Monthly Archives: March 2009

PPPS: Just Procedures with Controversial Outcomes

Hello everyone!

My name is Emanuela Ceva and I’m a political philosopher based at the University of Pavia (Italy). The paper I’d like to discuss with you is an attempt to address (and hopefully provide an answer to) a well-known challenge to proceduralism about justice: if procedural theories of justice were genuinely open-ended, they might lead to controversial outcomes which, by definition, could not be disputed, because they had been produced by a just procedure. On the other hand, if they were committed to ruling out some outcomes by virtue of their inherent qualities, their very procedural nature would be jeopardised.


Posted in Podcast, Posts, Symposia | 4 Comments

What is a Means of Production?

Though I’m a political philosopher, Marxism/Socialism is not my area of expertise.  Still, I was surprised when, while teaching an essay by Kai Nielsen the other day, I discovered that I really don’t know what a means of production is supposed to be.

The claim that the means of production ought to be owned publicly, rather than privately, seems to be one of if not the defining characteristics of socialism.  So it seems pretty important to be clear on what it refers to.

On the most natural reading, a “means of production” would be anything that’s used to produce.  But that seems very, very broad.  Sure, factories are means of production, but so are muffin trays.  So is my brain, and my muscles.


Posted in Discussion, Posts, Problems, Teaching | 16 Comments

Final Call For Papers – 14th Brave New World Graduate Conference in Political Theory

Brave New World 2009, the Fourteenth Annual Postgraduate Conference organised under the auspices of the Manchester Centre for Political Theory (MANCEPT), will take place on Tuesday 23rd and Wednesday 24th June 2009 at the University of Manchester.

We are pleased to announce that our guest speakers this year are:
Professor Chandran Kukathas (London School of Economics)
Dr Kasper Lippert-Rasmussen (University of Copenhagen)

Deadline for submission of abstracts: March 31st 2009

The Brave New World conference series is now established as a leading international forum exclusively dedicated to the discussion of postgraduate research in political theory. The conference offers a great opportunity for postgraduates from many different countries and universities to share experiences, concerns and research interests, to exchange stimulating ideas and to make new friends – all in a financially accessible and highly informal setting.

Participants will also have the chance to meet and talk about their work with eminent academics, including members of faculty from the University of Manchester as well as our guest speakers, who will deliver keynote addresses at the event. Guest speakers in previous years have included Brian Barry, Simon Caney, G.A. Cohen, Cecile Fabre, Jerry Gaus, Peter Jones, Susan Mendus, David Miller, Onora O’Neill, Michael Otsuka, Bhikhu Parekh, Carole Pateman, Anne Philips, Thomas Pogge, Henry Shue, Quentin Skinner, Adam Swift, Philippe Van Parijs, Andrew Williams, and Jonathan Wolff.

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Topics and Issues in Voting Ethics

Hi everyone,I’m currently writing a book called The Ethics of Voting, and thought I’d ask you for advice and comments about what you’d like to see and what you think is important.  The book will cover the personals ethics of voting (questions concerning how individuals should behave) but not, for the most part, the political philosophy of voting (e.g., questions concerning who has the right to vote or how best to structure government institutions).

So, the basic questions of voting ethics that I plan to respond to are 1) Do I have an obligation to vote?  2)  If I do vote, do I have obligations to vote in particular ways?  3)  Is it acceptable to buy, trade, or sell my vote (not my right to vote, but my how I will vote)?  Related questions concern the source of any obligations, epistemic or other justificatory requirements, issues concerning whether citizens should be directed toward the common good or some other end, and so on.


Posted in Discussion, Notices, Posts | 4 Comments

Final CFP: Évaluations morales des technologies controversées dans les conférences citoyennes

Appel à participations : Évaluations morales des technologies controversées dans les conférences citoyennes

Le CEHUM (Université du Minho) organise un colloque de deux jours ayant pour thème les « évaluations morales des technologies controversées dans les conférences citoyennes» qui aura lieu les 14 et 15 mai 2009, à Lisbonne (Instituto de Ciências Sociais da Universidade de Lisboa). Les chercheurs participant à ce colloque incluent :

Joana Baguenier (CEHUM, Université du Minho – Université Paris IV, Sorbonne)
João Cardoso Rosas (CEHUM, Université du Minho)
Anca Gheaus (Equality Studies Centre, University College Dublin)
Simon Joss (SSHL, University of Westminster)
Roberto Merrill (CEHUM, Université du Minho)
Florence Quinche (Université de Nancy)
Bernard Reber (CERSES, CNRS-Université Paris Descartes)
Sabine Roeser (Faculty of Technology, Policy and Management, Delft University of Technology)
Daniel Weinstock (CRÉUM, Université de Montréal)

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PPPS: On Gutmann and Thompson’s Arguments that Deliberative Democrats Shouldn’t be Pure Proceduralists

This paper concerns the prospects of pure proceduralist deliberative democratic theories. Amy Gutmann and Dennis Thompson give what seems to be the most prominent set of arguments against such pure proceduralisms in their “Deliberative Democracy Beyond Process”.* Briefly put, they argue that deliberative democrats must not be pure proceduralists because pure proceduralisms cannot seriously endorse a principle that all deliberative democrats aim to seriously endorse: the principle of reciprocity. I argue that their arguments are unsuccessful. If my arguments work they also have the positive value of indicating where debates over the prospects of pure proceduralist deliberative democratic theory should head.


Posted in Podcast, Posts, Symposia | 4 Comments