Tuesday, December 16, 2014

The Cambridge Rawls Lexicon

The Cambridge Rawls Lexicon

Ed. by Jon Mandle & David A. Reidy

(Cambridge University Press, 2014)

920 pages


John Rawls is widely regarded as one of the most influential philosophers of the twentieth century, and his work has permanently shaped the nature and terms of moral and political philosophy, deploying a robust and specialized vocabulary that reaches beyond philosophy to political science, economics, sociology, and law. This volume is a complete and accessible guide to Rawls' vocabulary, with over 200 alphabetical encyclopaedic entries written by the world's leading Rawls scholars. From 'basic structure' to 'burdened society', from 'Sidgwick' to 'strains of commitment', and from 'Nash point' to 'natural duties', the volume covers the entirety of Rawls' central ideas and terminology, with illuminating detail and careful cross-referencing. It will be an essential resource for students and scholars of Rawls, as well as for other readers in political philosophy, ethics, political science, sociology, international relations and law.

Contents [pdf]


* Advantage, mutual vs. reciprocal [pdf]

* Allocative Justice [pdf]

* Charles Beitz

* Citizen

* H. L. A. Hart

* Sovereignty 

* Thin and Full Theory of Goodness [pdf]

* Index [pdf]

Monday, December 15, 2014

New Book by Claus Offe: "Europe Entrapped"

Europe Entrapped

by Claus Offe

(Wiley / Polity Press, 2014)

104 pages


Today Europe finds itself in a crisis that casts a dark shadow over an entire generation. The seriousness of the crisis stems from one core political contradiction at the heart of the European project: namely, that what urgently needs to be done is also extremely unpopular and therefore virtually impossible to do democratically. What must be done - and almost everyone agrees in principle on the measures that would be needed to deal with the financial crisis - cannot be sold to the voting public of the core member states, which so far have been less affected by the crisis than those on the periphery, nor can the conditions that core members try to impose be easily sold to voters in the deficit countries.

The European Union is therefore becoming increasingly disunited, with deepening divides between the German-dominated ‘core’ and the southern ‘periphery’, between the winners and the losers of the common currency, between the advocates of greater integration and the anti-Europeans, between the technocrats and the populists. Europe finds itself trapped by the deepening divisions that are opening up across the Continent, obstructing its ability to deal with a crisis that has already caused massive social suffering in the countries of the European periphery and is threatening to derail the very project of the European Union.


Introduction [preview]

Democratic Capitalism and The European Union
The Nature of the Crisis
Growth, Debt, and Doom Loops
No Return to Square One
In Search of Political Agency
Finalitées: Bases of Identification with European Integration as a Political Project
The Configuration of Political Forces and Preferences
Germany's Leadership Role for Europe: A Non-Starter
"Thin" Citizenship
Redistribution Across State Borders and Social Divides

Claus Offe is Professor of Political Sociology at the Hertie School of Governance in Berlin.

The book draws upon an article published in the European Law Review vol. 19 no. 5 (2013) pp. 595-611 [Abstract]. Originally published in German in Blätter für deutsche und internationale Politik 2013 no. 1, titled "Europa in der Falle" (An English translation here).

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Habermas on Philosophy and Politics (video)

Jürgen Habermas's speech at a symposium in honour of Julian Nida-Rümelin, Nymphenburg Palace, Munich, November 28, 2014:

"Zum Verhältnis von Philosophie und Politik"

See also the discussion between Julian Nida-Rümelin, Rainer Forst and Jürgen Habermas on  "Philosophie, Politik und die Frage der Rechtfertigung“.

Sunday, December 07, 2014

New Book on G. A. Cohen's Egalitarianism

Distributive Justice and Access to Advantage
G. A. Cohen's Egalitarianism

Edited by Alexander Kaufman

(Cambridge University Press, 2014)

286 pages


G. A. Cohen was one of the world's leading political theorists. He was noted, in particular, for his contributions to the literature of egalitarian justice. Cohen's classic writings offer one of the most influential responses to the currency of the egalitarian justice question – the question, that is, of whether egalitarians should seek to equalize welfare, resources, opportunity, or some other indicator of well-being. Underlying Cohen's argument is the intuition that the purpose of egalitarianism is to eliminate disadvantage for which it is inappropriate to hold the person responsible. His argument therefore focuses on the appropriate role of considerations regarding responsibility in egalitarian judgment. This volume comprises chapters by major scholars addressing and responding both to Cohen's account of the currency of egalitarian justice and its practical implications and to Cohen's arguments regarding the appropriate form of justificatory arguments about justice.

Contents [pdf] [preview]

Introduction [pdf] - Alexander Kaufman

Part I. Justice and Justification

1. The Fundamental Disagreement between Luck Egalitarians and Relational Egalitarians [pdf] - Elizabeth Anderson
2. Justice, Interpersonal Morality, and Luck Egalitarianism - Peter Vallentyne
3. The Egalitarian Ethos as a Social Mechanism - Joseph H. Carens
4. Justice and the Crooked Wood of Human Nature [pdf] - Adam Cureton
5. Facts, Principles, and the Third Man [pdf] - Lea Ypi

Part II. Justice and Equality

6. Equality and Freedom: Cohen's Critique of Sen - Alexander Kaufman
7. The Incoherence of Luck Egalitarianism - David Miller
8. What is the Point of Egalitarian Social Relationships? - Patrick Tomlin
9. Basic Equality and the Currency of Egalitarian Justice - Gabriel Wollner

Part III. Equality and Society

10. Why not Capitalism? - Richard J. Arneson
11. The Labor Theory of Justice [video] - Chandran Kukathas
12. Rescuing Justice and Equality from Libertarianism [abstract] - Serena Olsaretti

Alexander Kaufman is Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Georgia. He is editor of "Capabilities Equality: Basic Issues and Problems" (Routledge, 2005).

See some of my previous posts on G.A. Cohen:
- G.A. Cohen (1941-2009)
- Podcasts from G.A. Cohen conference January 2009
- Cohen's book "On the Currency of Egalitarian Justice"

Monday, December 01, 2014

"Habermas und der Historische Materialismus"

Habermas und der Historische Materialismus

Hg. von Smail Rapic

(Verlag Karl Alber, 2014)

440 Seiten


Seit dem Ausbruch der Weltfinanzkrise 2008 ist die Kapitalismus-Kritik von Karl Marx und Friedrich Engels von neuem ins öffentliche Bewusstsein gerückt. Auf einer Tagung an der Universität Wuppertal haben Vertreter verschiedener Disziplinen mit Jürgen Habermas über seine Rekonstruktion des Historischen Materialismus diskutiert. Durch die Mitwirkung von Karl-Otto Apel und Agnes Heller wurden Grundfragen der Habermas’schen Kommunikationstheorie und ihre Rolle in der Geschichte des westlichen Marxismus in die Diskussion einbezogen. Was den Band von sonstigen Tagungsbänden abhebt, sind die Entgegnungen von Jürgen Habermas sowie repräsentative Ausschnitte aus der öffentlichen Diskussion.


Einleitung [pdf] - Smail Rapic 

Grußwort zur Tagung - Lambert T. Koch

I. Habermas’ kommunikationstheoretische Wende und das Erbe des Historischen Materialismus

Kontinuitäten und Diskontinuitäten in Habermas’ Auseinandersetzung mit dem Historischen Materialismus [English] - William Outhwaite

Entgegnung von Jürgen Habermas

Historischer Materialismus und Kommunikationstheorie bei Habermas - Manfred Baum

Entgegnung von Jürgen Habermas


II. Habermas’ Kommunikationstheorie im zeitgenössischen Kontext

Über Habermas: Von alten Zeiten - Ágnes Heller

Entgegnung von Jürgen Habermas

Transzendentalpragmatik: Drittes Paradigma der Ersten Philosophie - Karl-Otto Apel


III. Ökonomie und Politik

Habermas’ Kritik des Produktionsparadigmas - Ingo Elbe

Entgegnung von Jürgen Habermas

Legitimationsprobleme im Spätkapitalismus: Zur Aktualität eines Habermas’schen Textes aus dem Jahre 1973 - Smail Rapic

Entgegnung von Jürgen Habermas

Die Zivilisierung des globalen Kapitalismus und die Zukunft Europas - Stefan Müller-Doohm

Entgegnung von Jürgen Habermas


Die verdrängte Demokratie. Kommunikations- und Handlungsblockaden in einer globalisierten Welt - Regina Kreide


Entgegnung von Jürgen Habermas

IV. Moralbewusstsein und Recht

Welchen normativen Status hat das Privatrecht? - Hans-Christoph Schmidt am Busch

Entgegnung von Jürgen Habermas

Die Rückkehr des gegenständlichen Gattungswesens [pdf] - Michael Quante

Entgegnung von Jürgen Habermas


V. Die Selbstverständigung der Moderne

Ernüchterte Geschichtsphilosophie - Georg Lohmann

Entgegnung von Jürgen Habermas

Habermas and Young Hegelian Dialectics - Ernest Wolf-Gazo

Entgegnung von Jürgen Habermas

Hegel, Marx und das Subjekt der Moderne - Klaus Erich Kaehler

Entgegnung von Jürgen Habermas

Marxismus und Evolution - Hauke Brunkhorst

Entgegnung von Jürgen Habermas


Schlusswort - Jürgen Habermas

Monday, November 24, 2014

Interview with Habermas in "L'Express"

The French news magazine "L'Express" (November 17, 2014) features an interview with Jürgen Habermas:

"En Europe, les nationalismes sont de retour"

English translation: "Now in Europe populism is gaining even governments".

(Thanks to Valéry Pratt for the pointer.)

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Terry Pinkard reviews Axel Honneth

At "Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews", Terry Pinkard has written a review of Axel Honneth's book on "Freedom's Right" (Columbia University Press, 2014):

Review of "Freedom's Right"


John Rawls' A Theory of Justice brought Kantian approaches to center stage in political philosophy. After that came an avalanche of articles and books on Rawls' theory itself and on how Kantian Rawls really was. It has taken some time, but now, with Axel Honneth's book, the Hegelian development of Kantianism is moving slowly to its own place on center stage. It will also most likely produce a similar wave of articles and books on how Hegelian he really is. Overall, the differences are clear: whereas Rawls and his successors focused on a few general principles of justice and how they were to be specified, Honneth-the-Hegelian stresses history, sociology, and the way the principles take on different lives in different actualizations. But how Hegelian is Honneth?

See also Robert Pippin on Honneth's Critical Theory (video + paper).

Friday, November 07, 2014

Interview with Habermas in "Le Monde"

Nicolas Weill interviews Jürgen Habermas in "Le Monde" (November 8, 2014):

"L'Europe actuelle, entre la paralysie et la distraction"

Thursday, November 06, 2014

Habermas: "Democracy in Europe" (video)

A video of Jürgen Habermas's lecture on "Democracy in Europe", the University of Stavanger, Norway, September 11, 2014.

See my blog post on the event here.

Wednesday, November 05, 2014

Hacker attacks on HabermasForum

Severe hacker attacks have taken down our website HabermasForum.dk

We hope to be online again in a week.

Samuel Scheffler on Global Justice

A new paper by Samuel Scheffler (New York University):

"The Idea of Global Justice: A Progress Report" [pdf]
(Forthcoming in "Harvard Review of Philosophy")


1. Two Preliminary Points
2. Rawls and Global Jusctice
3. Two-Tier Theories
4. First Problem: Global Justice and Global Egalitarianism
5. Second Problem: Global Justice and Moral Agency
6. Social Justice and Moral Agency
7. The Future of (the Idea of) Global Justice

Sunday, October 19, 2014

New article by Habermas in "Der Staat"

The new issue of "Der Staat" (vol. 53 no. 2) features a new article by Jürgen Habermas:

Zur Prinzipienkonkurrenz von Bürgergleichheit und Staatengleichheit im supranationalen Gemeinwesen
Eine Notiz aus Anlass der Frage nach der Legitimität der ungleichen Repräsentation der Bürger im Europäischen Parlament.

"Prima facie verletzt eine degressiv proportionale Sitzverteilung im Europäischen Parlament das Prinzip der politischen Gleichheit. Das Argument, mit dem ich diesen Widerspruch auflösen möchte, stützt sich darauf, dass die stärkere Berücksichtigung des Prinzips der Staatengleichheit auf den legitimen Willen einer an der Wurzel geteilten konstituierenden Gewalt zurückgeht. In der konkurrierenden Gesetzgebung von streng repräsentativ zusammengesetzten Ersten und Zweiten Kammern käme das stärker gewichtete Prinzip der gleichen Repräsentation der Staaten nicht hinreichend zum Zuge. Daher muss das Prinzip auf beide Institutionen durchgreifen. Dieser auf den ersten Blick demokratieunverträgliche Durchgriff lässt sich damit rechtfertigen, dass die „Aufstufung“ der distributiv allgemeinen Gesamtheit europäischer Bürger durch die Bevölkerungskollektive der beteiligten Staaten selbst demokratisch gerechtfertigt ist."