Social Philosophy & Policy
Cambridge University Press
About: Social Philosophy & Policy is an academic journal. The journal publishes majorly in the area(s): Politics & Economic Justice. Over the lifetime, 847 publications have been published receiving 14734 citations.
Papers published on a yearly basis
TL;DR: In this article, the authors propose a model of responsibility from social connection as an interpretation of obligations of justice arising from structural social processes, which they call Social Connection Model of Responsibility.
Abstract: The essay theorizes the responsibilities moral agents may be said to have in relation to global structural social processes that have unjust consequences. How ought moral agents, whether individual or institutional, conceptualize their responsibilities in relation to global injustice? I propose a model of responsibility from social connection as an interpretation of obligations of justice arising from structural social processes. I use the example of justice in transnational processes of production, distribution and marketing of clothing to illustrate operations of structural social processes that extend widely across regions of the world.The social connection model of responsibility says that all agents who contribute by their actions to the structural processes that produce injustice have responsibilities to work to remedy these injustices. I distinguish this model from a more standard model of responsibility, which I call a liability model. I specify five features of the social connection model of responsibility that distinguish it from the liability model: it does not isolate perpetrators; it judges background conditions of action; it is more forward looking than backward looking; its responsibility is essentially shared; and it can be discharged only through collective action. The final section of the essay begins to articulate parameters of reasoning that agents can use for thinking about their own action in relation to structural injustice.Thanks to David Alexander, Daniel Drezner, David Owen, and Ellen Frankel Paul for comments on an earlier version of this essay. Thanks to David Newstone for research assistance.
TL;DR: Philoctetes as mentioned in this paper was a good man and a good soldier. When he was on his way to Troy to fight alongside the Greeks, he had a terrible misfortune: by sheer accident he trespassed in a sacred precinct on the island of Lemnos.
Abstract: Philoctetes was a good man and a good soldier. When he was on his way to Troy to fight alongside the Greeks, he had a terrible misfortune. By sheer accident he trespassed in a sacred precinct on the island of Lemnos. As punishment he was bitten on the foot by the serpent who guarded the shrine. His foot began to ooze with foul-smelling pus, and the pain made him cry out curses that spoiled the other soldiers' religious observances. They therefore left him alone on the island, a lame man with no resources but his bow and arrows, no friends but the animals who were also his food.Ten years later, according to Sophocles' version of the story, they come to bring him back: for they have learned that they cannot win the war without him. The leaders of the expedition think of Philoctetes as a tool of their purposes; they plan to trick him into returning, with no empathy for his plight. The Chorus of soldiers, however, has a different response. Even before they see the man, they imagine vividly what it is like to be him– and they enter a protest against the callousness of the commanders:For my part, I pity him– thinking of how, with no living soul to care for him, seeing no friendly face, wretched, always alone, he suffers with a fierce affliction, and has no resources to meet his daily needs. How in the world does the poor man survive?
TL;DR: This paper found that some public goods and some charitable ventures are financed by the independent voluntary contributions of many thousands of individuals and that the willingness of individuals to contribute to such projects is an economic fact that requires an explanation.
Abstract: For most of the problems that economists consider, the assumption that agents are self-interested works well enough, generating predictions that are broadly consistent with observation. In some significant cases, however, we find economic behavior that seems to be inconsistent with self-interest. In particular, we find that some public goods and some charitable ventures are financed by the independent voluntary contributions of many thousands of individuals. In Britain, for example, the lifeboat service is entirely financed by voluntary contributions. In all rich countries, charitable appeals raise large amounts of money for famine relief in the Third World. The willingness of individuals to contribute to such projects is an economic fact that requires an explanation.
TL;DR: In this paper, the ethical propriety and practical efficacy of a range of policy undertakings which, in the last twenty years, has come to be referred to as "affirmative action" have been discussed.
Abstract: This essay is about the ethical propriety and practical efficacy of a range of policy undertakings which, in the last twenty years, has come to be referred to as “affirmative action.” These policies have been contentious and problematic, and a variety of arguments have been advanced in their support. Here I try to close a gap, as I see it, in this “literature of justification” which has grown up around the practice of preferential treatment. My principal argument along these lines is offered in the next section. I then consider how some forms of argument in support of preferential treatment, distinctly different from that offered here, not only fail to justify the practice but, even worse, work to undermine the basis for cooperation among different ethnic groups in the American democracy. Finally, I observe that as a practical matter the use of group preference can, under circumstances detailed in the sequel, produce results far different from the egalitarian objectives which most often motivate their adoption. It may seem fatuous in the extreme to raise as a serious matter, in the contemporary United States, the question “Why should we care about group inequality?” Is not the historical and moral imperative of such concern self-evident? Must not those who value the pursuit of justice be intensely concerned about economic disparities among groups of persons? The most obvious answer to the title question would seem, then, to be: “We should care because such inequality is the external manifestation of the oppression of individuals on the basis of their group identity.”
TL;DR: Tan as discussed by the authors argued that human rights are among the necessary conditions for social cooperation, and so long as a decent people respect human rights, a common good, and the Law of Peoples, it is not the role of liberal peoples to impose upon well-ordered decent peoples liberal liberties they cannot endorse.
Abstract: Cosmopolitans argue that the account of human rights and distributive justice in John Rawls's The Law of Peoples is incompatible with his argument for liberal justice. Rawls should extend his account of liberal basic liberties and the guarantees of distributive justice to apply to the world at large. This essay defends Rawls's grounding of political justice in social cooperation. The Law of Peoples is drawn up to provide principles of foreign policy for liberal peoples. Human rights are among the necessary conditions for social cooperation, and so long as a decent people respect human rights, a common good, and the Law of Peoples, it is not the role of liberal peoples to impose upon well-ordered decent peoples liberal liberties they cannot endorse. Moreover, the difference principle is not an allocative or alleviatory principle, but applies to design property and other basic social institutions necessary to economic production, exchange and consumption. It presupposes political cooperation—a legislative body to actively apply it, and a legal system to apply it to. There is no feasible global state or global legal system that could serve these roles. Finally, the difference principle embodies a conception of democratic reciprocity that is only appropriate to cooperation among free and equal citizens who are socially productive and politically autonomous.I am grateful to K. C. Tan for many helpful discussions and criticisms of this essay. I am also grateful to the other contributors to this volume for their comments, and to Ellen Paul for her many helpful suggestions in preparing the final version of this essay.