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Daniel Viehoff
New York University
  1. Democratic Equality and Political Authority.Daniel Viehoff - 2014 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 42 (4):337-375.
    This essay seeks to provide a justification for the ‘egalitarian authority claim’, according to which citizens of democratic states have a moral duty to obey (at least some) democratically made laws because they are the outcome of an egalitarian procedure. It begins by considering two prominent arguments that link democratic authority to a concern for equality. Both are ultimately unsuccessful; but their failures are instructive, and help identify the conditions that a plausible defense of the egalitarian authority claim must meet. (...)
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  2.  26
    Power and Equality.Daniel Viehoff - 2019 - Oxford Studies in Political Philosophy 5:1-38.
    Several democratic theorists have recently sought to vindicate the ideal of equal political power (“political equality”) by tying it to the non-derivative value of egalitarian relationships. This chapter critically discusses such arguments. It clarifies what it takes to vindicate the ideal of political equality, and distinguishes different versions of the relational egalitarian argument for it. Some such arguments appeal to the example of a society without social status inequality (such as caste or class structures); others to personal relationships among equals, (...)
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  3. Authority and Expertise.Daniel Viehoff - 2016 - Journal of Political Philosophy 24 (4):406-426.
    Call “epistocracy” a political regime in which the experts, those who know best, rule; and call “the epistocratic claim” the assertion that the experts’ superior knowledge or reliability is “a warrant for their having political authority over others.” Most of us oppose epistocracy and think the epistocratic claim is false. But why is it mistaken? Contemporary discussions of this question focus on two answers. According to the first, expertise could, in principle, be a warrant for authority. What bars the successful (...)
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  4.  80
    XIV—The Truth in Political Instrumentalism.Daniel Viehoff - 2017 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 117 (3):273-295.
    How can one person’s having political power over another be justified? This essay explores the idea that such justifications must be in an important sense derivative, and that this ‘Derivative Justification Constraint’ bars certain justifications widely endorsed in political and philosophical debates. After critically discussing the most prominent extant articulations of the Constraint (associated with a view often called ‘political instrumentalism’), the essay offers a novel account of what precisely the Constraint bars (in short: justification by appeal to non-derivative goods (...)
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  5. Debate: Procedure and Outcome in the Justification of Authority.Daniel Viehoff - 2011 - Journal of Political Philosophy 19 (2):248-259.
    Why should one person obey another? Why (to ask the question from the first-person perspective) ought I to submit to another and follow her judgment rather than my own? In modern political thought, which denies that some are born rulers and others are born to be ruled, the most prominent answer has been: “Because I have consented to her authority.” By making authority conditional on the subjects’ consent, political philosophers have sought to reconcile authority’s hierarchical structure with the equal moral (...)
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  6.  61
    Legitimate Injustice and Acting for Others.Daniel Viehoff - 2022 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 50 (3):301-374.
    It is practically inevitable that even the best-intentioned public officials occasionally inflict unjust harm on people who should not have to suffer it. They mistakenly arrest innocent suspects, and convict innocent defendants. They erroneously adopt and enforce criminal laws that unduly restrict our freedom. They vote for, implement, and enforce tax laws that unfairly burden some citizens. And yet it is widely assumed that, as long as such officials act in good faith, and follow certain institutional rules, we aren’t permitted (...)
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  7.  60
    Roundtable on Epistemic Democracy and Its Critics.Jack Knight, Hélène Landemore, Nadia Urbinati & Daniel Viehoff - 2016 - Critical Review: A Journal of Politics and Society 28 (2):137-170.
    On September 3, 2015, the Political Epistemology/ideas, Knowledge, and Politics section of the American Political Science Association sponsored a roundtable on epistemic democracy as part of the APSA’s annual meetings. Chairing the roundtable was Daniel Viehoff, Department of Philosophy, University of Sheffield. The other participants were Jack Knight, Department of Political Science and the Law School, Duke University; Hélène Landemore, Department of Political Science, Yale University; and Nadia Urbinati, Department of Political Science, Columbia University. We thank the participants for permission (...)
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  8. The Right Against Interference: Human Rights and Legitimate Authority.Daniel Viehoff - 2013 - Law and Ethics of Human Rights 7 (1):25-46.
    Among the functions of state borders is to delineate a domain within which outsiders may normally not interfere. But the human rights practice that has sprung up in recent decades has imposed significant limits on a state’s right against interference. This article considers the connection between human rights on the one hand and justified interference in the internal affairs of states on the other. States, this article argues, have a right against interference if and because they serve their subjects. Interference (...)
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  9.  18
    Legitimacy as a Right to Err.Daniel Viehoff - 2019 - In Jack Knight & Melissa Schwartzberg (eds.), NOMOS LXI: Political Legitimacy. New York: pp. 173-199.
    This essay proposes that legitimacy (on at least one understanding of the protean term) is centrally a right to err: a right to make mistakes that harm interests of others that are ordinarily protected by rights (Section 1). Legitimacy so understood is importantly distinct from authority, the normative power to impose binding (or enforceable) rules at will (Section 2). Specifically, legitimate institutions have a distinctive liberty right to harm others’ interests that other agents normally lack. Their subjects in turn lack (...)
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  10. Instrumental Authority and Its Challenges: The Case of the Laws of War.Jonathan Parry & Daniel Viehoff - 2019 - Ethics 129 (4):548-575.
    Law and Morality at War offers a broadly instrumentalist defense of the authority of the laws of war: these laws serve combatants by helping them come closer to doing what they have independent moral reason to do. We argue that this form of justification sets too low a bar. An authority’s directives are not binding, on instrumental grounds, if the subject could, within certain limits, adopt an alternative, and superior, means of conforming to morality’s demands. It emerges that Haque’s argument (...)
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  11.  45
    Scanlon, T. M. Why Does Inequality Matter?. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2018. Pp. 192. $26.95.Daniel Viehoff - 2019 - Ethics 130 (2):259-267.
  12.  59
    Coercion.Juri Viehoff & Daniel Viehoff - 2014 - In The Encyclopedia of Political Thought.
    Claims about coercion play a significant role in some of the most important questions in political philosophy: most ordinary citizens as well as philosophers think that the exercise of power by the state and other political institutions is coercive, and as such requires special justification. Political philosophy, it has been assumed, must assess both the truth of that claim and its relevance for whether or not states, in general, can be justified. Whether the state is always or necessarily coercive is (...)
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  13. NOMOS LXIII: Democratic Failure.Melissa Schwartzberg & Daniel Viehoff (eds.) - 2020 - New York: NYU Press.
    Today we confront the prospect that some of the world’s oldest and most durable democracies may be backsliding, at risk of failure. But how should we conceptualize and measure democratic failure, given the imperfect nature of all existing political regimes? How should we identify those institutions that might be most vulnerable? Democratic Failure draws together leading scholars from philosophy, political science, and law to clarify the key challenges facing democracies, past and present, and to locate the intellectual resources available to (...)
     
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