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Area: Social and Political Philosophy

| Baier | Barclay | Benhabib | Brock | Card | de Beauvoir | Haslanger | Held | Nussbaum | Purdy | Richards | Tapper | Teichman | Uniacke | Walker |


Baier, A. C.

Baier,# A. C. (2008). Can Philosophers Be Patriots? New Literary History 39 (1): 121- 135

Kw: climatic changes; international relations; terrorism

An essay is presented that analyzes climate change, and violence from disaffected groups, in the context of social philosophy. The author examines the role the United States has played in both of the categories focused on. The author also examines the role her home country of New Zealand has played. Some of the philosophers mentioned in the article include David Hume and Richard Rorty.


Baier,# A. C. (2008). Can Philosophers Be Patriots? New Literary History 39 (1): 121- 135

Kw: climatic changes; international relations; terrorism

An essay is presented that analyzes climate change, and violence from disaffected groups, in the context of social philosophy. The author examines the role the United States has played in both of the categories focused on. The author also examines the role her home country of New Zealand has played. Some of the philosophers mentioned in the article include David Hume and Richard Rorty.


Baier,# A. C. (1995). A Note on Justice, Care, and Immigration Policy. Hypatia 10 (2): 150- 152

Kw: immigration; emigration; United States

Focuses on the need to implement a balanced immigration policy in the United States. Special claims of neighboring would-be immigrants; Need for the accommodation of the claims of more distant applicants for citizenship.


Baier,# A. C. (1993). How Can Individualists Share Responsibility? Political Theory 21 (2):228- 248

Kw: individual autonomy; individual responsibility; Kant; society

Discusses theoretical propositions, particularly those of Immanuel Kant, on the proper balancing between fostering respect for individual autonomy and taking individual responsibility for society. Kantian individualism and his `categorical imperative' formulation; Alexis de Tocqueville's criticism of American individualism; Status of women, servants and unpropertied persons.


Baier,# A. C. (1992). Some Virtues of Resident Alienation. Nomos: Yearbook of the American Society for Political and Legal Philosophy 34: 291-308

Kw: citizen; ethics; nation; Social Philosophy; virtue

If one is, perhaps for work-related reasons, a resident alien, is one condemned to being a non-political animal? Should one keep to oneself any criticisms one has of one's country of residence? Resident aliens, as aliens know some other country. As residents, they know this one. They are in a good position to make some informed political comparisons. Like field anthropologists and naturalized citizens, their inside knowledge of more than one culture gives them a political perspective which can usefully supplement that of native residents. Might they not be spies for their native land? Smart spies would choose better cover than that of resident aliens, who are comparatively closely monitored.


Baier,# A. C. (1988). Pilgrim’s Progress. Canadian Journal of Philosophy 18: 315- 330

Kw: contractarianism; freedom; liberty; moral code

Gauthier's "morals by agreement" is criticised as failing to provide a basis for any moral duties to helpless children and others who pose no threat and have no bargaining chips. Incoherences are found in his account of basic rights.


Barclay, L.

Barclay,# L. (1999). The Answer to Kekes's Question. Ethics: An International Journal of Social, Political, and Legal Philosophy 110 (1): 84- 93

Kw: Egalitarianism; Rawls; Kekes

Illustrates the various applications of the egalitarianism principle. Focus of John Kekes' argument; Versions of egalitarianism; Comparison from John Rawls' arguments on egalitarianism.


Benhabib, S.

Benhabib,# S. (2010). The Return of political theology: The Scarf Affair in comparative constitutional perspective in France, Germany and Turkey. Philosophy and Social Criticism 36 (3/4): 451- 471.

Kw: Political theology; religion; politics; secularization; racial differences; religious differences; cross-cultural differences

Increasingly in today's world we are experiencing intensifying antagonisms around religious and ethno-cultural differences. The confrontation between political Islam and the so-called 'West' has replaced the rhetoric of the Cold War against communism. This new constellation has not only challenged the hypothesis that 'secularization' inevitably accompanied modernity but has also placed on the agenda political theology as a potent force in many societies. This article analyzes the contemporary revival of political theology by focusing on the headscarf debate in comparative constitutional perspective. It compares the well-known decision of the French Parliament banning the wearing of the headscarf in public schools (2004) with the decision of the German Constitutional Court concerning whether Fereshta Ludin, an Afghani-German teacher wearing the hijab, could teach in German schools (2003) and with the more recent judgment of the Turkish Constitutional Court (summer 2008) upholding the ban on the wearing of the scarf or the turban in institutions of higher learning. At stake in these debates is not only the meaning of fundamental human rights but also why women and their bodies become the object of disciplinary conflicts in culture, law and religion.


Benhabib,# S. (2009). International Law and Human Plurality in the Shadow of Totalitarianism: Hannah Arendt and Raphael Lemkin. (2009). Constellations: An International Journal of Critical and Democratic Theory 16 (2): 331- 350.

Kw: Genocide; human rights; international law; political philosophy; Arendt, Lemkin

Hannah Arendt (1906-1975) and Raphael (Ralph) Lemkin (1900-1959) were witnesses to the European catastrophes of the twentieth century. By juxtaposing her concept of 'plurality' to Lemkin's concept of 'the group', the essay analyzes the ontology of human groups which underlies Lemkin's view of genocide. Lemkin is heir to a Herderian tradition of viewing groups in culturalist terms, while Arendt is an "associationist." What implications does the ontology of groups have for conceptualizing genocide in juridical as well as ethical terms? In conclusion I address the problem of "universal jurisdiction" in prosecuting the crime of genocide.


Benhabib,# S. (2008). The Legitimacy of Human Rights. Daedalus 137 (3): 94- 104.

Kw: Human rights; legal rights; UN

An essay is presented on practical definitions of human rights. The author analyzes the differences in defining human rights between philosophers such as John Rawls and the United Nations (UN) in its Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). Other topics include moral, cultural and legal cosmopolitanism, substantive and justificatory minimalism, democratic iterations, and legal rights.


Benhabib,# S. (2007). Twilight of Sovereignty or the Emergence of Cosmopolitan Norms? Rethinking Citizenship in Volatile Times. Citizenship Studies 11 (1): 19: 36.

Kw: Citizenship; constitutional law; political science; sovereignty; human rights; cosmopolitanism

This essay examines recent debates concerning the emergence of cosmopolitan norms such as those pertaining to universal human rights, crimes against humanity as well as refugee, immigrant and asylum status. What some see as the spread of a new human rights regime and a new world order others denounce as the “spread of empire” or characterize as “law without a state”. In contrast, by focusing on the relationship of global capitalism to deterritorialized law this essay distinguishes between the spread of human rights norms and deterritorialized legal regimes. Although both cosmopolitan norms and deterritorialized law challenge the nation-state and threaten to escape control by democratic legislatures, it argues that cosmopolitan norms enhance popular sovereignty while many other forms of global law undermine it. It concludes by pleading for a vision of “republican federalism” and “democratic iterations”, which would enhance popular sovereignty by establishing interconnections across the local, the national and the global.


Benhabib,# S. (2006). Democratic Boundaries and Economic Citizenship: Enhancing the “Rights of Others.” Social Philosophy Today 22: 249- 260.

Kw: Democracy; human rights; citizenship; cosmopolitanism; gender identity

The author comments on the justification for the bondedness of democracies, human rights concepts within a proceduralist discourse ethics and economic citizenship and cosmopolitanism. The author explains that the struggles for democratization and the rise of multicultural and ethnocultural movements suggest conflicts over gender identities. She concludes that conflict among some world organizations leads to global governance.


Benhabib,# S. (2005). Beyond Interventionism and Indifference: Culture, Deliberation and Pluralism. Philosophy and Social Criticism 31 (7): 753-71.

Kw: Citizenship; cosmopolitanism; culture; democracy; globalization; pluralism

The aim of 'The Claims of Culture' is to reconcile the many discontents of late modern culture with a continuing commitment to liberal democracy. It does so in face of the separation of the value-spheres of ethics and aesthetics, theology and law, brought about by nature and cognitive rationalism. This led Max Weber to warn that a consequent search for the old gods, allied to the longing for their transcendent power, would lead to a retreat from democracy in the form of a charismatic politics of leadership. Following Max Weber, I emphasize the intrinsic fluidity and heterogeneity of cultural narratives. Responding to the comments of María Herrera Lima, James Bohman and Eduardo Mendieta, this article addresses the common theme of cosmopolitanism and global citizenship.


Brock, G.

Brock,# G. (2008). What Do We Owe Others as a Matter of Global Justice and Does National Membership Matter? Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy 11 (4): 433- 448

Kw: duties to co- nationals; compatriot partiality; global obligations; mediate responsibilities

David Miller offers us a sophisticated account of how we can reconcile global obligations and duties to co-nationals. In this article I focus on four weaknesses with his account such as the following two. First, there remains considerable unclarity about the strength of the positive duties we have to non-nationals and how these measure up relative to other positive duties, such as the ones Miller believes we have to co-nationals to implement civil, political, or social rights. Second, just how responsibilities for enacting our global commitments will be assigned still needs further development. A unifying theme of my criticisms concerns Miller's account of how we are to mediate responsibilities to fellow-nationals and the partiality we may defensibly show co-nationals. In the final section I sketch an alternative way of conceptualizing our duties to fellow-nationals and duties to non-nationals, which can give more systematic advice about the partiality we may defensibly show co-nationals.


Brock,# G. (2007). Caney’s Global Political Theory. Journal of Global Ethics 3 (2): 237- 252

Kw: global equality of opportunity

In this critical discussion of Simon Caney's global political theory, I focus on two broad areas. In the first area, I consider Caney's suggestions concerning global equality of opportunity and note several problems with how we might develop these ideas. Some of the problems concern aggregation, while others point to difficulties with what equality of opportunity means in a culturally plural world, where different societies might value, construct, and rank goods in different ways. In the second broad area of criticism I argue that Caney has been unfair to contractarians and I rally to their defense.


Brock,# G. (2006). Humanitarian Intervention: Closing the Gap Between Theory and Practice. Journal of Applied Philosophy 23 (3): 277-291

Kw: respecting sovereignty; responding to the plight of the needy; global justice; public policy

Apparently, there are some important tensions that must be confronted in grappling with the issue of the permissibility of humanitarian intervention. Notably, there is the tension between respecting sovereignty and responding to the plight of the needy, that is, there is tension between respecting governments' authority and desire for non-interference, and respecting the individuals who suffer under their leadership. I argue that these and other tensions should be resolved in favour of protecting the individuals who suffer in humanitarian crises, though the way to do this defensibly requires that we put in place many safeguards against abuse. My main theoretical argument emerges from a model of global justice that I develop.I then examine recent reports on intervention and state sovereignty compiled by an inter-national commission in order to show that consensus is building about the permissibility of military intervention to protect fundamental human rights for vulnerable populations in certain cases. Some important public policy proposals are evolving in the direction of protecting individuals over states, but there are still some important gaps that remain between what is theoretically desirable and proposals about international law. I show where some of those gaps are and how we can close them.


Brock,# G. (2006). Global Poverty and Desert. Politics 26 (3): 168- 175

Kw: global poverty; equality of opportunity; moral recognition

Several reasons are offered to explain why global poverty is of no serious moral concern for the affluent of developed countries. Often it is claimed that there are no morally salient connections between our actions and their poverty. In the first part of this article I argue that there are important morally salient connections between the affluent of developed countries and those in poverty. Considerations of desert and (fair) entitlement can bring this into better view. I argue that there are significant problems with the notion of desert that we typically invoke to defend our holdings. When we try to reconstruct a coherent notion of desert, we find we must be committed to a principle of (fair) equality of opportunity, so we must care about people's starting positions and desert-generating processes, in order for any claims of desert to defensibly gain moral recognition.


Brock,# G. (2005). Needs and Global Justice. Philosophy 57: 51- 72

Kw: global justice; basic needs;  human rights

In this paper I argue that needs are tremendously salient in developing any plausible account of global justice. I begin by sketching a normative thought experiment that models ideal deliberating conditions. I argue that under such conditions we would choose principles of justice that ensure we are well positioned to be able to meet our needs. Indeed, as the experiment aims to show, any plausible account of distributive justice must make space for the special significance of our needs. I go on to offer some empirical support for this view by looking at the important work of Frohlich and Oppenheimer. I then present an account of our basic needs that can meet a number of goals: for instance, it provides a robust theoretical account of basic needs which can enjoy widespread support, and it can also provide an adequate framework for designing policy about needs, and thus help us to discharge our global obligations. I then briefly discuss the relationship between basic needs and human rights, arguing why the basic needs standard is more fundamental than—and required by—the human rights approach. Finally, I tackle a few important sets of objections to my view, especially some objections concerning distributing our responsibilities for meeting needs.


Brock,# G. (2005). The Difference Principle, Equality of Opportunity, and Cosmopolitan Justice. The Journal of Moral Philosophy 8: 333- 351

Kw: global difference principle; principle of opportunity of equality

What kinds of principles of justice should a cosmopolitan support? In recent years some have argued that a cosmopolitan should endorse a Global Difference Principle. It has also been suggested that a cosmopolitan should support a Principle of Global Equality of Opportunity. In this paper I examine how compelling these two suggestions are. I argue against a Global Difference Principle, but for an alternative Needs-Based Minimum Floor Principle (where these are not co-extensive, as I explain). Though I support a negative version of the Global Equality of Opportunity Principle, I argue that a more positive version of the ideal remains elusive.


Brock,# G. (2005). What Do We Owe Co-nationals and Non-nationals?  Why the Liberal Nationalist Account Fails and How We Can Do Better. Journal of Global Ethics 1: 127-151

Kw: liberal nationalism; obligations to non-nationals; global responsibilities; nationalism; cosmopolitanism; responsibilities to others

Liberal nationalists have been trying to argue that a suitably sanitized version of nationalism—namely, one that respects and embodies liberal values—is not only morally defensible, but also of great moral value, especially on grounds liberals should find very appealing. Although there are plausible aspects to the idea and some compelling arguments are offered in defense of this position, one area still proves to be a point of considerable vulnerability for this project and that is the issue of what, according to the liberal nationalists, we owe both members of our nation, our co-nationals, and what we owe those who are not members of our nation. It is here that we see the project still has some distance to go if a version of liberal nationalism is, indeed, to be morally defensible. In this paper I examine leading liberal nationalist accounts of our obligations to co-nationals and non-nationals. I argue that liberal nationalists have not yet given us an adequate account of our obligations to non-nationals for a number of reasons. For instance, on the issue of the priority we may give co-nationals' interests over non-nationals', the theorists' view show significant tension, they seem to be confused about what their positions entail, the views are unhelpful, ad hoc, or the positions are quite unclear. Liberal nationalists also have a misleading impression that their positions better capture the relation between personal identity and duty, but this turns out to be false. Other defects with their specific projects are highlighted. I go on to offer a more promising method for determining our obligations to non-nationals. Rather than this alternative precluding any scope for nationalism, it actually makes clearer to us how there might be some defensible space for nationalism once our obligations to put in place appropriate institutions and sets of rules have been fulfilled.


Brock,# G. (2005). Does Obligation Diminish With Distance? Ethics, Place, and Environment: Journal of Philosophy and Geography 8:3-20

Kw: responsibility; obligation to compatriots and non-compatriots

Many people believe in what can be described as a 'concentric circles model of responsibilities to others' in which responsibilities are generally stronger to those physically or affectively closer to us—those who, on this model, occupy circles nearer to us. In particular, it is believed that we have special ties to compatriots and, moreover, that these ties entail stronger obligations than the obligations we have to non-compatriots.
While I concede that our strongest obligations may generally be to those family and friends with whom we have close personal relationships, those often thought to occupy the inner core, what I want to challenge is the idea that our obligations diminish in strength when we move beyond the boundary of the circles occupied by compatriots and proceed to those more geographically or culturally distant from us. The weight that is typically placed on the boundary between compatriots and non-compatriots in determining the strength of our obligations to others cannot withstand critical scrutiny. In this paper I show that arguments that are supposed to work to justify stronger obligations to compatriots than non-compatriots do not succeed in the ways imagined. I also present the framework of a contractarian-style model which aims to give us a more systematic way to think about our obligations to 'non-core' others, both distant and near. While we can certainly have different kinds of obligations, my analysis shows that our basic obligations to others do not diminish with distance. In addition, my account aims to flesh out what our basic obligations to others are.


Brock,# G. (2002). Are there any defensible indigenous rights? Contemporary Political Theory 1 (3): 285-305

Kw: indigenous rights; group rights; ethnicity; fairness; Susan Moller Okin; Thomas Pogge

In recent years, a number of important challenges have been raised about whether arguments for granting group rights in virtue of ethnicity can really stand up to scrutiny. Two of the most pressing issues involve whether granting rights to groups in virtue of ethnicity involves a certain unfairness to non-members (such as discrimination against non-ethnic groups) and whether granting such rights licenses unfairness to members (because they may be oppressed or abused without recourse to the protections of non-members). If arguments for indigenous rights are to succeed, they must address these challenges and show how there is no important unfairness to non-members or members.
Several arguments for indigenous rights are discussed, to show how they fall prey to one or both of the unfairness objections. The article goes on to offer an argument as to how proponents of indigenous rights might respond to claims that such rights discriminate obnoxiously between groups. This approach can accommodate the force of indigenous peoples' claims and so grant certain kinds of groups rights, without at the same time licensing the group's oppression of its more vulnerable members. Moreover, since the argument appeals to considerations typically thought persuasive in liberal theory, it should be attractive to liberals.


Brock,# G. (2002). Cosmopolitan Democracy and Justice: Held versus Kymlicka. Studies in East European Thought, Special Issue: Nationalism and its Alternatives 54: 325- 347

Kw: democracy; internationalism; political science

Argues that the objections of Will Kymlicka do not undermine the central claims of the cosmopolitan democracy model articulated by David Held. Discussion on the central contention of Held that the nation-state cannot remain at the center of thinking about democracy; Key sites of power identified by Held which can provide central obstacles to autonomy; Complains of Kymlicka.


Card, C.

Card,# C. (2007). Recognizing Terrorism. Journal of Ethics 11 (1): 1- 29

Kw: Terrorism

It has been claimed that most of the world’s preventable suffering and death are caused not by terrorism but by poverty. That claim, if true, could be hard to substantiate. For most terrorism is not publicly recognized as such, and it is far commoner than paradigms of the usual suspects suggest. Everyday lives under oppressive regimes, in racist environments, and of women, children, and elders everywhere who suffer violence in their homes offer instances of terrorisms that seldom capture public attention. Or so this essay argues, through exploring two models of terrorism and the points of view highlighted by each.

Card,# C. (2007). Gay Divorce: Thoughts on the Legal Regulation of Marriage. Hypatia 22 (1): 24- 38

Kw: Marriage; intimate relationships; partnerships; domestic violence

Although the exclusion of LGBTs from the rites and rights of marriage is arbitrary and unjust, the legal institution of marriage is itself so riddled with injustice that it would be better to create alternative forms of durable intimate partnership that do not invoke the power of the state. Card's essay develops a case for this position, taking up an injustice sufficiently serious to constitute an evil: the sheltering of domestic violence.


Card,# C. (2003). Genocide and Social Death. Hypatia 18 (1): 63- 79

Kw: Genocide

Social death, central to the evil of genocide (whether the genocide is homicidal or primarily cultural), distinguishes genocide from other mass murders. Loss of social vitality is loss of identity and thereby of meaning for one's existence. Seeing social death at the center of genocide takes our focus off body counts and loss of individual talents, directing us instead to mourn losses of relationships that create community and give meaning to the development of talents.

Card,# C. (2003). Questions Regarding a War on Terrorism. Hypatia 18 (1): 164- 169

Terrorism

The concept of a war on terrorism creates havoc with attempts to apply rules of war. For "terrorism" is not an agent. Nor is it clear what relationship to terrorism agents must have in order to be legitimate targets. Nor is it clear what kinds of terrorism count. Would a war on terrorism in the home be a justifiable response to domestic battering? If not, do similar objections apply to a war on public terrorism?

Card,# C. (2003). What’s Wrong with Adult- Child Sex? Journal of Social Philosophy 33 (2): 170- 177

Kw: Pedophilia; children; sex

Abstract not availavble


Card,# C. (2000). Women, Evil, and Grey Zones. Metaphilosophy 31 (5): 509- 528

Kw: Evil; ethics; Primo Levi; Stockholm Syndrome; women; character; feminism; oppression; Patricia Hearst; slavery

Gray zones, which develop wherever oppression is severe and lasting, are inhabited by victims of evil who become complicit in perpetrating on others the evils that threaten to engulf themselves. Women, who have inhabited many gray zones, present challenges for feminist theorists, who have long struggled with how resistance is possible under coercive institutions. Building on Primo Levi's reflections on the gray zone in Nazi death camps and ghettos, this essay argues that resistance is sometimes possible, although outsiders are rarely, if ever, in a position to judge when. It also raises questions about the adequacy of ordinary moral concepts to mark the distinctions that would be helpful for thinking about how to respond in a gray zone.

Card,# C. (1998) Evils and Inequalities. Journal of Contemporary Legal Issues 87

Inequality; feminism; evil

In this paper I defend the view that opposition to inequalities is less essential to feminism than opposition to evils, and that it is not fruitful to try to recast the concern to address evils as a concern with fundamental equality. My position is not that inequalities are unimportant, but that when it comes to prioritizing, evils are more important.


Card,# C. (1996). Rape as a Weapon of War. Hypatia 11 (4): 5- 18

Kw: War; rape; women; girls; torture; terrorism

This essay examines how rape of women and girls by male soldiers works as a martial weapon. Continuities with other torture and terrorism and with civilian rape are suggested. The inadequacy of past philosophical treatments of the enslavement of war captives is briefly discussed. Social strategies are suggested for responding and a concluding fantasy offered, not entirely social, of a strategy to change the meanings of rape to undermine its use as a martial weapon.

Card,# C. (1991). Removing Veils of Ignorance. Noûs 25 (2): 194- 196

Kw: Cultural pluralism; racism; sexism; class oppression; women

The present state of philosophical consciousness of histories of racism, sexism, and class oppression indicate a need to remove veils of ignorance rather than to don them. Two trends reflecting sensitivity to this need are 'holism' and 'particularism' in recent philosophy by women and others who do not necessarily trace their intellectual heritages to men of ancient Greece. These trends and their interrelationships are examined and defended.

de Beauvoir, Simone

de Beauvoir,# S. (2006). Diary of a Philosophy Student. University of Illinois Press.

Kw: Sartre; feminism; women

Revelatory insights into the early life and thought of the preeminent French feminist philosopher Dating from her years as a philosophy student at the Sorbonne, this is the 1926-27 diary of the teenager who would become the famous French philosopher, author, and feminist, Simone de Beauvoir. Written years before her first meeting with Jean-Paul Sartre, these diaries reveal previously unknown details about her life and offer critical insights into her early philosophy and literary works. Presented here for the first time in translation and fully annotated, the diary is completed by essays from Barbara Klaw and Margaret A. Simons that address its philosophical, historical and literary significance. The volume represents an invaluable resource for tracing the development of Beauvoir's independent thinking and influence on the world.


de Beauvoir,# S. (1997).Quote your Sister. Off our Backs 27 (4): 2- 11.

Kw: Feminism

Presents quotations from selected women that embody the essence of feminism.


de Beauvoir,# S. (1989). The Second Sex. Vintage Books.

Kw: Woman

The classic manifesto of the liberated woman, this book explores every facet of a woman's life.


Haslanger, S.

Haslanger,# S. (2005). What Are We Talking About? The Semantics and Politics of Social Kinds. (2005). Hypatia 20 (4): 10-26.

Kw: Natural kinds; social kinds; externalism

Theorists analyzing the concepts of race and gender disagree over whether the terms refer to natural kinds, social kinds, or nothing at all. The question arises: what do we mean by the terms? It is usually assumed that ordinary intuitions of native speakers are definitive. However, I argue that contemporary semantic externalism can usefully combine with insights from Foucauldian genealogy to challenge mainstream methods of analysis and lend credibility to social constructionist projects.


Held, V.

Held,# V. (2005). Legitimate Authority in Non-State Groups Using Violence. Journal of Social Philosophy 36 (2):175–193.

Kw: Terrorism; legitimate authority; legitimate representation

Can groups using violence we judge to be terrorism ever legitimately represent oppressed people? If terrorism can never be justified, those groups who use or condone it can perhaps never become the legitimate authorities of the people they claim to represent. But if struggles to attain independence can sometimes be otherwise justifiable, and if terrorism is sometimes used in those that are, can this use justifiable and its users the legitimate representatives of their groups?

Held,# V. (2004). Terrorism and War. Journal of Ethics 8 (1).

Kw: Terrorism; violence; political change

There are different kinds of terrorism as there are of war. It is unpersuasive to make the deliberate targeting of civilians a defining feature of terrorism, and states as well as non-state groups can engage in terrorism. In a democracy, voters responsible for a government’s unjustifiable policies are not necessarily innocent, while conscripts are legitimate targets. Rather than being uniquely atrocious, terrorism most resembles small war. It is not always or necessarily more morally unjustifiable than war. All war should be avoided, but some war is more unjustifiable than other war. Comparable judgments should be made about terrorism. It is appropriate to compare civilians killed by those seeking political change and those using violence to prevent such change. Sometimes the debate should focus on the justifiability or lack of it of the aims sought. While violence should always be used as little as possible, those in power are responsible for making other means than violence effective in achieving justifiable political change. When considering the likely causes of violence, one that has received inadequate attention is humiliation. Humiliation is not the same as shame. Causing humiliation can and should be avoided.


Held,# V. (1997). The Media and Political Violence. Journal of Ethics 1 (2): 187- 202

Kw: Media; political violence; terrorism; responsibility; political process; commercial pressures

The meanings of violence, political violence, and terrorism are briefly discussed. I then consider the responsibilities of the media, especially television, with respect to political violence, including such questions as how violence should be described, and whether the media should cover terrorism. I argue that the media should contribute to decreasing political violence through better coverage of arguments for and against political dissidents'' views, and especially through more and better treatment of nonviolent means of influencing political processes. Since commercial pressures routinely conflict with media responsibility, I argue that society should liberate substantial amounts of culture from such pressures.

Held,# V. (1984/1989). Rights and Goods: Justifying Social Action. University of Chicago Press.

Kw: Theory of justice; private and public morality

Theories of justice, argues Virginia Held, are usually designed for a perfect, hypothetical world. They do not give us guidelines for living in an imperfect world in which the choices and decisions that we must make are seldom clear-cut. Seeking a morality based on actual experience, Held offers a method of inquiry with which to deal with the specific moral problems encountered in daily life. She argues that the division between public and private morality is misleading and shows convincingly that moral judgment should be contextual. She maps out different approaches and positions for various types of issues, including membership in a state, legal decisions, political activities, economic transactions, interpersonal relations, diplomacy, journalism, and determining our obligation to future generations. Issues such as these provide the true test of moral theory, since its success is seen in the willingness of conscientious persons to commit themselves to it by acting on it in their daily lives.

Nussbaum, M

Nussbaum,# M. C. (2009) Creating Capabilities: The Human Development Approach and Its Implementation. Hypatia 24(3): 211- 215.

Kw: Social service; social justice; economic development; humanity; theory and practice

The article presents the author's reflections on the human development approach to social work, the creation of the Human Development and Capability Association, and its central concepts regarding human dignity and empowerment. Discussion is given noting the challenges of implementing a new theoretical framework within the logistics of international charity and economic development efforts. The progress and accomplishments of the association are also mentioned.


Nussbaum,# M. C. (2009). The Capabilities of People with Cognitive Disabilities. Metaphilosophy 40 (3/4): 331- 351.

Kw: Cognitive Disabilities

People with cognitive disabilities are equal citizens, and law ought to show respect for them as full equals. To do so, law must provide such people with equal entitlements to medical care, housing, and other economic needs. But law must also go further, providing people with disabilities truly equal access to education, even when that is costly and involves considerable change in current methods of instruction. The central theme of this essay is what is required in order to give such people political and civil rights on a basis of genuine equality.


Nussbaum,# M. C. (2008). Toward a globally sensitive patriotism. Daedalus 137 (3): 78- 93.

Kw: Patriotism; cosmopolitanism; political ethics; countries; political science; moral and ethical aspects

An essay is presented exploring the possibilities for a cosmopolitan patriotism. The author argues that a nation-state needs moral sentiments attached to its institutions, and these sentiments must be focused on the nation as a whole. Other topics include U.S. slavery and the rhetoric of freedom, the U.S. Pledge of Allegiance, the founding of India, and the dangers of exclusionary patriotism.


Nussbaum,# M. C. (2008). The Clash Within: Democracy and the Hindu Right. Journal of Human Development 9 (3): 357- 375.

Kw: Muslims; respect; conduct of life; compassion; civil war

The Gujarat pogrom of 2002 is evidence of a profound crisis in India's democracy. Samuel P. Huntington's influential thesis of the 'clash of civilizations,' according to which the world is torn between democratic western values and threatening Islamic values, gives no help in explaining the situation, since the threatening values of the Hindu Right derive largely from European origins and are being used to threaten innocent Muslim civilians. I argue that the real 'clash of civilization' is the clash within every modern society between those who are prepared to live with people who differ, on terms of equal respect, and those who seek the comfort of a single 'pure' ethno-religious ideology. At a deeper level, the 'clash' is internal to each human being, as fear and aggression contend against compassion and respect. Policy-makers eager to promote the victory of respect over violence can learn from the case of India, where a wise institutional structure and a genuinely free press are major assets in resisting the call to hate. On the other hand, India's current lack of emphasis on critical thinking in the schools, and its lack after Gandhi's death of a public culture of compassion to counter the Hindu Right's culture of humiliated, warlike masculinity, sound warning notes for the future.


Nussbaum,# M. C. (2006). Radical Evil in the Lockean State: The Neglect of the Political Emotions. Journal of Moral Philosophy 3 (2): 159- 178.

Kw: Political doctrines; emotions; toleration; democracy; Locke; Kant; Mill; Rousseau; evil; liberal democracy

All modem liberal democracies have strong reasons to support an idea of toleration, understood as involving respect, not only grudging acceptance, and to extend it to all religious and secular doctrines, limiting only conduct that violates the rights of other citizens. There is no modern democracy, however, in which toleration of this sort is a stable achievement. Why is toleration, attractive in principle, so difficult to achieve? The normative case for toleration was well articulated by John Locke in his influential A Letter Concerning Toleration, although his attractive proposal thus rests on a fragile foundation. Kant did much more, combining a Lockean account of the state with a profound diagnosis of 'radical evil', the tendencies in all human beings to militate against stable toleration and respect. But Kant proposed no mechanism through which the state might mitigate the harmful influence of 'radical evil', thus rendering toleration stable, One solution to this problem was proposed by Rousseau, but it has deep problems. How, then, can a respectful pluralistic society shore up the fragile human basis of toleration, especially in a world in which we need to cultivate toleration not only within each state, but also among peoples and states, in this interlocking world?


Nussbaum,# M. C. (2006). Reply: In Defence of Global Political Liberalism. Development and Change 37 (6): 1313- 1328.

Kw: Economic development; liberalism; equality; developing countries; quality of life

The author elaborates the development and refinement of a more human centered approach that she has considered to root out global inequality. Critically analyzing the dominant economic-growth approach taken by many developing countries, the author defends her model of ten central capabilities of a person and analyzes them in terms of political goals. The author also responds individually to several papers including a papers by Des Gasper, Jan Nederveen Pieterse, and others.


Nussbaum,# M. C. (2006). Frontiers of Justice: Disability, Nationality and Species Membership. 2006. Cambridge MA: Harvard University Press.

KW: Theories of justice; social justice; Rawls; equality; citizenship

Theories of social justice are necessarily abstract, reaching beyond the particular and the immediate to the general and the timeless. Yet such theories, addressing the world and its problems, must respond to the real and changing dilemmas of the day. A brilliant work of practical philosophy, Frontiers of Justice is dedicated to this proposition. Taking up three urgent problems of social justice neglected by current theories and thus harder to tackle in practical terms and everyday life, Martha Nussbaum seeks a theory of social justice that can guide us to a richer, more responsive approach to social cooperation.
The idea of the social contract--especially as developed in the work of John Rawls--is one of the most powerful approaches to social justice in the Western tradition. But as Nussbaum demonstrates, even Rawls's theory, suggesting a contract for mutual advantage among approximate equals, cannot address questions of social justice posed by unequal parties. How, for instance, can we extend the equal rights of citizenship--education, health care, political rights and liberties--to those with physical and mental disabilities? How can we extend justice and dignified life conditions to all citizens of the world? And how, finally, can we bring our treatment of nonhuman animals into our notions of social justice? Exploring the limitations of the social contract in these three areas, Nussbaum devises an alternative theory based on the idea of "capabilities." She helps us to think more clearly about the purposes of political cooperation and the nature of political principles--and to look to a future of greater justice for all.
(book overview)


Nussbaum,# M. C. (2004). Beyond the Social  Contract: Capabilities and Global Justice. Oxford Development Studies 32 (1).

Kw: Justice; social contract; human rights; law

The dominant theory of justice in the western tradition of political philosophy is the social contract theory, which sees principles of justice as the outcome of a contract people make, for mutual advantage, to leave the state of nature and govern themselves by law. Such theories have recently been influential in thinking about global justice. I examine that tradition, focusing on Rawls, its greatest modern exponent; I shall find it wanting. Despite their great strengths in thinking about justice, contractarian theories have some structural defects that make them yield very imperfect results when we apply them to the world stage. More promising results are given by a version of the capabilities approach, which suggests a set of basic human entitlements, similar to human rights, as a minimum of what justice requires for all.


Nussbaum,# M. C. (2001). Can Patriotism be Compassionate?. Nation 273 (20): 11- 13.

Kw: Terrorism; September 11 terrorist attacks; patriotism; disasters; compassion

In the aftermath of September 11, 2001, Americans have all experienced strong emotions for their country: fear, outrage, grief; astonishment. The U.S. media portray the disaster, as a tragedy that has happened to the nation, and that is how Americans very naturally see it. So too the ensuing war: It is called "America's New War," and most news reports focus on the meaning of events for Americans and their nation. Americans think these events are important because they concern not just human lives, but American lives. People find themselves feeling sympathy for many people who did not even cross their minds before. Seeing how vulnerable the great country U.S. is, Americans can learn something about the vulnerability that all human beings share, about what it is like for distant others to lose those they love to a disaster not of their own making, whether it is hunger or flood or war.


Nussbaum,# M. C. (2000). Four Paradigms of Philosophical Politics. Monist 83 (4): 465 – 489.

Kw: Political science

Discusses the four paradigms of philosophical politics. Philosophy as an art everyone can practice; Role of expert philosophical teacher or writer; Contribution of philosophy to politics; Options of philosophers in a political climate where they are not allowed to fulfill their desired role.


Nussbaum,# M. C. (1998). Public Philosophy and International Feminism. Ethics 108 (4): 762- 797.

Kw: Humanity

Discusses philosophy as it relates to what it has to offer to humanity on a community basis. Perception that practical guidance is offered; Information on humanity on a community basis; Reference to a case study which deals with philosophy and humanity.


Nussbaum,# M. C. (1998). Political Animals: Luck, Love and Dignity. 1998. Metaphilosophy 29 (4): 273- 288.

Kw: Reasoning; emotions; Stoics; norm; social aspects

Human beings are both needy and dignified. How should we think about the relationship between our neediness and our worth? Card argues well that our vulnerability to luck is intertwined in the very conditions of moral agency. We can see the merit of her approach even more clearly by turning to some difficulties the Stoics have in preserving dignity while removing vulnerability. Stoicism does, however, help us to sort through the difficulties involved as we try to combine love of particular people with respect for all human life. Richardson is correct to suggest that love itself can animate the concern for all humanity; I also agree with him that institutions must play a major role in any solution to problems of inequality between nations. Although the "capabilities approach" offers an attractive account of one part of the goal of just political institutions, combining, as Moody-Adams suggests, respect for difference with a commitment to universal norms, I now believe that the capabilities account should be combined with a form of Rawlsian political liberalism that protects spaces within which citizens may pursue the good as they understand it.


Nussbaum,# M. C. (1997). Is Nietzsche a Political Thinker?  International Journal of Philosophical Studies 5 (1): 1- 13.

Kw: Enlightenment; liberalism; politics

Nietzsche claimed to be a political thinker in 'Ecce Homo' and elsewhere. He constantly compared his thought with other political theorists, chiefly Rousseau, Kant and Mill and he claimed to offer an alternative to the bankruptcy of Enlightenment liberalism. It is worthwhile re-examining Nietzsche's claim to offer serious criticisms of liberal political philosophy. I shall proceed by setting out seven criteria for serious political thought: understanding of material need; procedural justification; liberty and its worth; racial, ethnic and religious difference; gender and family; justice between nations; and moral psychology. I shall argue polemically that on the first six issues Nietzsche has nothing to offer, but that on the seventh, moral psychology, he makes a profound contribution. Serious political theory, however, needs to forget about Nietzsche and turn to those thinkers he found so boring--the liberal Enlightenment thinkers.


Nussbaum,# M. C. (1996). For Love of Country: Debating the Limits of Patriotism. (ed.) With Joshua Cohen. Boston: Beacon Press

Kw: Patriotism

For Love of Country is a rare forum: a real conversation among some of our most prominent intellectuals about an issue of urgent public importance. At the center of this lively and utterly readable debate book is Martha Nussbaumís passionate argument against patriotism. At a time when our connections and obligations to the rest of the world grow only stronger, we should reject patriotism as a parochial ideal, she says, and instead see ourselves first of all as "citizens of the world."

Fifteen writers and thinkers respond to Nussbaum's piece in short, hard-hitting, often brilliant essays, acknowledging the power of her argument, but often defending patriotisms and other local commitments with an eloquence equal to Nussbaum's. We hear from an astonishing range of writers from Robert Pinsky to Cornel West to Gertrude Himmelfarb to Sissela Bok.

This is contemporary American philosophy at its most relevant and readable. At a time when debates about crises in Bosnia or Somalia are dominated by politicians and military leaders, here are the voices of philosophers and poets, literary scholars and historians. A book of surprising insights and diversity, For Love of Country is especially written for a wide audience and is sure to spark debate.
(book overview)


Nussbaum,# M. C. (1995). Objectification.  Philosophy and Public Affairs  24 (4): 249– 291.

Kw: Feminism; objectification; sexuality

Sexual objectification is a familiar concept. Once a relatively technical term in feminist theory, associated in particular with the work of Catharine MacKinnon and Andrea Dworkin, the word “objectification” has by now passed into many people’s daily lives. It is common to hear it used to criticize advertisements, films, and other representations, and also to express skepticism about the attitudes and intentions of one person to another, or of oneself to someone else. Generally it is used as a pejorative term, connoting a way of speaking, thinking, and acting that the speaker finds morally or socially objectionable, usually, though not always, in the sexual realm, Thu8s, Catharine MacKinnon writes of pornography, “Admiration of natural physical beauty becomes objectification. Harmlessness becomes harm.” The portrayal of women “dehumanized as sexual objects, things, or commodities” is, in fact, the first category of pornographic material made actionable under MacKinnon and Dworkin’s proposed Minneapolis ordinance. The same sort of pejorative use is very common in ordinary social discussions of people and events.
(First Paragraph)


Purdy, L.

Purdy,# L. (2009). At the Crossroads: Family and Society. 2009 Social Theory and Practice: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal of Social Philosophy 35 (2)

KW: ethics; family; parenthood Social Philosophy; society

This article reviews two recent works on the family, Michael W. Austin's 'Conceptions of Parenthood: Ethics and the Family', and Brenda Almond's 'The Fragmenting Family'. The first examines several alternative conceptions of parenthood, ultimately arguing for an umbrella notion of "stewardship," where genetic connections are neither necessary nor sufficient for parenthood. Almond instead argues for the importance of genetic relationships, decrying contemporary institutions and practices that she sees as undermining or weakening them. These include contraception, working mothers, daycare, divorce, and gay parenting. Her ideal is the 50s family with working husbands, with women at home caring for their genetic children. Yet, the social conditions that led to such families have disappeared, for better and for worse.


Purdy,# L. (2008). Exporting the Culture of Life. In International Public Health Policy & Ethics, Boylan,Michael (ed.), Dordrecht: Spring: 91- 106

Kw: religion; abortion; homosexuality; reproduction

The Religious Right is using every means to impose its restrictive view of sexual and reproductive rights on everyone under the umbrella of a so-called culture of life (CL). The CL prohibits the direct killing of innocents (but not, apparently, letting them die), and requires that all sexual activity be open to procreation, thus restricting access to abortion and contraception. All this is alleged to be based on God's will and to constitute the only objective morality. But there is no epistemological basis for this claim, the strictures are inconsistent, and the rules create unnecessary misery. Those most at risk from the sexual strictures are women, children, and gay men. The risks are greatly magnified in third world countries because of poverty and lack of access to even the most basic health care. Yet, the Bush administration is doing everything in its power to impose the CL on such countries by means of its foreign policy and aid programs.


Richards,J. R.

Richards,# J. R. (1997). Equality of Opportunity. Ratio 10 (3):253–279

Kw: Equality and Opportunity, equal, opportunity, ethics, opportunity, Schaar, Singer Suitability

Attempts to achieve or even define equality of opportunity typically encounter a familiar slide which seems to show, paradoxically, that nothing short of equality of outcome can be true equality of opportunity. But this is an illusion: at each stage of the apparently smooth descent there is a major change of subject. The slide itself generates the appearance of a single issue and turns most discussions of equal opportunity into extended fallacies of equivocation. As long as the term is allowed to do any moral work, several substantive moral issues will remain in a state of confusion.


Tapper, M.

Tapper,# M. (1986). The Superego of Women. Social Theory and Practice: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal of Social Philosophy 12: 61- 74

Kw: Superego; woman; Freud

In a number of his writings Freud states that women have a less highly developed superego than men. In the Lecture on “Femininity” he says that women’s superego “cannot attain the strength and independence which gives it its cultural significance”, and in “The Psychical Consequences of the Anatomical Distinction Between the Sexes” that “for women the level of what is ethically normal is different from what it is for men. Their super-ego is never so impersonal, so inexorable, so independent of its emotional origin as we require it to be for men.”
(First Paragraph)


Teichman, J.

Teichman,# J. (1994). Freedom of Speech and the Public Platform. Journal of Applied Philosophy 11 (1): 99- 105

Kw: Right to free expression

The paper has to do with Peter Singer's statement 'A German Attack on Applied Ethics', and particularly with the claim that those who protested against his speaking at conferences in Europe in 1989 failed to recognise his right to freedom of expression.
I argue that the right to free expression does not mean that we may say anything at all, to anyone at all, anywhere at all. Visitors to foreign countries, for example, have some obligation to be sensitive to local concerns.
I also argue that there is an important difference between free expression, which is a basic right, and regular access to public platforms, which is a special right or privilege. This special right or privilege goes with certain jobs and professions, and could not be made universal. The German and Austrian protests against Singer temporarily deprived him of the privilege of access to a platform but were not attacks on the basic right of free speech as such. In fact the protests themselves could be regarded as a legitimate exercise of the right of free expression.


Teichman,# J. (1989). How to Define Terrorism. Philosophy: The Journal of the Royal Institute of Philosophy 64 (250): 505- 517

Kw: Terrorism; definition; justification

Disagreement about terrorism due to fact that the word is used polemically. "Ordinary usage" definitions should be rejected. Terrorism originally meant government terror. Later it meant tyrannicide. Now it means violent rebellion involving acts like hostage-taking, attacks on neutrals. Terrorism best defined as a spectrum of three overlapping classes: state terrorism (reigns of terror); assassination of rulers or their agents; and "modern" terrorism, a species of nationalistic rebellion involving atrocities. Justification of acts of terror depends where in the spectrum they fall. Tyrannicide sometimes justified, atrocities never. No reason to suppose atrocity a specially effective method of warfare.


Teichman,# J. (1986). Pacifism and the Just War: a Study in Applied Philosophy. Oxford: Blackwell

Kw: Pacifism; war; Christianity; just war; philosophy; violence

This book is a philosophical and historical examination of two theories of the moral status of war. It is argued that philosophers standardly misdefine pacifism; that the better-known current anti-pacifist arguments are invalid; that the classical theory of the just war contains inconsistencies; and that while neither theory is ultimately satisfactory, the arguments in favor of pacifism are considerably stronger than philosophers (ancient and modern) have ever allowed.


Teichman,# J. (1973). Punishment and Remorse. Philosophy: The Journal of the Royal Institute of Philosophy 48 (186): 335- 346

Kw: Desert; justification; laws; punishment; remorse; utility

Certain unwise, careless, or as we say, ‘self-destructive’ actions often bring in their train consequences unpleasant to the agent according to natural law. If an agent through folly or otherwise acts in a way which shows that he has ignored or forgotten predictable or possible consequences people will say ‘it serves him right’, meaning ‘he ought to have foreseen that’. Sometimes they will even say ‘he got what he deserved’. For these reasons such consequences can be called punishment, or a kind of punishment.


Uniacke, S.

Uniacke,# S. (200). Rights and Relativistic Justifications: Replies to Kasachkoff and Husak. Law and Philosophy: An International Journal for Jurisprudence and Legal Philosophy 19 (5): 645- 647

Kw: Rights

Abstract not available


Walker, A. R.

Walker,# A. R. (1987). Public controversies and academic freedom. Dialectica (Newcastle University) 14

Kw: Academic freedom

No abstract available