It is widely believed that bringing parties with differing opinions together to discuss their differences will help both in securing consensus and also in ensuring that this consensus closely approximates the truth. This paper investigates this presumption using two mathematical and computer simulation models. Ultimately, these models show that increased contact can be useful in securing both consensus and truth, but it is not always beneficial in this way. This suggests one should not, without qualification, support policies which increase interpersonal contact if one seeks to improve the epistemic performance of groups.
One objection to the principle of public reason is that since there is room for reasonable disagreement about distributive justice as well as about human flourishing, the requirement of reasonable acceptability rules out redistribution as well as perfectionism. In response, some justificatory liberals have invoked the argument from higher-order unanimity, or nested inclusiveness. If it is not reasonable to reject having some system of property rights, and if redistribution is just the enforcement of a different set of property rights, redistribution is legitimate if chosen democratically. This article explores two problems with this response. First, there are different ways to describe the set of possible policies, and so different ways to specify the noncoercive default that obtains in the absence of conclusive justification. Second, if the coercive exercise of political power must be conclusively justified, policies that are more coercive ought to require conclusive justification as against policies that are less coercive. These problems about the baseline with respect to which we require public justification raise the question of how we measure coercion, and whether or in what sense there is a presumption against coercion. The article distinguishes and argues against three such presumptions.
Motivation crowding out can lead to a reduction of 'higher' virtues, such as altruism or public spirit, in market contexts. This article discusses the role of virtue in the moral and economic theory of Adam Smith. It argues that because Smith's account of commercial society is based on 'lower' virtue, 'higher' virtue has a precarious place in it; this phenomenon is structurally similar to motivation crowding out. The article analyzes and systematizes the ways in which Smith builds on 'contrivances of nature' in order to solve the problems of limited self-command and limited knowledge. As recent research has shown, a clear separation of different social spheres can help to reduce the risk of motivation crowding out and preserve a place for 'higher virtue' in commercial society. The conclusion reflects on the performative power of economics, arguing that the one-sided focus on models of 'economic man' should be embedded in a larger context.
Since at least as long ago as Plato's time, philosophers have considered the possibility that justice is at bottom a system of rules that members of society follow for mutual advantage. Some maintain that justice as mutual advantage is a fatally flawed theory of justice because it is too exclusive. Proponents of a Vulnerability Objection argue that justice as mutual advantage would deny the most vulnerable members of society any of the protections and other benefits of justice. I argue that the Vulnerability Objection presupposes that in a justice-as-mutual-advantage society only those who can and do contribute to the cooperative surplus of benefits that compliance with justice creates are owed any share of these benefits. I argue that justice as mutual advantage need not include such a Contribution Requirement. I show by example that a justice-as-mutual-advantage society can extend the benefits of justice to all its members, including the vulnerable who cannot contribute. I close by arguing that if one does not presuppose a Contribution Requirement, then a justice-as-mutual-advantage society might require its members to extend the benefits of justice to humans that some maintain are not persons (for example, embryos) and to certain nonhuman creatures. I conclude that the real problem for defenders of justice as mutual advantage is that this theory of justice threatens to be too inclusive.
This article examines several families of population principles in the light of a set of axioms. In addition to the critical-level utilitarian, number-sensitive critical-level utilitarian, and number-dampened utilitarian families and their generalized counterparts, we consider the restricted number-dampened family and introduce two new ones: the restricted critical-level and restricted number-dependent critical-level families. Subsets of the restricted families have non-negative critical levels, avoid the `repugnant conclusion' and satisfy the axiom priority for lives worth living, but violate an important independence condition.
Neutralists have argued that there is something illiberal about linking access to gift-like resources to work requirements. The central liberal motivation for basic income is to provide greater freedom to choose between different ways of life, including options attaching great importance to non-market activities and disposable time. As argued by Philippe Van Parijs, even those spending their days surfing should be fed. This article examines Van Parijs' dual commitment to a 'real libertarian' justification of basic income and the public enforcement of a strong work ethos, which serves to boost the volume of work at a given rate of taxation. It is argued (contra Van Parijs) that this alliance faces the neutrality objection: the work ethos will largely offset the liberal gains of unconditionality by radically restricting the set of permissible options available. A relaxed, non-obligatory ethos might avoid this implication. This view, however, is vulnerable to the structural exploitation objection: feasibility is achieved only because some choose to do necessary tasks to which most people have the same aversion. In light of these objections, the article examines whether there is a morally untainted feasibility path consistent with liberal objectives.
The present article explores 'anti-cosmopolitan' arguments that shared institutions above the state, such as there are, are not of a kind that support or give rise to distributive claims beyond securing minimum needs. The upshot is to rebut certain of these 'anti-cosmopolitan' arguments. Section I asks under which conditions institutions are subject to distributive justice norms. That is, which sound reasons support claims to a relative share of the benefits of institutions that exist and apply to individuals? Such norms may require strict equality, Rawls' Difference Principle, or other constraints on inequality. Section 2 considers, and rejects, several arguments why existing international institutions are not thought to meet these conditions.
In this article, I argue that the reading of Mill that D.G. Brown presents in 'Mill's Moral Theory: Ongoing Revisionism' is inconsistent with several key passages in Mill's writings. I also show that a rule-utilitarian interpretation that is very close to the one developed by David Lyons is able to account for these passages without difficulty.
Are the rights, duties, and virtues of citizenship grounded exclusively in considerations of justice, or do some or all of them have other sources? This question is addressed by distinguishing three different accounts of the justification of these rights, duties, and virtues, namely, the justice account, the common-good account, and the equal-membership account. The common-good account is rejected on the grounds that it provides an implausible way of understanding what it is to act as a citizen. It is then argued that the justice account and the equal-membership account provide complementary perspectives that differ in terms of the scope of the duties they ground: the latter offers an analysis of the duties that citizens proper (those with an unconditional right of residence and full political rights) owe to each other, whereas the former provides an analysis of the duties that those who are under the jurisdiction of the same state, whether fellow citizens or not, owe to each other. The article concludes by arguing that the distinction between the justice account and the equal-membership account cuts across the traditional one that is drawn between liberal and republican theories of citizenship.
Republican freedom is freedom from domination juxtaposed to negative freedom as freedom from interference. Proponents argue that republican freedom is superior since it highlights that individuals lose freedoms even when they are not subject to interference, and claim republican freedom is more ‘resilient'. Republican freedom is trivalent, that is, it includes the idea that someone might be non-free to perform some actions rather than unfree, and in that sense everyone regards republican freedom as different from negative freedom. Trivalence makes republican freedom moralized according to negative libertarians. Beyond that, negative libertarians argue that all the supposed advantages of republican freedom are compatible with those of pure negative-freedom measures. That is, losses and gains of republican freedom are captured in measures of pure negative freedom, and any protection for republican freedom also protects negative freedom, ensuring each is equally resilient. Since republican freedom has no advantages over negative freedom, but has other problems (is moralized and is trivalent), negative freedom is superior. I examine this debate in this article through the ‘coalition problem’ for republican freedom. The coalition problem is that since there is always a coalition of others who could dominate any agent in any sphere, all agents are subject to domination, and hence no one can ever have republican freedom. Pettit's simple solution to this reductio ad absurdum distinguishes potential from actual coalitions. Individuals are only dominated by actual coalitions, and not by potential ones. The simple solution highlights moralization problems as it demonstrates that domination cannot be purely institutionally defined, but requires consideration of dispositions and expectations about others’ behaviour. I argue that the differences between the ‘free man’ and ‘unfree person’ paradigmatic to republican arguments is best captured not by the difference between domination and interference, but, rather, from familiar distinctions between different types of rights and freedoms. Resilience is a practical matter that might track some of these familiar distinctions.
It is a central political goal to secure disabled individuals the same opportunities as others to pursue their conception of a good life. This goal reflects an ambition to combine an egalitarian and a liberal moral intuition. In this article, we analyse how disabled individuals who take part in economic activity should be compensated in order to respect these two intuitions. The article asks how a system of disability compensation should be structured and what the level of such compensation should be. It also analyses how the answers to these questions depend on whether the disabled individuals are held responsible for their choice of work effort.
This article presents a generalization of the Condorcet Jury Theorem. All results to date assume a fixed value for the competence of jurors, or alternatively, a fixed probability distribution over the possible competences of jurors. In this article, we develop the idea that we can learn the competence of the jurors by the jury vote. We assume a uniform prior probability assignment over the competence parameter, and we adapt this assignment in the light of the jury vote. We then compute the posterior probability, conditional on the jury vote, of the hypothesis voted over. We thereby retain the central results of Condorcet, but we also show that the posterior probability depends on the size of the jury as well as on the absolute margin of the majority.
How much inequality does market interaction generate? The answer to this question partly depends on the level of competition among economic agents. Yet, in their normative analysis of the market, theories of distributive justice focus on individual characteristics such as talents as determinants of income, and tend to ignore structural features such as competition. Economists, on the other hand, dispose of the conceptual tools to assess the distributive impact of competition, but their analysis is usually limited to allocative efficiency. Part I of the article distinguishes my argument from conventional perspectives on income inequality and redistribution. Whereas the latter propose either to redistribute income once the market interaction has taken place or to adjust the initial holdings of market participants, I focus on the distributive impact of the institutional structure of the market itself. Part II outlines the ways in which various forms of competition affect distribution. My objective here is descriptive in nature, but shows that a normative evaluation of the market has to take seriously the distributive impact of competition. This impact can be broken down into the analysis of three overlapping groups of economic agents, namely consumers, workers, and capital owners. Consumers potentially gain from competition in the form of lower prices, but these gains are only realized if competition does not put pressure on their work income at the same time. Unless competition squeezes profits unusually hard, capital owners tend to benefit from competition.
This article considers the implications of complex systems models for the study of economics and the evaluation of public policies. I argue that complexity can enhance current approaches to formal economic analysis, but does so in ways that complement current approaches. I further argue that while complexity can influence how public policy analysis is conducted, it does not delimit the use of consequentialist approaches to policy comparison to the degree initially suggested by Hayek and most recently defended by Gaus.
The task of designing effective economic and political institutions requires substantial foresight. The designer must anticipate not only the behavior of individual actors, but also how that behavior will aggregate. Rising complexity brought about by increases in speeds of adaptation, diversity, connectedness, and interdependence make institutional design all the more challenging. Given the focus on equilibria, the extant literature on mechanism design might appear incapable of coping with this complexity. Yet, I suggest that a deeper engagement with the origins of the mechanism-design framework reveals insights that may help us design robust, adaptive institutions that can harness complexity.
This article addresses several issues raised by Nichols, Gintis, and Skyrms and Zollman in their comments on my book, The Grammar of Society: The Nature and Dynamics of Social Norms. In particular, I explore the relation between social and personal norms, what an adequate game-theoretic representation of norms should be, and what models of norms emergence should tell us about the formation of normative expectations.
In this article, we aim to illustrate evolutionary explanations for the emergence of framing effects, discussed in detail in Cristina Bicchieri's The Grammar of Society. We show how framing effects might evolve which coalesce two economically distinct interactions into a single one, leading to apparently irrational behavior in each individual interaction. Here we consider the now well-known example of the ultimatum game, and show how this 'irrational' behavior might result from a single norm which governs behavior in multiple games. We also show how framing effects might result in radically different play in strategically identical situations. We consider the Hawk-Dove game (the game of chicken) and also the Nash bargaining game. Here arbitrary tags or signals might result in one party doing better than another.
If one wishes to give individuals what they deserve, one must find some way of appraising those characteristics that render them deserving. In modern democratic societies, it seems attractive to base this appraisal on an aggregation of the valuations individuals hold of the desert bases under consideration. Some have argued that the market can provide such an appraisal. However, I argue that the market does not provide a satisfactory democratic appraisal that is relevant for desert, as it allows for the existence of net consumer surplus. Nevertheless, I submit that a procedure that does not leave any net consumer surplus would succeed where the market fails. Taking the average valuation of the individuals in society for a given desert base would meet this requirement. Hence, I claim that such a procedure can provide the satisfactory democratic appraisal that the market cannot, and can be used to give individuals what they deserve.
Does rational bargaining yield a social contract that is efficient and so inclusive? A core allocation, that is, an allocation that gives each coalition at least as much as it can get on its own, is efficient. However, some coalitional games lack a core allocation, so rationality does not require one in those games. Does rationality therefore permit exclusion from the social contract? I replace realization of a core allocation with another type of equilibrium achievable in every coalitional game. Fully rational agents coordinate the pursuit of incentives so that equilibria of this type are efficient. They adopt a social contract that is efficient and inclusive.
It is commonly thought that when democratic states act wrongly, they should bear the costs of the harm they cause. However, since states are collective agents, their financial burdens pass on to their individual citizens. This fact raises important questions about the proper distribution of the state's collective responsibility for its unjust policies. This article identifies two opposing models for sharing this collective responsibility in democracies: first, in proportion to citizens’ personal association with the unjust policy; second, by giving each citizen an equal share of the costs. Proportional distribution is compatible with the principle of fairness. And yet, both in the literature and in political praxis we find many supporters for the equal sharing of the costs of unjust policies in democracies. How can equal distribution be defended on normative grounds? This article develops a defense that is grounded in citizens’ associative obligations. I argue that, at least in some democracies, one of the intrinsic values of the civic bond revolves around the joint formation and execution of worthy political goals. This social good generates the political associative obligation to accept an equal distribution of the costs of unjust policies.
In replying to Steven Wall's and Andrew Lister's thoughtful essays on my account of justificatory liberalism in this issue, I respond to many of their specific criticisms while taking the opportunity to explicate the foundations of justificatory liberalism. Justificatory liberalism takes seriously the moral requirement to justify all claims of authority over others, as well as all coercive interferences with their Uves. If we do so, although we are by no means committed to libertarianism, we find that that many of our cherished values, moral intuitions, and political aspirations no longer ground the range of authority over others many of us would claim. In this sense, justificatory liberalism is a theory of limited authority and limited government - which is what a genuinely liberal theory must be.
The later Rawls attempts to offer a non-comprehensive, but nonetheless moral justification in political philosophy. Many critics of political liberalism doubt that this is successful, but Rawlsians often complain that such criticisms rely on the unwarranted assumption that one cannot offer a moral justification other than by taking a philosophically comprehensive route. In this article, I internally criticize the justification strategy employed by the later Rawls. I show that he cannot offer us good grounds for the rational hope that citizens will assign political values priority over non-political values in cases of conflict about political matters. I also suggest an alternative approach to justification in political philosophy (that is, a weak realist, Williams-inspired account) that better respects the later Rawls's concern with non-comprehensiveness and pluralism than either his own view or more comprehensive approaches. Thus, if we take reasonable pluralism seriously, then we should adopt what Shklar aptly called ‘liberalism of fear'.
We seek to establish a dialogue between democratic and Islamic normative political theories. To that aim, we show that the conception of democracy underlying a prominent Islamic political model is procedural. We distinguish proceduralism from a liberal conception of democracy. Then, we explain how bringing together Islamic political theory and democracy alters the meaning of the latter. In other words, we show that democracy within Islam often means democracy within Islamic limits.
Utilitarians, maximinners, prioritarians, and sufficientarians each provide examples of situations demonstrating, often apparently compellingly, that a sensible ethical observer must adopt their view and reject the others. I argue, to the contrary, that an attractive ethic is eclectic or pluralistic, in the sense of coinciding with these apparently different views in different regions of the space of social states. I reject the view that an appealing ethic can be universally maximin, prioritarian, or utilitarian.
In The Grammar of Society, Bicchieri maintains that behavior in the Ultimatum game (and related economic games) depends on people's allegiance to 'social norms'. In this article, I follow Bicchieri in maintaining that an adequate account of people's behavior in such games must make appeal to norms, including a norm of equal division; I depart from Bicchieri in maintaining that at least part of the population desires to follow such norms even when they do not expect others to follow them. This generates a puzzle, however: why do norms of equal division have such cultural resilience? One possibility is that our natural emotional propensity for envy makes norms of equal division emotionally appealing. An alternative (but complementary) possibility is that deviations from a norm of equal division would naturally be interpreted as threats to status, which would facilitate the moralization of such norms.
This article compares the ‘enfranchisement lottery', a novel method for allocating the right to vote, with universal suffrage. The comparison is conducted exclusively on the basis of the expected consequences of the two systems. Each scheme seems to have a relative advantage. On the one hand, the enfranchisement lottery would create a better informed electorate and thus improve the quality of electoral outcomes. On the other hand, universal suffrage is more likely to ensure that elections are seen to be fair, which is important for political stability. This article concludes that, on balance, universal suffrage is prima facie superior to the enfranchisement lottery. Yet the analysis shows that the instrumental case for the ‘one person, one vote’ principle is less conclusive than democratic theorists usually suppose.
This article characterizes politics, philosophy, and economics (PPE) as a substantive research programme as a flexible and analytic debate on the relations between the individual and society that incorporates both positive and normative analyses. This, in contrast to a view of PPE as a series of interdisciplinary or multidisciplinary topics. To this end, I sketch the general shape of the research programme, it boundaries and its features, before offering a slightly more detailed account of some aspects of the PPE programme. I also defend the claim that there is some value in recognizing PPE as a research programme, and after discussing the conditions required for the programme to thrive, suggest that there is some reason to be concerned for its future.
Conceptualizing behavior decision theoretically as being 'pulled' (by an expected future) is fundamentally different from conceptualizing it as 'pushed' (or determined by past conditions according to causal laws). However, the fundamental distinction between teleological and non-teleological explanations not withstanding, decision-theoretic and evolutionary 'ways of world making' lead to strikingly similar forms of political, philosophical, and economic models. Common Hobbesian roots can account historically for the emergence of such a common 'PPE' outlook, while a game-theoretic framework of indirect evolution can accommodate the fundamental methodological tension between teleological and non-teleological approaches or the 'humanities' and the 'science' traditions in PPE's disciplines.
D.G. Brown's revisionist interpretation, despite its interest, misrepresents Mill's moral theory as outlined in Utilitarianism. Mill's utilitarianism is extraordinary because it explicitly aims to maximize general happiness both in point of quality and quantity. It encompasses spheres of life beyond morality, and its structure cannot be understood without clarification of his much-maligned doctrine that some kinds of pleasant feelings are qualitatively superior to others irrespective of quantity. This doctrine of higher pleasures establishes an order of precedence among conflicting kinds of enjoyments, including moral as well as non-moral kinds. In particular, as he indicates in Utilitarianism, Chapter V, the higher kind of pleasure associated with the moral sentiment of justice, namely, a feeling of 'security' for vital personal concerns that everyone has and that ought to be recognized as equal rights, is qualitatively superior to any competing kinds of pleasures regardless of quantity. Justice (more generally, morality) is conceived as a social system of rules and dispositions which has as its ultimate end the maximization of this pleasant feeling of security for everyone. The upshot is that an optimal social code that distributes and sanctions particular equal rights and correlative duties has absolute priority over competing considerations within his utilitarianism. The code seeks to prevent conduct that, in the judgment of suitably competent majorities, causes grievous kinds of harm to other people by injuring their vital personal concerns. To prevent the acts and omissions which are judged to cause such undue harm, the code assigns equal duties not to perform them, and authorizes due punishment of anyone who fails to fulfill his duties. Punishment is always expedient to condemn and deter wrongdoing. But it is properly a separate issue which particular ways of inflicting punishment are expedient in any particular situation. Given that feelings of guilt are a way of inflicting punishment, coercion is not necessary for punishment. Thus, Mill's claim that wrongdoing always deserves to be punished in some way does not imply that coercive legal sanctions and public stigma are always expedient for the enforcement of moral duties.
We live in an era of global migratory potential - a time when a vast number of people have the physical capacity to move relatively quickly and easily between states. In this article, I use this fact to motivate a powerful objection to ‘statism', the view that the egalitarian principles of justice which apply to citizens have no application outside the boundaries of the state. I argue that, in a world characterized by global migratory potential, the supposed contrast between the normative standing of citizens and non-citizens on which the doctrine of statism depends is much harder to establish than proponents of the doctrine seem to realize. Focusing initially on the well-known justification for statism based on the notion of reciprocity between cooperators in a joint venture for mutual advantage, I argue that non-citizens play just as important a role as citizens in upholding schemes of cooperation, and that non-citizens should therefore be included in the scope of egalitarian justice along with citizens. I then go on to explain why the problem raised by the fact of migratory potential threatens to undermine not only the reciprocity-based conception, but all other conceptions of statism. The challenge for the proponent of statism is to show that the relationship in which each individual citizen stands with the state is not only a justice-grounding relationship, but also one in which no non-citizen stands with the state. The challenge has not been met so far, and I argue that it is unlikely to be met in the future.
The legitimacy of humanitarian intervention has been contested for more than a century, yet pressure for such intervention persists. Normative evolution and institutional design have been closely linked since the first debates over humanitarian intervention more than a century ago. Three norms have competed in shaping state practice and the normative discourse: human rights, peace preservation, and sovereignty. The rebalancing of these norms overtime, most recently as the state's responsibility to protect, has reflected specific international institutional environments. The contemporary legitimacy of humanitarian intervention is based on UN Security Council authorization of the use of force. Although the Security Council is often viewed as representative of great-power influence, international acceptance of its role is based on the role of non-permanent members and their support for the sovereignty norm. The current rebalanced norms supporting humanitarian intervention, institutional bias that protects state sovereignty, and the changing character of mass violence may undermine the tenuous contemporary legitimacy of humanitarian intervention. Normative adjustments and new institutional designs are required to insure the legitimacy of international action that protects populations against mass violence.
Communitarian writers argue that social identity is deeply important to individual autonomy and thus liberal societies have an obligation to recognize identity. Any liberal view that attempts to account for this charge must specify a procedure to recognize identity that also ensures that the liberal sense of autonomy is not weakened. In this article, I develop such an account. I argue that liberals must distinguish an identity that belongs to particular persons (particularized identity) from the collective form of that identity. For instance, Naisha will have her own particularized way of being Indian in addition to the collective form of the culture that she shares with others. To determine which acts would be about recognizing the particularized form, I provide a counterfactual test. One major implication of the test is that special collective rights would not be endorsed. At the same time, the test is not equivalent to the liberal positions of insisting either that rights belong to individuals or that individuals are not harmed. Because identity is almost always viewed in terms of groups, valuing identity seems to be at odds with the principles of liberalism and democratic theory in which individual persons are the ultimate source of value. I show that there is a significant way to recognize identity that is harmonious with these principles.
One way of responding to the question of what PPE is involves mobilizing the tools that PPE involves. That is the exercise attempted in this article. The object is to use PPE as a method to analyze PPE as a subject matter. PPE is, whatever else, an interdisciplinary enterprise; so the point of departure involves analyzing the role and properties of disciplines within the institutional organization of enquiry. The basic idea is that enquiry is governed by a 'division of epistemic labour' in Adam Smith's sense, and that that division of labour depends for its working on institutions for the reliable certification of claims. Disciplines are such 'institutions'. As such, they are indispensable. But they impose centripetal forces within the organization of enquiry that stand against interdisciplinary work. Understanding these forces offers some hope of securing an 'optimal' compromise between the benefits and costs that disciplines entail. Examples are offered from each of the disciplines involved in PPE separately, and some observations are offered about the architecture of the three disciplines' interrelationships.
Standing institutions have a continuous existence: examples include the United Nations, the British Parliament, the US presidency, the standing committees of the US Congress, and the Environmental Protection Agency. Intermittent institutions have a discontinuous existence: examples include the Roman dictatorship, the Estates-General of France, constitutional conventions, citizens' assemblies, the Electoral College, grand and petit juries, special prosecutors, various types of temporary courts and military tribunals, ad hoc congressional committees, and ad hoc panels such as the 9/1 I Commission and base-closing commissions. Within the class of intermittent institutions, one may distinguish periodic from episodic institutions. The former come into being on a schedule set down in advance, while the latter come into being at unpredictable intervals. The Electoral College is a periodic institution, while the Roman dictatorship is an episodic one. This article attempts to identify the benefits and costs of intermittent institutions, both as a class and in their periodic and episodic varieties. The largest goals are to state some general conditions under which intermittent institutions prove superior or inferior to standing institutions, and to illuminate the temporal dimension of institutional design.
Theorizing about the legitimacy of international institutions usually begins with a framing assumption according to which the legitimacy of the state is understood solely in terms of the relationship between the state and its citizens, without reference to the effects of state power on others. In contrast, this article argues that whether a state is legitimate vis-a-vis its own citizens depends upon whether its exercise of power respects the human rights of people in other states. The other main conclusions are as follows. First, a state's participation in international institutions can contribute to its legitimacy in several ways. Second, when international institutions contribute to the legitimacy of states, their doing so can contribute to their own legitimacy. Third, a theory of international legitimacy ought to recognize reciprocal legitimation between states and international institutions.
In a number of publications, Gerald Gaus has presented an ambitious account of political morality that gives the ideal of public justification pride of place. This article critically discusses Gaus's characterization and defense of the ideal of public justification in politics. It also presents an account and an argument in support of first-person political justification.
Theories of political legitimacy normally stipulate certain conditions of legitimacy: the features a state must possess in order to be legitimate. Yet there is obviously a second question as to the value of legitimacy: the normative features a state has by virtue of it being legitimate (such as it being owed obedience, having a right to use coercion, or enjoying a general justification in the use of force). I argue that it is difficult to demonstrate that affording these to legitimate states is morally desirable, and that obvious alternative conceptions of the value of legitimacy (notably epistemic and instrumental) are not without problems of their own. The intuitive triviality of establishing the value of normative legitimacy may mask a serious problem.
Revisionist interpretation of Mill needs to be extended to deal with a residue of puzzles about his moral theory and its connection with his theory of liberty. The upshot shows his reinterpretation of his Benthamite tradition as a form of 'philosophical utilitarianism'; his definition of the art of morality as collective self-defence; his ignoring of maximization in favour of ad hoc dealing in utilities; the central role of his account of the justice of punishment; the marginal role of the internal sanction in his criterion of moral wrong; his deep respect for common-sense morality; and his restriction of the scope of morality so as to claim for the utilitarian tradition the whole realm of the aesthetics of conduct as part of a general theory of practical reason.
Previous literature has demonstrated the important role that trust plays in developing and maintaining well-functioning societies. However, if we are to learn how to increase levels of trust in society, we must first understand why people choose to trust others. One potential answer to this is that people view trust as normative: there is a social norm for trusting that imposes punishment for noncompliance. To test this, we report data from a survey with salient rewards to elicit people's attitudes regarding the punishment of distrusting behavior in a trust game. Our results show that people do not behave as though trust is a norm. Our participants expected that most people would not punish untrusting investors, regardless of whether the potential trustee was a stranger or a friend. In contrast, our participants behaved as though being trustworthy is a norm. Most participants believed that most people would punish someone who failed to reciprocate a stranger's or a friend's trust. We conclude that, while we were able to reproduce previous results establishing that there is a norm of reciprocity, we found no evidence for a corresponding norm of trust, even among friends.
This study uses a cross-country panel to examine the determinants of corruption, paying particular attention to political institutions that increase political accountability. Previous empirical studies have not analyzed the role of political institutions, even though both political science and economics theoretical literatures have indicated their importance in determining corruption. The main theoretical hypothesis guiding our empirical investigation is that political institutions affect corruption through two channels: political accountability and the structure of provision of public goods. The main results show that political institutions seem to be extremely important in determining the prevalence of corruption. In short, democracies, parliamentary systems, political stability, and freedom of press are all associated with lower corruption. Additionally, we show that common results of the previous empirical literature on the determinants of corruption -- related to openness and legal tradition -- do not hold once political variables are taken into account.
States are ill equipped to meet the challenges of a globalized world. The concept of citizenship with its rights and obligations, including the allegiance owed, is too narrowly defined to exist only between individuals and a state. Today, people identify with, and pay allegiance to, many organizations beyond the state. This paper suggests that citizenship could be extended further and be possible between individuals and quasi-governmental organizations, as well as nongovernmental organizations, such as churches, clubs, interest groups, functional organizations and profit firms. Due to the larger set of types of citizenship individuals could choose from, their preferences would be better fulfilled and, due to the competition for citizens induced among organizations, the efficiency of public activity would be raised.
The scarcity of resources required to produce justice is manifested in the relation between the accuracy, depth, and scope of materially possible forms of justice. Ceteris paribus, increases in the accuracy of justice must come at the expense of its depth and scope, and vice versa, though they are not linearly proportioned. The accuracy of justice is the degree of agreement between the possible results of attempts to implement a theory or principles of justice and the desired result according to that theory or those principles of justice. The scope of justice measures how broadly the principle or theory of justice is intended to apply. The depth of justice measures the gap between existing social norms and the theory or principles of justice we examine within the specified scope. This three-dimensional model explains public policies, laws, and regulations that increase the scope or depth of justice at the cost of a decrease in its accuracy – rough forms of justice such as measures of transitional justice, affirmative action, mandatory sentencing, simplified tax codes, collective guilt and victimhood, and general amnesties. The scarcity of resources necessary for justice can contract or expand. The normative choice between principles of justice that prefer accuracy and those that favor scope or depth usually corresponds, respectively, with rights-based deontological theories and consequentialist ethics.
Stuart Rachels and Larry Temkin have offered a purported counterexample to the acyclicity of the relationship “all things considered better than”. This example invokes our intuitive preferences over pairs of alternatives involving a single person’s painful experiences of varying
intensity and duration. These preferences, Rachels and Temkin claim, are confidently held, entirely reasonable, and cyclical. They conclude that we should drop acyclicity as a requirement of rationality.
I argue that, together with the findings of recent research on the way people evaluate episodes of pain, the use of a heuristic known as similarity-based decision-making explains why our intuitive preferences may violate acyclicity in this example. I argue that this explanation should lead us to regard these preferences with suspicion, because it indicates that they may be the result of one or more biases. I conclude that Rachels’ and Temkin’s example does not
provide sufficient grounds for rejecting acyclicity.
Hume’s theory of justice is commonly regarded by contemporary theorists of justice as a theory of justice as mutual advantage. It is thus widely thought to manifest all the unattractive features of such theories: in particular, it is thought to endorse the exclusion of people with serious mental or physical disabilities from the scope and protection of justice and to justify the European expropriation of the lands of defenceless aboriginal people. I argue that this reading of Hume is mistaken. Mutual advantage is only part of Hume’s theory, the part that explains the origins of the institutions of justice in a general sense (property and promise keeping), and it is bracketed off from those parts of Hume’s theory that explain who is included within the scope of justice, how much each receives, and why and to whom we have a duty to be just. The interpretation of Hume’s theory as a theory of justice as mutual advantage not only fails to convey Hume’s complex purposes, but it portrays Hume’s theory of justice as the kind of theory he was most concerned to refute.
I argue that individuals may be as problematic political agents as groups. In doing so, I draw on theory from economics, philosophy and computer science and evidence from psychology, neuroscience and biology. If successful this argument undermines agency-based justifications for embracing strong notions of individual rights while rejecting the possibility of similar rights for groups. For concreteness, I critique these mistaken views by rebutting arguments given by Chandran Kukathas in his essay "Are There Any Cultural Rights?" that groups lack the temporal coherence, political independence and indivisibility of individuals. I also show how formal critiques of group agency from social science (in particular, Arrow's Impossibility Theorem) can be applied as reasonably to individuals as groups. Because these symmetries between groups and individuals undermine common implicit assumptions in political philosophy, I argue that they may have broader implications for liberal political theory, as they emphasize the importance of intra-personal justice.
In two recent papers, Christian List and Philip Pettit have argued that there is a problem in the aggregation of reasoned judgements that is akin to the aggregation of the preference problem in social choice theory. ¹ Indeed, List and Pettit prove a new general impossibility theorem for the aggregation of judgements, and provide a propositional interpretation of the social choice problem that suggests it is a special case of their impossibility result. ² Specifically, they show that no judgement aggregation function for a group is possible if the group seeks to satisfy certain `minimal conditions' designed to ensure that the function is both responsive to the individually rational views of its members and collectively rational in the set of judgements it holds.
In this article, I resist the List and Pettit claim that there is the same propensity for collective irrationality or incoherence in the aggregation of reasoned judgements as there is in the aggregation of preference. I argue that reason, because it has a logical structure that is lacking in mere preference, has the effect of giving priority to some aggregations over others, a priority that is not permitted by one of the conditions imposed by List and Pettit. This avoids the incoherence that would otherwise exist if these different aggregations, not consistent with one another, were to compete at the same level of priority. The priority of some aggregations is particularly apparent, I shall argue, if one views the aggregation of judgements through the lens of common law decision-making.
In this paper we extend the well known "agreeing-to-disagree" and "no-trade" results from economics and game theory to international relations. We show that two rational countries should never agree to go to war when war is inefficient and when rationality is common knowledge. We argue that this result might provide one possible explanation for the empirical finding, often referred to as the "Democratic Peace," that modern democracies rarely go to war with one another. We propose that the informational properties of pluralistic institutions (as opposed to oligarchies or dictatorships) lead to better decision-making by democracies and that democracies are therefore more likely to be the rational actors necessary for the "no-war" result. We discuss empirical evidence in support of this proposition.
Public deliberation has been defended as a rational and noncoercive way to overcome paradoxical results from democratic voting, by promoting consensus on the available alternatives on the political agenda. Some critics have argued that full consensus is too demanding and inimical to pluralism and have pointed out that single-peakedness, a much less stringent condition, is sufficient to overcome voting paradoxes. According to these accounts, deliberation can induce single-peakedness through the creation of a ‘meta-agreement’, that is, agreement on the dimension according to which the issues at stake are ‘conceptualized’. We argue here that once all the conditions needed for deliberation to bring about single-peakedness through meta-agreement are unpacked and made explicit, meta-agreement turns out to be a highly demanding condition, and one that is very inhospitable to pluralism.