Obstacles to achieving a global climate treaty include disagreements about questions of justice raised by the UNFCCC's principle that countries should respond to climate change by taking cooperative action "in accordance with their common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities and their social and economic conditions". Aiming to circumvent such disagreements, Climate Change Justice authors Eric Posner and David Weisbach argue against shaping treaty proposals according to requirements of either distributive or corrective justice. The USA's climate envoy, Todd Stern, takes (...) a similar position. In this article I explain the practical and theoretical drawbacks of Posner & Weisbach's welfarist perspective and propose an alternative. I show that their arguments fail to rule out John Rawls' non-utilitarian, political conception of international justice and human rights, the Law of Peoples. On this basis I develop a conception of climate justice that highlights implications of some of Rawls' principles and adds a principle for determining fair shares of climate -treaty-related benefits and burdens. I propose this conception as a moral framework for negotiating a treaty that would promote human welfare consistently with requirements of justice, and I argue that a treaty proposal satisfying these requirements could best satisfy Posner & Weisbach's own feasibility criteria. (shrink)
Pauline Kleingeld and Marcus Willaschek, in a co-authored article, declare that their purportedly new interpretation of Immanuel Kant’s writings on autonomy reveals that his moral philosophy is neither realist nor constructivist. However, as I explain here, John Rawls already occupies the area of intellectual territory to which Kleingeld and Willaschek attempt to lay claim: Rawls interprets Kant’s moral philosophy as neither realist, as Kleingeld and Willaschek evidently construe this term, nor constructivist, as they evidently construe this term. Contra Kleingeld and (...) Willaschek, the moral constructivism attributed to Kant by Rawls is not voluntarist, and Rawls’s account of Kant’s concept of autonomy is not paradoxical. In order to understand autonomy, it is necessary to understand Kant’s complex conception of the will, which structures his moral philosophy (as Rawls, unlike Kleingeld and Willaschek, explains). Rawls, like Kant, but unlike Kleingeld and Willaschek, clearly distinguishes between certain importantly different questions about normativity and obligation. Kant’s moral philosophy, according to Rawls’s insightful interpretation, is a form of objective moral constructivism. (shrink)
Pauline Kleingeld and Marcus Willaschek, in a co-authored article, declare that their purportedly new interpretation of Immanuel Kant's writings on autonomy reveals that his moral philosophy is neither realist nor constructivist. However, as I explain here, John Rawls already occupies the area of intellectual territory to which Kleingeld and Willaschek attempt to lay claim: Rawls interprets Kant's moral philosophy as neither realist, as Kleingeld and Willaschek evidently construe this term, nor constructivist, as they evidently construe this term. Contra Kleingeld and (...) Willaschek, the moral constructivism attributed to Kant by Rawls is not voluntarist, and Rawls's account of Kant's concept of autonomy is not paradoxical. In order to understand autonomy, it is necessary to understand Kant's complex conception of the will, which structures his moral philosophy (as Rawls, unlike Kleingeld and Willaschek, explains). Rawls, like Kant, but unlike Kleingeld and Willaschek, clearly distinguishes between certain importantly different questions about normativity and obligation. Kant's moral philosophy, according to Rawls's insightful interpretation, is a form of objective moral constructivism. (shrink)
The urgent importance of dealing with the climate crisis has led some influential theorists to argue that at least some demands for justice must give way to pragmatic and strategic considerations. These theorists (Cass Sunstein, Eric Posner, and David Weisbach, all academic lawyers, and John Broome, an academic philosopher) contend that the failures of international negotiations and other efforts to change economic policies and practices have shown that moral exhortations are worse than ineffective. Although Broome's position is similar in these (...) respects to that of Sunstein, Posner and Weisbach, it differs in other important respects, including his understanding of the idea of justice, his disagreement with the policy approach (which he calls "efficiency with sacrifice") favored by the economists Nicholas Stern and William Nordhaus, and his proposal for establishing a new international financial institution, a World Climate Bank, in addition to putting a price on carbon. Elsewhere I offer a critical analysis of the position taken by Posner and Weisbach in their book, Climate Change Justice. Their arguments against allowing principles of distributive justice (narrowly understood) to constrain treaty negotiations fail to rule out the principles of John Rawls' Law of Peoples (which is a conception of the moral basis of a just international order, including states' obligations to secure basic human rights for all). Therefore their arguments against shaping climate treaties to reflect any principles of justice do not succeed in supporting their position. Here I offer a critical analysis of Broome's position. I raise and discuss objections to Broome's proposal for a WCB, and I argue that the continued relevance of these objections is contingent on how the proposal for a WCB may get developed. (shrink)
This chapter contains section titled: Basic Human Rights Public Reason Sovereignty and Self‐determination The DNSL Argument and the Minimum Respect‐for‐Justice Condition Adequate Justification Rights of Political Participation Post‐war Nation Building Promoting Political Reform Conclusion Acknowledgments Notes.
As awareness of global warming has spread during the past couple of decades and developed into the realization that humanity faces an existential threat, a number of more or less Kantian liberal or cosmopolitan moral and political theorists have attempted to address questions of justice raised by the climate crisis. David Held was among the most prolific and influential of them. Here I discuss Held's cosmopolitan perspective on climate governance and consider its bearing on certain recent proposals for new institutions, (...) including in particular a proposal offered by John Broome and Duncan Foley for establishing a World Climate Bank. I argue that such a WCB may be endorsable from Held's perspective, depending how the initial proposal may get further developed. Held's approach to politics is similar to Kant's in certain significant respects, including the role of hope. Both approaches are valuable and important in relation to the climate crisis. (shrink)
This volume is fourth in the series of annuals created under the auspices of The Association for Feminist Ethics and Social Theory . The topics covered herein_from peacekeeping and terrorism, to sex trafficking and women's paid labor, to poverty and religious fundamentalism_are vital to women and to feminist movements throughout the world.
Pauline Kleingeld argues that according to Kant it would be wrong to coerce a state into an international federation, due to the wrongness of paternalism. Although I agree that Kant opposes the waging of war as a means to peace, I disagree with Kleingeld's account of the reasons why he would oppose coercing a state into a federation. Since she does not address the broader question of the permissibility of interstate coercion, she does not properly address the narrower question of (...) whether coercion to compel a state to join a federation can be permissible. I revise and supplement her arguments. (shrink)
This superb, exemplary account of Immanuel Kant’s legal and political philosophy is essential reading not only for Kant scholars, but also for political philosophers and philosophers of law. Lucidly reasoned and written with crystalline clarity, the book is both accessible to non-specialists and a pleasure to read. Ripstein reveals the coherent, systematic structure of thought in Kant’s obscurely written Doctrine of Right, and goes beyond illumination to defense and development of Kant’s conception of equal freedom. In the course of doing (...) all of this, he not only presents Kant in historical context, but also brings to light important differences between Kant’s views and those of other political philosophers and philosophers of law, including John Locke, John Stuart Mill, H. L. A. Hart, and Ronald Dworkin, often enriching the discussion by referring to decisions or arguments made by courts in the U.S. or elsewhere. Ripstein shows that it is unjustifiable to exclude Kant from the primary canon of political philosophy, as is typical of current English-language teaching and scholarship. (shrink)
Although Andrius Gališanka’s well-written book is interesting as a work of psychological and intellectual history based on archival research as well as speculation, and although it has considerable merits, it appears to overreach the limits of the author’s expertise. Since he has published a book on Wittgenstein and normative inquiry, and also an article on game theory in relation to Rawls, he seems well qualified to write chapters 2, 3, and 4, which I found informative and helpful. However, the shortcomings (...) of the last chapters of the book prevent the achievement of some of its main... (shrink)
How can respect for cultural and religious differences be reconciled with the conviction that everyone has basic human rights that must be secured? Should liberal states require that non-liberal states secure human rights, and can they do so without being intolerant and oppressive? Is there a human right to democracy, and should a liberal hold that all states must become modern liberal democracies and may be pressured to reform their traditional practices and institutions? Do human rights include only the classical (...) liberal civil and political rights, and no economic rights? ;In this dissertation I defend a conception of human rights derived from John Rawls's Political Liberalism, which comprises both Justice as Fairness, the view he presented in A Theory of Justice , and the Law of Peoples, the view he presented in The Law of Peoples . According to this conception, human rights are binding on all societies, and cannot be rejected as peculiarly liberal or politically parochial. Outlaw states that violate them are to be condemned and may in grave cases be subjected to sanctions or intervention. Moreover, human rights include not only basic civil and political rights but also basic economic rights. However, while there may be a human right to live under a procedurally democratic government, it would not be a basic right but a derivative one. ;The conception of human rights that I here defend is a rational reconstruction of Rawls's view. In Chapters 1--3 I argue against the most natural interpretation of The Law of Peoples, defend a different interpretation, and expose and bridge a logical gap in that text. I then develop new responses to objections by Charles Beitz and Thomas Pogge, who hold that liberals who endorse Justice as Fairness must reject the Law of Peoples as insufficiently egalitarian. I also respond to the additional objection that the set of human rights cannot include economic rights. As I show, endorsing Justice as Fairness requires endorsing the Law of Peoples, and public reason can reconcile respect for cultural and religious differences with the conviction that everyone has basic human rights that must be secured. (shrink)