Author Archives: Thomas Porter

CFA: Theories of Public Reason (MANCEPT Workshop)

Call for abstracts: MANCEPT Workshop on Theories of Public Reason
September 1-3 in Manchester
Deadline for abstracts May 11

More information, including a list of confirmed speakers, in the link below.
http://www.mancept.com/mancept-workshops/mancept-workshops-2015/panels-iii/theories-of-public-reason/

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OPR VII.21: The Testing Conception

Overview of §21

The Deliberative Model, as is now familiar, is indifferent between the various rules in the socially optimal eligible set as possible bases of equilibrium.  It doesn’t select one of the rules as the favoured basis of an equilibrium.  The lesson of §19-20 is that it does select one of the rules as the favoured basis of an equilibrium once it is in actual fact the basis of an equilibrium.  Since the Deliberative Model, according to Gaus, “explicates the moral point of view” (425), that raises questions about the power of the moral point of view to ground criticism of moral orders.  In §21, Gaus explains the extent to which the moral point of view does have that power, and why, to the extent that it doesn’t, that isn’t an objection to it. 

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OPR VII.20: The Evolution of Morality

Overview of §20

In §20, Gaus explores the idea—foreshadowed in §19—that not only can a selection from the socially optimal eligible set of rules be justified as a result of convergence in a ‘Kantian Coordination Game’ (see §19.2), so that “[c]oordination on a morality can occur even though no procedure of coordination has itself been publicly justified” (410), but “the process of arriving at a publicly justified morality may well be a social evolutionary one, in which people gradually come to coordinate on a common set of moral rules” (410).  

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Conference: Problems with Priority?

Problems with Priority?
A one-day conference hosted by the Manchester Centre for Political Theory (MANCEPT)

19th November 2010
10.30am – 5.30pm
University of Manchester, UK

Speakers
Martin O’Neill (York)
Michael Otsuka (University College London)
Thomas Porter (Manchester)
Alex Voorhoeve (LSE)
Andrew Williams (I.C.R.E.A. and Pompeu Fabra University)

Details
The Priority View is widely seen as a leading alternative to egalitarianism that avoids some of the difficulties associated with the latter.  However, in their 2009 Philosophy & Public Affairs article “Why It Matters That Some Are Worse Off Than Others: An Argument against the Priority View” (P&PA vol. 37, no. 2), Michael Otsuka and Alex Voorhoeve have offered a new argument to show that the Priority View is vulnerable to fatal objection.  This conference is devoted to exploration and criticism of that new argument and will include a ‘response to critics’ session with Otsuka and Voorhoeve. read more...

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