Sunday, May 15, 2016

Papers on "The Legacy of Ronald Dworkin"

The Legacy of Ronald Dworkin

Ed. by Wil Waluchow & Stefan Sciaraffa

(Oxford University Press, 2016)

456 pages


This book assembles leading legal, political, and moral philosophers to examine the legacy of the work of Ronald Dworkin. They provide the most comprehensive critical treatment of Dworkin's accomplishments focusing on his work in all branches of philosophy, including his theory of value, political philosophy, philosophy of international law, and legal philosophy.

The book's organizing principle and theme reflect Dworkin's self-conception as a builder of a unified theory of value, and the broad outlines of his system can be found throughout the book. The first section addresses the most abstract and general aspect of Dworkin's work—the unity of value thesis. The second section explores Dworkin's contributions to political philosophy, and discusses a number of political concepts including authority, civil disobedience, the legitimacy of states and the international legal system, distributive justice, collective responsibility, and Dworkin's master value of dignity and the associated values of equal concern and respect. The third section addresses various aspects of Dworkin's general theory of law. The fourth and final section comprises accounts of the structure and defining values of discrete areas of law

The essays are based on papers presented at a conference on "The Legacy of Ronald Dworkin", May 30 - June 1, 2014 , at the McMaster University, Ontario, Canada.

Contents [preview]

Editors' Introduction

Part I: The Unity of Value

1. A Hedgehog's Unity of Value - Joseph Raz

Part II: Political Values: Legitimacy, Authority, and Collective Responsibility

2. Political Resistance for Hedgehogs - Candice Delmas
3. Ronald Dworkin, State Consent and Progressive Cosmopolitanism - Thomas Christiano
4. To Fill or Not To Fill Individual Responsibility Gaps? - François Tanguay-Renaud
5. Inheritance and Hypothetical Insurance - Daniel Halliday

Part III: General Jurisprudence: Contesting the Unity of Law and Value

6. Putting Law in Its Place - Lawrence G. Sager
7. Dworkin and Unjust Law - David Dyzenhaus
8. The Grounds of Law - Luís Duarte d'Almeida
9. Immodesty in Dworkin's 'Third' Theory - Kenneth Einar Himma
10. Imperialism and Importance in Dworkin's Jurisprudence - Michael Giudice
11. A Theory of Legal Obligation - Christopher Essert

Part IV: Value in Law

12. Originalism and Constructive Interpretation - David O. Brink
13. Was Dworkin an Originalist? - Larry Alexander
14. The Moral Reading of Constitutions - Connie S. Rosati
15. Authority, Intention and Interpretation - Aditi Bagchi
16. Concern and Respect in Procedural Law - Hamish Stewart

See also some of my previous posts on Ronald Dworkin:

* In Memorial Ronald Dworkin - Harvard Law Review (December 2013).

* Jeremy Waldron's tribute to Ronald Dworkin

* Papers on Ronald Dworkin's "Justice for Hedgehogs"

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Axel Honneth/Jacques Rancière - A Critical Encounter

Recognition or Disagreement
A Critical Encounter on the Politics of Freedom, Equality, and Identity

By Axel Honneth & Jacques Rancière

Edited by Jean-Philippe Deranty & Katia Genel 

(Columbia University Press, 2016)

240 pages


Axel Honneth is best known for his critique of modern society centered on a concept of recognition. Jacques Rancière has advanced an influential theory of modern politics based on disagreement. Underpinning their thought is a concern for the logics of exclusion and domination that structure contemporary societies. In a rare dialogue, these two philosophers explore the affinities and tensions between their perspectives to provoke new ideas for social and political change.

Honneth sees modern society as a field in which the logic of recognition provides individuals with increasing possibilities for freedom and is a constant catalyst for transformation. Rancière sees the social as a policing order and the political as a force that must radically assert equality. Honneth claims Rancière's conception of the political lies outside of actual historical societies and involves a problematic desire for egalitarianism. Rancière argues that Honneth's theory of recognition relies on an overly substantial conception of identity and subjectivity. While impassioned, their exchange seeks to advance critical theory's political project by reconciling the rift between German and French post-Marxist traditions and proposing new frameworks for justice.

Contents [preview]

Part I. Setting the Stage

1. Jacques Rancière and Axel Honneth - Katia Genel
2. Between Honneth and Rancière - Jean-Philippe Deranty

Part II. A Critical Encounter

3. Critical Questions: On the Theory of Recognition - Jacques Rancière
4. Remarks on the Philosophical Approach of Jacques Rancière - Axel Honneth
5. A Critical Discussion

Part III. The Method of Critical Theory: Propositions

6. The Method of Equality [lecture in English, audio] - Jacques Rancière
7. Of the Poverty of Our Liberty [lecture in German, audio] - Axel Honneth

Thursday, May 12, 2016

New Book: Philosophy and Political Engagement

Philosophy and Political Engagement
Reflection in the Public Sphere

Ed. by Allyn Fives & Keith Breen

(Palgrave, 2016)

275 pages


Do philosophers have a responsibility to their society that is distinct from their responsibility to it as citizens? This edited volume explores both what type of contribution philosophy can make and what type of reasoning is appropriate when addressing public matters now. These questions are posed by leading international scholars working in the fields of moral and political philosophy. Each contribution also investigates the central issue of how to combine critical, rational analysis with a commitment to politically relevant public engagement. The contributions to this volume analyse issues raised in practical ethics, including abortion, embryology, and assisted suicide. They consider the role of ethical commitment in the philosophical analysis of contemporary political issues, and engage with matters of public policy such as poverty, the arts, meaningful work, as well as the evidence base for policy. They also examine the normative legitimacy of power, including the use of violence.

This volume of essays is dedicated to Joseph Mahon.

Contents [pdf] [preview]

1. Introduction - Allyn Fives & Keith Breen

Part One. Practical Ethics

2. The Role of Philosophy in Public Matters - Allyn Fives
3. On Philosophy’s Contribution to Public Matters [Abstract] - Joseph Mahon
4. Abortion and the Right to Not Be Pregnant [Abstract] - James Edwin Mahon
5. Acts, Omissions, and Assisted Death [Abstract] - Richard Hull & Annie McKeown O'Donovan 

Part Two. Ethical Commitment and Political Engagement

6. Writing as Social Disclosure: A Hundred Years Ago and Now [Abstract] - Alasdair MacIntyre
7. Ethics, Markets, and Cultural Goods [Abstract] - Russell Keat
8. In Defence of Meaningful Work as a Public Policy Concern [Abstract] - Keith Breen
9. Working from Both Ends: The Dual Role of Philosophy in Research Ethics - Allyn Fives

Part Three. The Justification of Power and Resistance

10. Three Mistakes About Democracy - Philip Pettit
11. Karl Marx After a Century and a Half [Abstract] - Allen W. Wood
12. Neither Victims nor Executioners: Camus as Public Intellectual [Abstract] - John Foley
13. Violence and Responsibility [Abstract] - Felix Murchadha

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Jan-Werner Müller on Populism

A new book by Professor Jan-Werner Müller (Princeton University)  has been published in German on Suhrkamp Verlag:

"Was ist Populismus? - Ein Essay

An excerpt is available here: "Schatten der Repräsentation: Der Aufstieg des Populismus". 

An English translation of the book is coming out on University of Pennsylvania Press later this year.

A recent paper by Jan-Werner Müller on populism is available here: "The people must be extracted from within the people" - Reflections on Populism" (pdf)

Excerpts from the paper:
"I wish to suggest that we need a theory of populism as a means to comprehend a political phenomenon that is neither just an ideology, nor a style, nor a particular kind of party or movement.  Populism, I contend, is a profoundly illiberal and, in the end, directly undemocratic understanding of representative democracy. (....)  
Populism is not about a particular social base or a particular set of emotions or particular policies; rather, it is a particular moralistic imagination of politics, a way of perceiving the political world which opposes a morally pure and fully unified – but ultimately fictional – people to small minorities who are put outside the authentic people. In other words, the people are not really what prima facie appear as the people in its empirical entirety; rather, as Claude Lefort put it, first ‘the people must be extracted from within the people’.
Most commonly, but not necessarily, ‘morality’ is specified with languages of work and corruption.  Populists pit the pure, innocent, always hard-working people against a corrupt elite who do not really work (other than to further their narrow self-interest), and, in right-wing populism, also against the very bottom of society (those who also do not really work and live off others). Right-wing populists typically construe an ‘unhealthy coalition’ between the elite that does not really belong and marginal groups that do not really belong either. (....)
While populism does not oppose the principles of representation and the practices of election, what populism necessarily has to deny is any kind of pluralism or social division: in the populist imagination there is only the people on the one hand and, on the other hand, the illegitimate intruders into our politics, from both above and from below, so to speak. And there is only one proper common good to be discerned by the authentic people."

See a video with Jan-Werner Müller's lecture last year in Amsterdam on "What is Populism" and an interview on populism with Jan-Werner Müller in Copenhagen, September 2013.

You can hear his lecture series on "We the People: On Populism and Democracy" held in Vienna in 2013:

* Lecture I: What Is Populism? 

* Lecture II: Intrusions of the People: Ideals of Popular Sovereignty in History

* Lecture III: Real Problems – and How to Respond to Them

Many more papers by Jan-Werner Müller here.