Category Archives: Working Papers

My Warmest Thanks, and One Final Bleg

I’d like to thank all of you who sent me comments on the RNR (“Foundations of a Nonideal Theory of Justice”) I posted here the other week. Almost all of you homed in on a problem with the Side-Constraint Principle that had been worrying me: its unexplained (and unjustified) reference to ideal primary goods.  I’ve now fixed the issue and would like to post the paper here one final time (old revisions are in red; new ones in blue) before I send the paper back to the journal later this week.  Any last-minute comments/suggestions/worries would be immensely appreciated.  Again, I really can’t thank you all enough.  Your feedback has been invaluable!

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RNR Help? “Foundations of a Nonideal Theory of Justice”

Hi everyone, I’ve been working on this paper for a number of years, and it is finally under revise-and-resubmit.  Given that I work in a very small department and am not great at networking, I could really use some help vetting my revisions.  I would be very grateful if anyone here is willing to read it and send thoughts about it my way (revisions are in red).  Here is a brief abstract:

This paper systematically extends John Rawls’ original position to nonideal theory, showing how the parties to a “nonideal original position” ought to prioritize four types of nonideal primary goods over Rawls’ principles and priority relations, and then agree to five lexically ordered principles for distributing those goods under nonideal conditions.  All five principles (and their orderings) are also shown to fare very well in reflective equilibrium, cohering with a number of pretheoretic moral intuitions.

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Working Paper: Foundations of a Nonideal Theory of Justice

Hello everyone.  I’ve been working on this paper for a few years now and I could really use some feedback.  Here’s a brief abstract:

This paper systematically extends John Rawls’ original position to nonideal theory, showing how it is both reasonable and rational for the parties to a nonideal-theoretic stage of the original position to prioritize a class of “nonideal-theoretic primary goods” over the satisfaction of Rawls’ principles and priority relations (contrary to Rawlsian orthodoxy). I show that there are at least three nonideal-theoretic primary goods, and that the parties to the original position have sufficient reason to agree to certain priority relations among them. Next, I show that the parties rationally ought to agree to a general principle for distributing these goods, and by extension, to three lexically ordered corollary principles for distributing each of the three specific goods discussed.  Finally, I argue that these principles fare well in reflective equilibrium.

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Unsavory Implications of A Theory of Justice and The Law of Peoples: The Denial of Human Rights and the Justification of Slavery and Genocide

Dear all,

I post here in pdf format a paper of mine in which I argue, well, that Rawls’s theory of justice implies the justification of slavery and genocide and is therefore an abysmal failure as far as reflective equilibrium is concerned. Comments are highly welcome

All the best, Uwe  Unsavory Implications of A Theory of Justice and The Law of Peoples

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Human Rights and Liberal Toleration

An updated (thanks for the comments!) working draft (now with citations/footnotes) of my “Human Rights and Liberal Toleration” has been posted to SSRN.com. 

http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1436125

I would be most grateful for additional comments and suggestions (to this site or to me directly).  An earlier and much shorter version was presented at the APA Central this past spring; those who provided helpful comments on that occasion will, hopefully, not be disappointed by this continuation of the effort.

Wishing everyone the best for the remainder of the summer (in the Northern Hemisphere). 

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PPPS: “Does the Government Need to Know Your Sex?”

Here is my contribution to this podcast symposium; I’d like to add my thanks to Simon May for organizing this online event.

In a number of states and countries, transgender activists and scholars are challenging the rules and regulations for altering one’s sex status on official documents and records.  In this presentation, I explore why each person must have an official or legal sex, and why these identities are subject to the control of our governments.

I include below links to an audio file, as well as presentation slides, with and without the same audio, so you can listen and read along at the same time.  I also include a link to the text of my presentation.   Lori Gruen’s helpful comments are linked below my text.

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