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  1.  46
    The postulate of private right and Kant’s semi-historical principles of property.J. P. Messina - 2021 - British Journal for the History of Philosophy 29 (1):64-83.
    Whereas several commentators have held that Kant’s argument for the postulate of private right fails insofar as it begs the question, I argue here that this criticism misses the mark. Critics have...
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  2.  39
    Kant’s Provisionality Thesis.J. P. Messina - 2019 - Kantian Review 24 (3):439-463.
    I argue that Kant’s mature political philosophy entails the provisionality thesis. The provisionality thesis asserts that in a world like ours, populated with beings sufficiently like us, acquired rights (rights to external objects of choice, including property, sovereignty and territory) are necessarily provisional. I motivate the standard view, which restricts the notion of provisional right to the state of nature and the transition from the state of nature to the civil condition. I then provide two textual arguments against it. I (...)
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  3. Freedom of Expression and the Liberalism of Fear: A Defense of the Darker Mill.J. P. Messina - 2020 - Philosophers' Imprint 20:1-17.
    Although many recent free speech skeptics claim Millian credentials, they neglect the more pessimistic elements of Mill's account of human nature. Once we recover the darker elements of Mill's thought, American-style laissez-faire in the domain of expression looks significantly more attractive. Indeed, this paper argues that if Mill is correct about human nature, we have good reason to oppose recent proposed restrictions on expression and to embrace a legal regime that tolerates much speech that is false, obscene, demeaning, and even (...)
     
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  4.  7
    The open society and the future of political philosophy.J. P. Messina - forthcoming - Philosophical Quarterly.
    This paper defends traditional political philosophy against the challenges Gaus leverages against it in The Open Society and Its Complexities. Granting Gaus that consensus on the principles of political philosophy is not forthcoming and that complexity undermines many of our most ambitious reform efforts, the paper argues that much work remains for political philosophy as it has been practiced for centuries. This is for three reasons. First, Gaus's own defense of the open society requires resources from the very traditions that (...)
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  5. Morals From Rationality Alone? Some Doubts.J. P. Messina & David Wiens - 2020 - Politics, Philosophy and Economics 19 (3):248-273.
    Contractarians aim to derive moral principles from the dictates of instrumental rationality alone. But it is well-known that contractarian moral theories struggle to identify normative principles that are both uniquely rational and morally compelling. Michael Moehler's recent book, *Minimal Morality* seeks to avoid these difficulties by developing a novel "two-level" social contract theory, which restricts the scope of contractarian morality to cases of deep and persistent moral disagreement. Yet Moehler remains ambitious, arguing that a restricted version of Kant's categorical imperative (...)
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  6.  14
    Being and Freedom: On Late Modern Ethics in Europe by John Skorupski (review).J. P. Messina - 2023 - Journal of the History of Philosophy 61 (4):714-718.
    In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:Reviewed by:Being and Freedom: On Late Modern Ethics in Europe by John SkorupskiJ. P. MessinaJohn Skorupski. Being and Freedom: On Late Modern Ethics in Europe. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2021. Pp. 560. Hardcover, $130.00.John Skorupski's Being and Freedom traces the development of modern ethics in France, Germany, and England, as set in motion by two great revolutions: the French Revolution and Kant's methodological revolution in the Critique of Pure (...)
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  7.  65
    Situationism and the Neglect of Negative Moral Education.J. P. Messina & Chris W. Surprenant - 2015 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 18 (4):835-849.
    This paper responds to the recent situationist critique of practical rationality and decision-making. According to that critique, empirical evidence indicates that our choices are governed by morally irrelevant situational factors and not durable character traits, and rarely result from overt rational deliberation. This critique is taken to indicate that popular moral theories in the Western tradition are descriptively deficient, even if normatively plausible or desirable. But we believe that the situationist findings regarding the sources of, or influences over, our moral (...)
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  8.  47
    Desert in liberal justice: beyond institutional guarantees.J. P. Messina - 2016 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 46 (2):248-267.
    I argue that a theory of distributive justice is sensitive to desert if and only if it does not require an institutional scheme that prevents individuals from treating one another as they deserve, and requires a desert ethos. A desert ethos is a set of principles that, though not embodied in a society’s basic coercive structure, nevertheless governs interpersonal relations between citizens. These two necessary conditions are jointly sufficient for ‘giving desert its due’ in a theory of justice. I therefore (...)
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  9.  9
    Kant against Legal Paternalism: A Conditional Defense.J. P. Messina - 2021 - In Camilla Serck-Hanssen & Beatrix Himmelmann (eds.), The Court of Reason: Proceedings of the 13th International Kant Congress. De Gruyter. pp. 1827-1834.
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  10. New directions.J. P. Messina - 2022 - In New Directions in the Ethics and Politics of Speech. New York, NY: Routledge.
     
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  11.  21
    New Directions in the Ethics and Politics of Speech.J. P. Messina (ed.) - 2022 - New York, NY: Routledge.
    This book features new perspectives on the ethics and politics of free speech. Contributors draw on insights from philosophy, psychology, political theory, journalism, literature, and history to respond to pressing problems involving free speech in liberal societies. Recent years have seen an explosion of academic interest in free speech. However, most recent work has focused on constitutional protections for free speech and on issues related to academic freedom and campus politics. The chapters in this volume set their sights more broadly (...)
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  12. Public Calls for Censorship as Bad Speech.J. P. Messina - 2022 - Free Speech Law 2 (1):87-106.
    Responsible speakers avoid trafficking in bad speech, that is, speech that they have reason to believe causes or constitutes net harm. Moreover, third parties have prima facie reason to suppress such speech. As recent events have made salient just how harmful speech can be, there has been a corresponding increase in calls to suppress or censor such speech. This article argues that there are three mechanisms by which calls to suppress bad speech themselves tend to cause or constitute harm. Paradoxically, (...)
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  13.  10
    Private Censorship.J. P. Messina - 2023 - Oxford University Press.
    Concerns about censorship have once again reached a fever pitch across the liberal West. In other historical periods, such concerns may have marked reactions to book bans and burnings. Often, they followed prosecutions and subsequent jailtime for things spoken or written. During the Red Scare, they were the hushed response to chilling state-sponsored watch-lists and employer-supported blacklists designed to ensure victory against communism. Against this history, complaints about the new censorship appear differently. With respect to the new censorship, there are (...)
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  14.  32
    Reasonable Pluralism about Desert-Presupposing Moral Responsibility: A Conditional Defense.J. P. Messina - 2020 - Journal of Value Inquiry 55 (1):189-208.
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  15.  26
    David O. Brink, Mill’s Progressive Principles: New York, New York: Oxford University Press 2013. ISBN: 978-0-19-967214-1. US $55.00. [REVIEW]J. P. Messina - 2014 - Journal of Value Inquiry 48 (1):161-166.
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