data on current retrenchment initiatives are limited, our historical data and comparative institutional perspectives should afford a basis for informed prediction. Of course, little in ...


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.


Panoptic Schooling’S Confused Lessons: A Philosophical Investigation Of Discipline In The School, Donncha Sean Peadar Coyle May 2018

Panoptic Schooling’S Confused Lessons: A Philosophical Investigation Of Discipline In The School, Donncha Sean Peadar Coyle

Honors College

How does the school instruct us? What is it like for a student to learn in a school? The following thesis construes the school as a site for disciplinary technology purportedly oriented toward educating students. My conceptual analysis rests on the intersection between the sociohistorical practice of schooling and the lived experience of students. I contrast schooling (the organization of a primary planned environment for instruction) and education (an existential facet of growth and social connectedness) at the center of the essay. My argument has three parts. First, I examine Michel Foucault’s concept of disciplinary technology as it pertains ...


A Series Of Footnotes To Plato's Philosophers, Kevin M. Cherry Mar 2018

A Series Of Footnotes To Plato's Philosophers, Kevin M. Cherry

Political Science Faculty Publications

In her magisterial Plato's Philosophers, Catherine Zuckert presents a radically new interpretation of Plato's dialogues. In doing so, she insists we must overcome reading them through the lens of Aristotle, whose influence has obscured the true nature of Plato's philosophy. However, in her works dealing with Aristotle's political science, Zuckert indicates several advantages of his approach to understanding politics. In this article, I explore the reasons why Zuckert finds Aristotle a problematic guide to Plato's philosophy as well as what she sees as the character and benefits of Aristotle's political theory. I conclude by ...


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 ...


Aristotle On Democracy And Democracies, Kevin M. Cherry Jan 2018

Aristotle On Democracy And Democracies, Kevin M. Cherry

Political Science Faculty Publications

It is a commonplace that Aristotle, like his teacher Plato, was a critic of democracy. This is, to a certain extent, true: Plato and Aristotle both saw democracy, at least as practiced in Athens, as prone to tumultuousness and imprudence. The failed Sicilian expedition, the execution of Socrates, the failure to heed Demosthenes's warnings about Philip of Macedon and Aristotle's own reported flight from Athens all highlighted the weaknesses of Athenian democratic institutions. Yet Aristotle's understanding of political science requires him to consider not only what the simply best regime might be, as Socrates purports to do ...


Totems, Fetishes, And Enchanted Modernity: Hegelian Marxism Confronts Idolatry, Mark Worrell, Dan Krier Jan 2018

Totems, Fetishes, And Enchanted Modernity: Hegelian Marxism Confronts Idolatry, Mark Worrell, Dan Krier

Sociology Publications

Translation is an odd business. In the Preface to the Phenomenology Hegel has a wonderful characterization of Understanding as being metaphorically akin to a table of contents compared to the rest of the book: i.e., skeletal and reliant for meaning and substance upon something external to itself:

Wenn die Bestimmtheit auch eine solche, wie zum Beispiel Magnetismus, eine an sich konkrete oder wirkliche ist, so ist sie doch zu etwas Totem herabgesunken, da sie von einem andern Dasein nur prädiziert und nicht als immanentes Leben dieses Daseins, oder wie sie in diesem ihre einheimische und eigentümliche Selbsterzeugung und Darstellung ...


Thomas Hobbes On The Aristocracy Of Passion, Geoffrey M. Vaughan Jan 2018

Thomas Hobbes On The Aristocracy Of Passion, Geoffrey M. Vaughan

Political Science Department Faculty Works

No abstract provided.


Our Principled Constitution, Mitchell N. Berman Jan 2018

Our Principled Constitution, Mitchell N. Berman

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Suppose that one of us contends, and the other denies, that transgender persons have constitutional rights to be treated in accord with their gender identity. It appears that we are disagreeing about “what the law is.” And, most probably, we disagree about what the law is on this matter because we disagree about what generally makes it the case that our constitutional law is this rather than that.

Constitutional theory should provide guidance. It should endeavor to explain what gives our constitutional rules the contents that they have, or what makes true constitutional propositions true. Call any such account a ...